[Lily] Yeh is the founder of — and force behind — Barefoot Artists, an organization that revitalizes neighborhoods around the globe through the transformative power of art. In Palestine, that meant working with villagers to create a wall mural that Yeh calls “The Palestinian Tree of Life.” In China, it meant transforming a once imposing, prison-like school into a bright and brilliant place for learning. In Rwanda, it meant helping people heal the still-raw wounds left from that country’s genocide with a memorial to the lost.
In each of the locations, Barefoot Artists collaborates with locals, joining with them to create something beautiful or soothing or enlightening. As Yeh sees it, she is igniting the light of creativity that rests in all people.
Uncanny chalk murals by street artist Kurt Wenner
“Reclaiming the Body as Home” by NalaWalla
The arts must be restored to their central role in community life if we are to achieve the goal of sustainable living.