Arts & Culture for Peace

Performing Arts for Peace

The Arts & Culture for Peace Initiative encourages action that supports the three UNESCO ASPnet Action Areas and at the same time will benefit individual children and our wider communities.

This page outlines the ASPnet Arts & Culture for Peace Initiative ‘Performing Arts for Peace’ activity objectives. It provides some background information and useful links to materials to support schools as they begin this Initiative.


Using the Conflict and Peace Study undertaken by schools to support this new peace initiative, students will create short performance pieces – for example, an imaginary travel or central song, or short dramatic piece. The students’ work will reflect the cultural diversity and challenges of the modern world and how these can be used to contribute positively to a peaceful and sustainable future, and to resolve conflicts that damage our communities and threaten the planet we all share.

  • Students may study aspects of contemporary theatre from their own culture that embrace the concepts of ‘less is more’ and minimalism.
  • We are also offering access to resources (below), similar to those offered to the Coventry Young Ambassadors, such as introducing students to Nohgaku (Noh Theatre) – a 650 year-old, UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage, a classical form of performing arts that embodies the ‘less is more’ concept. (In Coventry this experience also strengthened students’ inter-cultural learning.)
  • One key objective for schools is to make what they learn relevant to their own culture and to our international community today.

Schools must make the final selection and also decide where and how a physical presentation might be appreciated by their local community.

They will then decide which of their performances will be shared with UNESCO ASPnet and whether these are combined, or not, with other aspects of the peace initiative.

Teacher’s Notes

Participants should read the generic introduction about the Initiative, the practical notes and also the recording and sharing of activities.


Schools may register after the UK ASPnet International Conference in London in June 2022.

The time needed to work on this activity could be as little as one class session, or it could be undertaken over a period, depending on the length of time teachers wish to give to the research element and how this may be connected to their curriculum and to the other parts of the whole initiative.


In order to reflect the spirit of sustainability students and teachers are encouraged to use a minimalist or ‘less is more’ approach in completing this activity.

If this is built into the curriculum there should be little need to find additional resources.

Sharing of activities internationally should be as follows:

the narrative description of the project should be between 400-600 words

a maximum number of artistically good quality project photos 10

if you have made a video which its central to your project upload it to a local site (school or community project, for example) and send a link only to the national coordinators to share on the Arts & Culture for Peace site.


Students should aim to achieve meaningful and artistically beautiful outcomes that are used to communicate the ASPnet Action Areas of peace, sustainability and intercultural learning.

Teachers can choose how they build this into their curriculum perhaps through the study of creative writing, drama or history, or the study of another culture; and in discussion with students decide whether, and how, it might relate to the rest of the peace initiative.

The choosing of the selected pieces should be led by the students, their discussion and appreciation of the work created, and how they have been performed.

Useful links to understand more about classical Japanese noh theatre

What is noh?

‘less is more’ in noh

The Structure of noh stories

The Travel Scene and Kuse explained

The mask in noh and how traditional noh masks are made

Subtitled video of the new noh Between the Stones

Examples of Coventry primary students travel and central songs

Tertiary student example of their Noh-inspired work

National Noh Theatre

If you want to ask questions related to this activity you can contact the UK UNESCO National Coordinator