Wendy pretty much is the one-woman dynamo behind this foundation; with her unwavering enthusiasm, optimism, and energy, she provides a true example of making an impact at the grassroots level. Her life, and her foundation, exemplifies the concept of enriching community through the arts. As just one example, the annual "Hats for a Cause" event brings together any interested volunteers who work together to design, create and sell fleece hats. This is truly a group effort where members learn specific skills from each other and are inspired to create functional art pieces beyound their imaginings, and which is in itself community-building, and enriching in a life-changing way for many of the younger -- and older!-- members. The proceeds from the first years' event were sufficient to build and staff a safe house in Cambodia for battered women and their children, which is literally saving lives. That is powerful stuff.
Since 1988, we - Leonard and Natasha Singer, licensed clinical social workers, in conjuction with a community of volunteers, has helped lead an annual food and clothing drive at Christmas time to an American Indian reservation in South Dakota. We have known Wendy Black Nasta for over 22 years and have witnessed her dream and vision come to fruition in Artists for World Peace. Led by Wendy, Artists for World Peace has been a major and important contributor to our annual food and clothing drive. Through Artists for World Peace, Wendy has organized an impressive group of volunteers including children and teachers from local schools and universities, boy and girl scout troups, local businesses, neighbors and families to come together to donate gifts, food, blankets, clothing and other much needed items, as well as the effort to sort, organize and help us pack these items in our truck that we drive out each year to South Dakota. Not only have they generously provided a major portion of donations to our annual drive to the reservation, but Artists for World Peace makes donations to local food banks at the same time. Wendy involves many different types of artists and artistic ventures to create ways to raise funds and inspire others to work for peace. Artists for World Peace is doing wonderful and much needed projects around the world, to help provide children with shoes, educational scholarships, and have "adopted" children from different parts of the world to help with living expenses. The way that local people are involved as volunteers, working with each other to bring all these ideas to action is so inspiring to see. Not only is Artists for World Peace becoming an important contributor to world peace through active projects, but is also a place where many are learning about generosity and selfless giving.
Artists for World Peace has greatly impacted hundreds here in the U.S. and around the world. Each winter, Artists for World Peace founder and executive director Wendy Black-Nasta coordinates a food and clothing drive to benefit a Native American reservation, raising a truck load of supplies and gifts for families. Also, through its fantastic "Children of Peace" project, Artists for World Peace has collected thousands of shoes for children in Ecuador and Brazil and has sponsored children in Haiti and China. Now, with the help of its dedicated volunteers and donors, Arists for World Peace is beginning a scholarship fund for children around the world. It has been a pleasure to volunteer for this foundation, and I am confident that it will continue to make the world a better, more peaceful place by helping one child at a time.
Artists for World Peace is a fun, supportive communiy of artists which challenges and channels my creative energies. I so enjoyed designing and making whimsical hats as well as watching people don them knowing that all my joy will materialize in help for others.
Artists for World Peace is an organization that has affected the lives of thousands of people. Working with the foundation has had a huge impact on my life and if you ask anyone else who has worked with AFWP before, I guarantee they would say the same. The organization is proof that a huge difference can be made in the world by a small group of local people. Wendy Black-Nasta is the most amazing person I know. As the central heart and soul of AFWP she is able to bring people together all over the world. In the local community, she brings likeminded artists and volunteers right into her own home. On a larger scale, she has the ability to unite people in multiple countries with the International Peace Belt. Wendy’s devotion to the foundation, to children, to humanity, to peace, and to so much more is stronger than anything I have ever seen. Because of her, I truly believe that Artists for World Peace has the ability to conquer anything.
I have known Wendy Black Nasta for over 10 years and I watched her bring the organization from just an idea to reality. She gives heart and soul to Artist's For World Peace and the many entities it now supports and those that are in the works. She and the organization have touched and helped many lives and continues to work to promote Peace, Love and Understanding to all peoples.
I have been involved with the Peace-belt with my return to Vietnam in 2004. The honor of wearing it in a simple ceremony of hope, made an eternal impression on my life. I am sure anyone else that was present at any of the many celebrations have been equally touched. the artistry and simple truths of person to person and culture to culture to strive for more Peaceful solutions to humanities many challenges is truly a worldly need. The evolving needs of peaceful coexistence are better brought to awareness when coupled with the talents of the arts. "A great foundation organization" Many thanks, John Marcoulier, Myotouch Healing Arts
I have been on the board for this organization since its inception. The founder, Wendy Black-Nasta has worked tirelessly to achieve her goal of supporting humanitarian causes in the US and abroad - and bringing peace with the travels of the spectacular international peace belt. This organization raises awareness of global struggles and addresses those challenges by meeting needs identified by the communities (schools, food, shoes, safe housing). Its promise is significant for those Americans inspired by peaceful actions -- and our brothers and sisters around the world who believe in change.
I THINK THIS ORGANIZATION HAS CHANGED LIVES. THE DEDICATION OF WENDY BLACK NASTA AND ALL THE PEOPLE INVOLVED SHOW THAT IT DOES TAKE A COMMUNITY TO MOVE MOUNTAINS........ ARTISTS FOR WORLD PEACE IS NATIONWIDE AND WELL KNOWN... THE PEACE BELT IS WORN AROUND THE WORLD AND DEMOSTRATES HOW WE ARE ALL ONE PEOPLE AND ONE NATION UNDER GOD...BLESSINGS AND LOVE AND LIGHT......... KANDY FESTA. REFLEXOLOGIST AND CAREGIVER
Seeing and hearing about the lives that are directly affected by Artists for World Peace has changed my life. The 2009 Hats for a Cause Event sticks in my mind the most because of the progression. Artists' hands meet scraps of fabric, beautiful remnants, and even someone's favorite stuffed animal. At this point, peoples' lives were already changed, as they came together to learn, teach, and create. At the fundraising event, energy levels were high, and some wonderful connections were made as families came through to browse through our hats and make their donations to AFWP. This particular event raised money for local food banks. It was amazing to see how much food we loaded into trucks and vans to distribute to different food banks in CT.
Wendy Black-Nasta, the founder of and engine that powers Artists for World Peace, is a visionary who inspires people of all ages to channel their artistry as a force for good, one small step at a time. Wendy doesn't want to raise bazillions of dollars and then spend all her time managing that money. She has the ability to focus on small, doable projects. An example: Kids need shoes. Wendy heard/found out about kids in Ecuador who couldn't go to school because they didn't have shoes. She gathered artists who work in various media to design and build hats, which were sold at the first Hats for a Cause fundraiser, hosted by a local ice-cream shop. Wendy got the mayor to make an appearance, volunteers spread the word, and Artists for World Peace raised enough money to buy shoes for every kid who wanted to go to school. A gifted, successful artist herself, Wendy shows other artists how they can make positive changes for people whose lives are unbelievably difficult. In the process, she unites all kinds of people in the community and demonstrates the potential of grassroots activism.
I have been involved with Artists for World Peace for the past three years; however, I have known the founder, Wendy Black-Nasta, for over 10 years. I was one of her devoted jewelry students as a teenager, and I gained so much from my relationship with her. I was thrilled when I returned home after graduating from college and was invited to the first "sewing session" of a new project for AFWP: Hats for a Cause. I have been a core member of this group since then, and have loved every minute of it. I love working on a creative project with other strong, fascinating women and being able to sell our products to raise money for such worthy causes as building a domestic violence safe house in Cambodia and providing scholarships for children in Brazil, as well as helping local shelters and food banks in our community. I have also helped AFWP with their food/clothing drives for the Rose Bud Reservation in South Dakota. Artists for World Peace is an amazing foundation. Wendy has the biggest heart of anyone I know, and she is determined to make the world a better place. It has been an honor for me to work with AFWP and be part of something much bigger than myself. I have also attended presentations on the Peace Belt, another phenomenal project of AFWP. The impact that the Peace Belt has had on the people of the countries it has traveled to is incredible. It is very inspiring to be part of something so powerful.