Creativity for peace has lofty goals

SANTA FE, NM – On an idyllic Santa Fe summer Sunday afternoon out west on Tano Road, about 40 devoted supporters of Creativity for Peace gathered for “88 Keys X 20 Fingers,” featuring the brilliant piano playing of virtuosos Colman Pearce and Lester Senter Wilson.

The artful setting was reminiscent of a 19th century salon in Paris, but we were in an airy Santa Fe adobe with a breeze wafting through, carrying fantastic music out to the mountains and birds. A very peaceful way to spend a Sunday afternoon … .

Creativity for Peace is the antithesis of what would normally be acceptable in Middle Eastern peacemaking circles; first, females are the focus. Imagine that! The theory is that, with women at the helm, problems can be solved with reason, compassion and efficiency.

Next, they put Palestinian and Israeli teenage girls together at summer camp for several weeks here in Santa Fe, the goal being that, at the end, they love each other forever and could someday perhaps get their countries to love each other forever, too. Big goal! And why not? Nothing else has worked since Jacob and Esau began this rivalry 4,000 years ago.

And this has been working! These young girls, arriving in Santa Fe as sworn enemies, leave here as bosom buddies. They return to their respective communities and report that their counterparts are actually the same as they are – normal people, with perhaps different views on some things (like Sharia law, one little thing there).

Let’s all get along, respect our differences and live side by side happily ever after. Why can’t the boys do that?

So far, 225 girls have graduated from the program, headquartered here in Santa Fe, with a center in Israel and one in Palestine. The girls are now able to go out and train the next generation of young women at home, and anywhere in the world.

Indeed, the Israeli and Palestinian graduates recently led a workshop here in Santa Fe for Anglo, Hispanic and Pueblo teens, addressing topics like domestic violence, gangs and bullying, with the goal of empowering them to go back into their communities and teach them to stand up against these atrocities.

Keep the peace. See

Ashley Margetson has a BA in English from UCLA, is a senior real estate broker with Sotheby’s International Realty and has a finger on the pulse of philanthropic activities in Santa Fe. To tell us about an upcoming event, email


Creativity for Peace Founders Gloria and Sam Hocking celebrate with director Dottie Indyke



Barbara and Warren Wheaton toast Creativity for Peace.


Doug and Marilyn Whitehurst were on hand for “88 keys X 20 fingers.”


Phyllis Lehmberg and Phyllis McKenzie enjoy a perfect Santa Fe Sunday.


Leanne Mahoney, head of the Santa Fe Opera’s costume department for 30 years, was on hand at the Creativity for Peace musical event.


Colman Pearce and Lester Senter Wilson perform for Creativity for Peace.


Courtney Davis hosted the Creativity for Peace event.


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