The 2018 Winner

The 2018 Winner

After carefully considering the 12 applications we received this year, each well-prepared and outlining a valuable project we would love to support, the Greeley Award Committee, tasked with this difficult duty, decided to award the project submitted by The Sanctuaries: Interfaith Arts Education.

This is how The Sanctuaries elaborate on their mission to ignite the sacred power of the arts for social change:

The Sanctuaries is the first interfaith arts community in the United States. Founded in Washington, DC, by a group of twenty young adults in 2013, we use the arts to transform two of the most divisive global issues of our time – race and religion – into forces for personal growth and social change. We fulfil this mission in two ways. First, through our multicultural community of over 150 artists, we deepen interfaith understanding by hosting regular events, retreats, and multimedia arts showcases. These programs are often the only structured opportunities in the city for young adults of different religious backgrounds to build lasting relationships of mutual care and support. Second, through our Art for Social Impact training program, we educate interfaith artists how to be leaders in their local communities. Participants in this highly selective program gain first-hand experience working on the front lines of grass-roots justice campaigns to address the systems that keep us divided in the first place.

What distinguishes our approach:
– It centers young adults. Too often, programs are created for young people, not by them. This project positions young adults as valuable teachers of this work for audiences of all ages. In the process, it builds trust and understanding across lines of social and generational division.
– It builds collective capacity. Too often, programs perpetuate dependency on an outside expert. This project equips teachers to share frameworks and skills that enable communities to move this work forward on their own. In the process, it builds long-term capacity, not clients.
– It scales by invitation. Too often, programs grow for numbers rather than for needs. This project relies on individuals and communities inviting teachers into their context to advance this work. In the process, it builds a replicable and respectful model of collaboration. As Dana McLean Greeley once exhorted: “Let us find something worthwhile to love, and something worthwhile to do, and give ourselves away, and we shall find ourselves again.” At the heart of our approach is this spirit of embodiment. This work is something that’s not just done, but lived.

You can learn more about the project and the organization on its website,, and its Facebook page,

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