UN Women today announced the launch of the first-ever HeForShe Arts Week this March across New York City, in partnership with the City of New York and the Public Theater, which will serve as the inaugural theatrical partner for this annual initiative.
Coinciding with International Women’s Day observed globally on 8th March, the first HeForShe Arts Week will run from March 8-15, 2016.
“The arts both reflect and influence culture. At its best, art shapes how we see the world,” said Emma Watson, British Actor and UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador. “So it makes perfect sense for HeForShe to partner with arts institutions like The Public Theater to evolve the behaviours, norms and perceptions that shape our cultural view of gender.”
During the inaugural arts week in March, other partner institutions such as venues for ballets, operas, Broadway shows, concerts, as well as other theatres, galleries, and museums will join the HeForShe Initiative and spotlight the work of UN Women as the global champion for the rights of women and girls, in addition donating a percentage of proceeds to the organization to support its efforts to advance women’s empowerment and gender equality globally.
“The engagement of the arts world brings a crucial extra dimension to our work on gender equality and women’s empowerment,” said Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women. “Performance can make a direct connection to truths about the relationships and power structures between women and men, often without needing words, reaching those who may not otherwise be aware of unconscious assumptions about roles, identities, and rights. Art provides a uniquely potent and universal medium to create and record experience and understanding. We are thankful to the Public Theater for its leadership and support of Arts Week.”
“The theatre is a force for democracy, and the core idea of democracy is equality,” said Artistic Director Oskar Eustis. “The theater is a collaborative form, and the core of collaboration is solidarity. The Public is proud to stand in solidarity with HeForShe and the United Nations as we fight together for a better world.”
HeForShe Arts Week provides an exciting opportunity for arts and cultural institutions in New York City to support UN Women’s mission of a Planet 50-50 by 2030. It is expected that this effort in New York City, where UN Women is headquartered, will expand to cities around the world from 2017 and beyond.
“Art makes people think and question, and people change the world. Indeed, for women from Jane Austen to Maya Angelou, art has been one of the most effective ways to make our voices heard,” said First Lady of New York City Chirlane McCray. “Our world works best when everyone has the opportunity to succeed, but we are not there yet—not even close. Too many women don’t feel safe in their own homes and public spaces. Too many women are unheard in our political system, and under-appreciated in the workplace. We must continue using our art as a megaphone. That’s why I am honored to partner with HeForShe and the Public Theater for New York Arts Week.”