The Breathing Project

The Breathing Project honors healthcare and essential workers who have risked their lives to help others. At no other time in our history have we called upon and relied upon this group of individuals to be on the front line every day, in every city, on every continent. Without them, we would have suffered unimaginable loss.

UNPRECEDENTED: The Breathing Project is a global forward-looking, multidisciplinary artistic engagement which pairs artists, musicians and poets with healthcare and frontline workers, students, and the elderly who have been impacted by COVID-19. Artworks honor all stories, tragic or inspiring, transforming these stories into beauty that is hopeful, informational and engaging. The Breathing Project listens. And it responds with a global culture of understanding and shared experiences.

WHAT: Creation of virtual and physical artworks, music and poetry from around the world through databases, story archives and virtual exhibitions that celebrate the best of the human spirit.

HOW: Artists are invited to partner with individuals selected from around the world who have first-hand experience with the tragedies, heroism and successes of COVID-19 to create art that will honor and convey the vital stories and truthful experiences associated with the ongoing pandemic. The art works and narratives will be uploaded onto interactive platforms.

WHERE: The Breathing Project is launched in on all continents and maintained on interactive digital platforms.

WHO: The Breathing Project is conceived by a team of young Artist Peacebuilders who have been mentored in their home cities during their participation in Cities of Peace Illuminated®: Ani M. Matevossian (Armenia), Reed Jones (U.S.), Aubrey Peterson (U.S.), Lara Saget (U.S.), Egzon Boshtrakaj (Kosovo), Berat Bajrami (Kosovo), Johanna Stüger (Austria), Julia Ledemüllner (Austria), Nehama Grenimann Bauch (Germany, Israel), Rilind Sadiku (Kosovo). It includes James “Dr. Love” Banks (US) and Victor Okechukwu Chimezie (Nigeria) and Dr. Ellen Frank who spearheaded earlier projects on which many team members worked.


  • Give voice to healthcare and frontline workers, by honoring and sharing their untold stories
  • Affirm connectivity and vitality of artists as instrumental in positive societal change
  • Promote wellbeing, emotional health, and mutual understanding with purposeful actions

WHEN: The Breathing Project World Premier September 12, 2021 at The Living Gallery in New York and at FemArt Festival Pristina, Kosovo September 21-25, 2021.