The following are a few examples of feedback we have received from students, teachers, civic and government leaders and other citizens from the U.S. and internationally who have participated in CITIZENARTS educational forums.
Forums like this are long overdue. People have been talking at each other – from different sides of the fence. We can't allow that any longer. We all know we have problems. But guess what? Those problems aren't going to be solved by Washington alone. The most immediate and effective solutions are going to come at the local level – and will be the result of people from all kinds of backgrounds and with different points of view coming together and talking to each other – at forums like this. That is how we can make positive change.
-Ray Flynn, Former Boston Mayor, U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican, and a panelist in a recent CITIZENARTS forum
The audience at our school included members of different races, nationalities, ages, genders, and political affinities. The film broadened the perspectives of all who attended the forum, but equally effective was the respectful discussion that followed which brought to light questions, concerns, and suggestions for improving communications and understandings.
-BJ, Baltimore, MD, High school teacher
I want to go into politics. Before seeing this film and participating in the discussion, I thought I wanted to represent the members of my party, but after this, I want to represent everyone because everyone deserves to be heard.
-Tom, Baltimore, MD Jr. High school student
The filmmakers went after humanity. It could’ve been another of those head to heads, showing how this place and these people are different from those places and people. That’s what we hear all the time. But if you point out the folly in our tendency to make people others, and you don’t ask divisive questions and just focus on basic views and values — you see how everybody is saying the same thing. And isn’t that much more compelling and informative and constructive...?
-Maureen, Boston, MA College Student
The message that most resonates from the forum is that we are one humanity, and that it would be just wonderful and in everyone’s interest if we could just stop for a moment to accept and appreciate that – and then interact with each other in a way guided by this recognition. Making the effort to simply see each other as each of us desires to be seen, without artificially influenced prejudices and biases – setting this as a goal and understanding that it is, in fact, achievable. There just has to be willingness to make it happen.
-Joe, Raleigh, NC Retired military
These educational forums are fantastic. I would recommend it to exchange students, businessmen, and anyone else coming to live and work in China for the first time. I think it is also an excellent resource for USA/Canada-based students in high school and universities who are studying current events in East Asia.
Dijana Koprivica Redshaw, Shanghai, China Social Studies Teacher, Shanghai American School
Thank you again for the presentation and forum last night. I have received great feedback from the students. It was a unique opportunity for them to get a panoramic view of modern day China, and then you did a wonderful job of tying it to their personal experiences thus far during the audience forum. ...and had us laughing too!
- Charlie, Shanghai, China University professor
What a wonderful event at Harvard! We all appreciated the film and the informative and inspiring (and lively!) discussion and debate that followed. We look forward to many more CITIZENARTS forums in Cambridge.
- Bruno, Cambridge, MA University professor
I salute the heart and soul CITIZENARTS has put into this work. Your documentary radiated wisdom and a depth of understanding. A true piece of art — a combination of ideas and creativity. Coming away from this forum, it is easy to predict what an impact this film and discussion will have on the audience—the young generation in particular. This forum will help people comprehend China’s experiences and successes/failures – and will add to their understanding and ability to work with China in a constructive, harmonious way.
- Hong, Boston, MA Economics instructor and entrepreneur
Thank you for presenting such a wonderful event! The film received many laughs and positive responses, and the discussion panel lasted for an hour past our scheduled time and could have kept going (thank you for your flexibility)! My Chinese students told me it gave them a new perspective to rebuild the image about China in this stage of change. And my Western students told me it has opened their eyes to their many misunderstandings of modern China. Job well done!
- Bei, Dallas, TX University professor