Leticia Perelstein

Senior Facilitator

Country of origin: Argentina

Date started with Soliya: 2017

Field of work: I am the Community Arts Educator at the Manny Cantor Cultural Center in New York City and an independent photographer. I have a B.A. in Photography and Cultural Studies from Hampshire College in Massachusetts, USA and a M.A. degree in Peace Education from the UN Mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica. I have worked in the field of community art education since 2005, with all ages: from babies to older adults, in community settings, museums and in schools. For the past 6 years I have focused my practice in early childhood education, inspired by the progressive philosophy of Reggio Emilia from the north of Italy. In my every day work I also work in intergenerational settings where social emotional connections through material explorations is at the forefront. In my personal work I am interested in art and mindfulness as a means for therapy and cultural exchanges as well as a way to bridge communities in conflict.

One accomplishment you're proud of: I am proud of the work I get to do with children through art and creative expression. It is a privilege to witness their growth, empathy, and unbridled creativity.

What about Soliya inspires/motivates you to be involved? I was raised in the USA as a young immigrant and have lived in between Latin America and the USA my whole life and have always sought out international communities to belong to. It is inspiring that from the moment that I joined the Soliya Network I felt that sense of belonging to a global community and social cause that is so important to my own personal growth. I am motivated by all of the co-facilitators, coaches, trainers, fellows, and Soliya staff that I have met along the way. The various curriculums and the training throughout my involvement are a key factor to making the programs such a success. It is always such a reward to see the transformation that occurs in every group I have had the privilege to facilitate and moderate. I am grateful to have the opportunity to keep on practicing many of the theories that I learned in peace education. I also use the concepts of neutrality, active listening, and group ownership in my own practice of participatory community education.