awards for arts achievement
Public Leadership in the Arts Awards
Legendary Artist Honoree
Peter Yarrow, a member of Peter, Paul, and Mary, the legendary group in existence for 43 years, remains a committed performing artist. Yarrow has used his music and stardom to inspire and unite people to create a more just and compassionate society. Since the 1960s, Peter, Paul, and Mary have turned songs like This Land Is Your Land and If I Had a Hammer into popular hits. Together with his singing partners, Yarrow participated in the Civil Rights Movement, which brought the group to Washington, DC, in 1963 to sing for the historic march led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and to the Selma-Montgomery march in 1965. After more than four and a half decades of advocacy for civil rights and social justice, Yarrow’s activities have become focused on the work of Operation Respect, an advocacy and awareness organization he founded five years ago. The program was so compelling that it earned endorsement from the National Conference of State Legislatures and helped create model legislation designed to advance state legislative initiatives that expand social/emotional learning and character education programs. Operation Respect disseminates a free classroom-based program and song Don’t Laugh At Me (DLAM) that uses the creative arts—music and video—combined with research-based curricula to decrease bullying and emotional and physical violence among children. The DLAM program has been delivered free to nearly 100,000 educators in more than 10,000 schools worldwide (www.operationrespect.org).