Our long-standing Russian-American work now framed as the Russian-American Partnership Project (ERAPP) launched the Pacifica Prize, a joint project of TRACK TWO and Esalen’s Center for Theory and Research (CTR). The prize highlights the role of the arts in enriching and deepening ties between Russia and the United States across a range of common interests – cultural, scientific, business and economic. The Pacifica Prize was conceived to create new and enduring connections between the artistic and larger communities of Vladivostok, Russia’s largest Pacific Ocean port, and the California coastal communities of San Francisco and Big Sur. In cooperation with the California College of the Arts, based in San Francisco and The Far Eastern Academy of the Arts in Vladivostok, four young, talented painters were selected as prizewinners. They spent four weeks in residency at Esalen using the power of art to connect and inspire new thinking about areas of common interest with subjects ranging from Russia’s evolving role in Asia’s economy to the impact of climate change on the Pacific Ocean. The Prize also includes two exhibitions of the works produced at Esalen: this winter in San Francisco and next spring in Vladivostok where the American artists and a core team will travel for the show.
ABRAHAMIC FAMILY REUNIONS
With support from Esalen”s Center for Theory and Research (CTR), we broadened the work of the Abrahamic Family Reunion Project (AFR) now called the International Abrahamic Network (IAN), which aims to bring peace and reconciliation to countries in political, cultural and religious turmoil. This past year IAN moved forward with a Social Media project that culminated in a film festival at Esalen on the Abrahamic traditions. IAN/AFR works to heal conflicts among the Jewish, Christian and Muslim religious communities. The future of this work will include more international outreach, especially in the Middle East. Please visit the Abrahamic Family Reunion web site to view our accomplishments, programs and updates in the field.
The Esalen/TRACK TWO Program on Chinese-American Potential has successfully hosted five conferences: Esalen and China – 2008, China’s Connected Future – 2009, China’s Green Future – 2010, Designing China’s Future – 2011, and in 2012 the Chinese-American Potential conference aimed to foster fellowships among next-generation leaders in China in various fields. China’s rich cultural and spiritual heritage has great potential to contribute to the world community, while its own future needs to be part of the solution to all global challenges, from climate change to international peace. In 2013 we plan to address the complex relationships among China, Japan and the United States. Recent disputes over islands in the South China Sea are only the latest in a series of conflicts and tragedies stretching over many decades. Could citizen diplomacy assist in healing deep wounds so that the future of nations bordering the Pacific can be peaceful, prosperous and sustainable?