UN Women's HeForShe Campaign Launches New York Arts Week With City Of New York & The Public Theater

Inaugural HeForShe Arts Week To Run March 8-15 to Coincide with International Women's Day

Jan 26, 2016, 12:00 ET from UN Women

NEW YORK, Jan. 26, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- 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."

Would your institution like to partner with HeForShe for Arts Week on March 8-15, 2015? Please email us directly to discuss opportunities: emma(dot)kelley(at)unwomen(dot)org

UN Women is the UN entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide. For more information, visit www.unwomen.org.

Created by UN Women, the HeForShe solidarity movement for gender equality provides a systematic approach and targeted platform on which men and boys can engage and become change agents towards the achievement of gender equality. HeForShe invites men and boys to build on the work of the women's movement as equal partners, crafting and implementing a shared vision of gender equality that will benefit all of humanity. For more information, visit www.heforshe.org/

The Public Theater, home of award-winning productions including Hamilton, Fun Home and free Shakespeare in the Park, has been a champion of diversity and equality on its stages, in its audiences and at the core of its mission for more than 60 years.  This spring, The Public's critically acclaimed Eclipsed will be the only play on Broadway this season with a female writer and director, in addition to its all-female cast. And in February, The Public will premiere Southern Comfort, a transformative new musical based on the true story of a group of transgender friends living life on their own terms.  The Public's Mobile Unit tours throughout NYC's five boroughs to prisons, homeless shelters, and recreation centers, bringing free productions to audiences who have limited or no access to the arts; and the Public Works program seeks to engage the people of New York (and across the country) by making them creators and not just spectators. The Public continues the work of its visionary founder, Joe Papp, by acting as an advocate for the theater as an essential cultural force, and leading and framing dialogue on some of the most important issues of our day. 

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