Creativity Conquering Conflict.  That’s the heart of In Place of War, a Manchester based international NGO who’s work spans 24 countries, reaching over 1,000,000 people per year with transformational arts, creativity and entrepreneurship programmes.

August 2018 saw the organisation receive a highly prestigious £1million research grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council following months of rigorous peer review, interview and assessment processes.

 The bid will enable the organisation to deliver a three year programme assessing how grassroots organisations can create social change using art.  From Colombia to Bosnia, the Democratic Republic of Congo to Syria, hundreds of thousands of individuals will directly benefit from this grant which will be delivering transformational work, alongside doing a deep evaluation of its effectiveness.

Ruth Daniel, CEO of In Place of War said, “This grant will both provide opportunities to research the incredible work being carried out at the grassroots level in conflict zones across the world giving vital evidence about the impact of this work whilst gifting resource for projects and activities on the ground. We are delighted to receive this funding, it’s a landmark moment for In Place of War.

Teresa Ó Brádaigh Bean, leading Research at of In Place of War said, “’This timely project  explores the often unknown endeavours of grassroots artists who work tirelessly to build peace through the arts in their communities. Better understanding of their work will make an important and much needed contribution to peace-building policy and practice through the development of new knowledge networks and tools. We are thrilled to be partnering with local artists and cultural organisations on the ground as well as The University of Manchester and Durham.”

In Place of War spun out of a research programme by Professor James Thompson, Vice President of Social Responsibility of the University of Manchester.  This £1m grant will be funding IPOW as a research programme within the University.  Prof. Thompson said, “This award is great news for IPOW and the University.

It will help develop new knowledge and new projects supporting arts initiatives in conflict and post-conflict settings – further demonstrating IPOW’s commitment to collaborative community-based research and the University of Manchester’s commitment to work that makes a real difference to some of the key issues of our day.”  Principal Investigator (PI) on this project will be Professor Oliver Richmond, of the School of Social Sciences at the University of Manchester.

Vikas Shah MBE, Chair of the Board of IPOW said, “The AHRC is one of the toughest and most prestigious pools of funding out there.  Winning this amount underlines the importance and quality of our work at a global scale, and also showcases the importance of the arts as a primary method of creating change.  Myself and the whole team cannot wait to get started on the work…

In Place of War in 2017/18 has completed programmes as diverse as Gulu in Uganda, Ramallah in Palestine and Soweto in South Africa and has the support of donors including the Sainsburys Family, MasterCard, The Anna Lindh Foundation and Arts Council England.  

The organisation has also spun-out projects including GRRRL, an all-female group made up of women from zones of conflict, who work with some of the world’s leading producers and artists to create incredible music.  GRRRL recently closed the Commonwealth Games in Australia and are embarking on a world-tour in 2018.

In Place of War is a global organisation that uses creativity in places of conflict as a tool for positive change. We enable grassroots change-makers in music, theatre and across the arts to transform a culture of violence and suffering into hope, opportunity and freedom.

In Place of War began with research into the transformative impact of arts in places of conflict, led by world-leading academics. This kickstarted the creation of a new network of young creative change-makers spanning 24 countries in conflict. Today In Place of War works to support this network across three pillars: the creation of creative hubs; education and entrepreneurship and artistic collaboration.

Today, IPOW has worked across 56 countries reaching over 1,000,000 people affected by conflict. Our programmes have received 6 major awards, created 7 acclaimed publications, supported the creation of physical cultural spaces in Zimbabwe, South Africa, DR Congo, Uganda and Palestine; produced and piloted a 500 resource certified Creative Entrepreneurial Programme across 15 countries and have mobilised 1,000 artists and cultural producers.


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