Oh, My. Go read this. And look at this slideshow. (Thank you for passing this along, Red Thread)
Ross Bleckner has been chosen to be the next United Nations Goodwill Ambassador: he has been painting with children who were abducted and conscripted in war.
These from the NY Times article linked above:
Mr. Bleckner said that when United Nations officials first approached him, they asked him whether he thought art could perform a useful role in drawing attention to the plague of human trafficking, which they said still receives too little attention, despite the widespread use of children in many conflicts in Africa.
“And I said to them that if art can’t perform a role like that, then it has no role at all,” he said on Tuesday.
He said that after several days of teaching them rudimentary painting and drawing skills, many began to open up to him and to create work that powerfully expressed their experiences.
Mr. Bleckner said that he planned to return to the area early next year to enlarge the painting project and that — in his role as ambassador — he hoped to enlist many more artists to become involved in efforts to fight child enslavement and trafficking.
And it is more than stopping the child abuse: Mr Bleckner wrote this in the catalog of 200 of the children's paintings to be sold in New York for their benefit, “It is a personal interaction which gives someone the tools to create something that they can be proud of, and which can help them on the arduous path to restoring their dignity and sense of self-worth.”
Art Saves Lives