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  • Writer's pictureBuildaBridge Int'l

New Executive Director

BuildaBridge(BaB) International is excited to announce the arrival of their new Executive Director, Ami Yares, effective December, 1 2017.

Yares is an educator, performer and social activist whose professionally career focuses deeply on using music as a lens to understand culture and society. He has collaborated with communities all over the world bringing together disparate communities through his peace building efforts. Ami’s performances and educational programming have been featured components of the US Department of State’s diplomatic missions in Israel and Germany, Seeds of Peace, Harvard University, Columbia University and the University of Pennsylvania. Yares also played a pivotal role in the groundbreaking Israel and Palestinian youth music group, Heartbeat. He holds a Master’s of Science in Social Policy from the University of Pennsylvania’s Social Policy and Planning (SP2). During his time at Penn, Ami concentrated on the role of arts and culture as a tool for social change and advocated for its increased representation in social policy and public health. Yares’ career encapsulates a gifted knowledge and practice of on-the-ground arts interventions and advocacy for the arts as an indispensable factor in systemic social change and justice. Yares said of his his commitment to continue and strengthen the work of BuildaBridge:

Access to the arts, moreover access to creative self-expression provides opportunity for individuals to craft and shape unique visions that in turn can manifest futures outside of the status quo — the transformative power of the arts. BuildaBridge’s strength lies in its direct-service providing programming and the institute’s professional development for arts-integrated practice. The combination of these initiatives set in tandem with the supportive community of BuildaBridge paints a future in which access to the creative arts becomes a priority locally, regionally and internationally.

BuildaBridge International is a Philadelphia-based nonprofit that has a 20-year reputation of working with vulnerable and displaced communities globally through trauma-informed art making. Co-founders Drs. Vivian Nix-Early and Nathan Corbitt are stepping down from their roles as the Yares begins his tenure with BaB. Corbitt expressed:

In 1997 when Dr. Nix-Early and I co-founded BuildaBridge, I don’t think either of us could have imagined the day would come when– after 20 years of a great mission and many, many creative artists trained and engaged in bringing hope, healing and resilience through art-making–we would retire from leadership. That time has come and we could not be more thrilled and confident to see this mission in the hands of such a capable and competent leader along with an active board.

Now more than ever, vulnerable populations need increasingly more access to the arts and the opportunity to imagine in order to build equitable futures. Joining BuildaBridge as Executive Director creates a natural extension of Ami’s experience into BuildaBridge’s present and future.

For more information or to contact Ami Yares email:

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