Letter from the Executive Director
September, 2016

Heidi Diedrich


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ART WORKS Projects’ mission is to use design and the arts to raise awareness of and educate the public about significant human rights issues.

ART WORKS provides visual advocacy tools which produce action on human rights crises at the grassroots, media, and policy levels. Conceptualized and created in conjunction with established humanitarian and human rights advocacy organizations, ART WORKS’ art and design exhibitions, books, recordings, films, and other initiatives provide opportunities for large numbers of the general population to engage in ending major human rights violations.

In its first nine years of existence, ART WORKS’s agenda includes projects exposing genocide, extreme sexual violence against women, the global shortage of potable water, forced labor and human trafficking, and ethnic cleansing and anti-democracy actions. ART WORKS selects topics which are the most intractable, the least covered in the mainstream media, and the most abusive for victims.


Our office is located at 625 N. Kingsbury St. in Chicago.
Send mail to 1074 W. Taylor St. #113, Chicago, 60607



  • Create widespread media attention exposing a given issue.
  • Direct viewers and readers to significant opportunities to impact the situation and create lasting change.


  • Develop visual advocacy tools with guidance from major humanitarian and advocacy organizations who address the same topics, ensuring that a given project is useful in creating change.
  • Conceptualize and fabricate the design which most achieves the goal at hand.
  • Partner with a range of organizations and cultural institutions in order to present the issue widely and deliver far-reaching results.
  • Work closely with partner organizations to elicit media coverage.

ART WORKS Projects has a growing, primarily volunteer, team with a shared commitment to global human rights, the arts, and impact.


Leslie Thomas


Kary Ream
Paul Schmit
Jaclyn Robbins


Greg Doench
J. Matthew Jacob
Jane Sachs


Amy Eliot
Roberta Feldman
Tracey Fletcher

Hunter Hollins
Elizabeth Lazar
Susan Leach
Alissa Lillie
Susan T. Rodriguez, FAIA
Leslie Thomas also serves on the Board of Directors


Brandee Butler
Jill Barancik
Olivier Bercault
David Bobrow
Lyn Burgess
Denise Canter
Dolores Connelly
Helen Doria
Tracey Fletcher
Hunter Hollins
Daniela Hrzic
Alexandra Kerr
Laurel Lipkin
Jayme McLellan
Kimberly Merlin
Lisa Odyniec
Karen Rutzick
Jessica Stuart
Jane Sachs
Gretchen Steidle Wallace
Clio Chafee


The entire Art Works Projects team would like to express our enormous gratitude to those donors, advisors, photographers, editors, musicians, composers, designers, curators, writers, friends and family members who have made this work possible.

AWP is grateful for the generosity of these and other sponsors:

The Frankel Family Foundation
Humanity United
International Labour Organization
The Libra Foundation
The MacArthur Fund for Arts & Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation
The Oak Foundation
The Open Society Institute
Polk Bros Foundation
Rainforest Learning Center
Donald J. Vaccaro
The Save Darfur Coalition
Tempel Steel
UNFPA, United Nations Population Fund
UNHCR, United Nations High Commission on Refugees
UNIFEM, United Nations Development Fund for Women

Art Works Projects is a 501c3 non-profit organization.

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