Bio:

A Peace of My Mind is a multimedia arts project, created by award-winning photographer John Noltner, that uses portraits and personal stories to bridge divides and encourage dialogue around important issues.

Frustrated with an increasingly polarized world, Noltner drove 40,000 miles across the country asking people the simple question, “What does peace mean to you?”

Through exhibits, workshops, lectures and onsite studios, A Peace of My Mind leads transformative experiences that help a polarized world rediscover the common humanity that connects us.

A gifted storyteller, Noltner has worked on four continents, gathering stories of human courage, grace, and resilience. He has produced projects for national magazines, Fortune 500 companies, and non-profit organizations. A Peace of My Mind reflects his belief that art and storytelling can help individuals, organizations and communities articulate their deepest values and encourage action toward building social capital and community connections.

 

Programs:

Exhibits

Transform your public space with A Peace of My Mind’s engaging exhibits, featuring compelling portraits and personal stories from diverse subjects responding to the question, “What does peace mean to you?” Our exhibits are designed to hang in a gallery or be self-supporting in any public space and all exhibits are supported by additional online content.

Keynote presentations

Noltner’s keynote address, entitles Lessons on the. Road to Peace follows his artistic journey of encountering difference discovering common ground. It draws on the wisdom of the stories he encountered on the road and his commitment to creating positive change in the world. The 20-40 minute multi-media keynote presentation can be tailored to the specific needs of your group. The keynote can be supplemented with audience participation and readings, live music (drawn from your community or provided), and a question and answer period at the end.

On-site studios

A Peace of My Mind’s on-site studios allow communities to share their story. Together, we will choose a prompt to encourage dialogue, and during our studio day, we will gather short responses, take compelling B&W portraits and combine them in a way that helps communities see themselves and their peers in new ways. Final digital files are delivered to all participants and the venues are free to use them to encourage continued dialogue. Sample questions we have used for our studio days:

-When have you bridged a divide?

-What is the unique opportunity or challenge of talking about race at this moment in history?

-When have you found unexpected courage?

-What kind of world do you want to live in?

-When have you recognized your own privilege?

-When has someone made you feel welcome?

-What is the greatest sacrifice someone has made for you?

-When have you been a source of strength for someone else?

Workshops & Breakouts:

A Peace of My Mind’s interdisciplinary approach to social issues offers a wide range of small group engagements including the following classroom discussions and workshops:

-Communications classes on the interviewing process and the ethics of editing other people’s stories.

-Sociology on qualitative research methods.

-Faith based classes or organizations on interfaith dialogue.

-Multicultural classes or organizations on going outside of your own bubble, encountering difference and building common ground.

-Art and design classes on techniques or the business of the creative field.

-Business classes on taking an idea from concept to marketplace using alternative funding tools.

-Writing workshops from 1-3 hours that explore issues of identity and our common humanity.

A Peace of My Mind restored my faith in humanity and my hope for justice.

University of North Dakota - Grand Forks

A Peace of My Mind invites people to consider how they are a part of
bringing peace to our world. The hopeful message and powerful images help us believe we can each be a part of something important, right where we are.

University of North Dakota

John’s display is truly an experience. Walking through the stories of
individuals is beyond moving and inspiring. John has truly captured a rare glimpse of humans at their most vulnerable, and the display is truly an experience worth remembering.

NACA Nationals

John’s work is amazing and very important for the times we live in! If we are to find PEACE in our time, we must embrace this project and help share A Peace Of My Mind to as many people in as many places as possible!

Memphis Theological Seminary

I have now been involved with hosting two versions of “A Peace of My Mind” at two different locations – a public library and a state college. John is very passionate about his work, and his passion radiates through the exhibit and his message. If you host the exhibit, be sure you take advantage of him giving a talk or presentation to anyone and everyone you can find. He’s an exceptional speaker and photographer and his exhibition will leave a lasting impression on those privileged to view it.

University of Arkansas – Pulaski