Only Hearts

An online, free-to-download, Arts/Peace Project for students of all ages.

Thank you for sharing your art project on peace . . . by copy of this transmission, we will be sharing this with our Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction and Student Support as a project we can all support.

Mrs. Hamamoto, Superintendent – Hawaii State Department of Education

Selby Gardens, Sarasota, FL

Mountainair, NM

Chungju, South Korea

Welcome to “Only Hearts” Art/Peace Project. Our “grass roots” endeavor gives students of all ages a creative tool to learn about peace making, conciliation, and diversity. Used by educators and students in the US and abroad, it is delivered into schools and homes as a FREE Internet download. We look forward to you and colleagues sharing your wisdom, vision and creativity as you explore our artistic and collaborative journey of Art and Heart.

Enjoy your “Only Hearts” Art/Peace Project, and . . .



“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Chinese proverb

The “Only Hearts” Art/Peace Project is an educational, empowering and fun-filled activity that is easily downloaded from this web page for use in classrooms, after-school programs, and in homes.  Direct Links: Educator information PDF / Student art-project PDF.

If you and students are inspired by our project, please share it with others and assist us in launching a powerful Expressive Arts score that crosses all borders; welcoming the insights and action steps from those who will inherit the future with . . . Peace, Dignity, and Free Will.

Please click on the donation link and lend your support to the growth of our “Only Hearts” Art/Peace Project. This “Grass Roots” educational project is being used successfully by educators, students, and parents worldwide.

At the left is the “Only Hearts” template Alicia began her painting on when she and her classmates embarked on their arts project. After completing her painting, pictured on the right, Alicia and her classmates went on to the next segment of this arts project: writing on the back of their painting a couple of sentences about “what peace means to me” or ” what I’ll do to make peace a reality in my life.” Alicia wrote the following:
If everyone would treat each other equally and live in harmony we wouldn’t have any wars or fights. All you have to do is to treat people around you the way you want to be treated and you will make a big difference.   —Alicia Beinz


Step One . . . For Parents, Teachers, and Participants

The Only Hearts Art/Peace Project, inspired by 3,500 Sarasota, FL students ages six to sixteen, is accessed in the following way:

A – Download your project template and print it out on 8.5 X 11 paper, or A4 size internationally. Template Download

B – Within the heart outline participants are instructed to illustrate their vision of “What A Peaceful World Looks Like To Me” using colored pencils, crayons, pastels, or paints.

C – On the reverse side participants are guided to write a short statement about their thoughts on peace, or about “How I Will Make Peace A Reality In The World.”

D – Once the art and writing projects are completed it’s time to creatively discover the many ways in which these creations and words can be displayed and featured in informative and educational ways. Examples are in skits, choral presentations, study/research circles, science/technology presentations, and in dance and shared poetry. Whether in classrooms, as after school projects or with family at home, the fun, discovery and endless learning possibilities are just beginning to open doorways of insight and understanding for participants.

Step Two . . . Presentation

There are many ways to take your “Only Hearts Art/Peace Project” to the next level in your school, community center, or home. For example: creating a play, a game, making a video, incorporating it in lesson plans, or as community service in your neighborhood.

Step Three . . . Exhibiting – Be Creative!

For our project we chose 1,500 hearts that were laminated by a local printer and with these created a large outdoor arena at Phillippi Estate Park in Sarasota, FL. Many events took place within this arena and everyone was surrounded by the “Peace” visions and ideas of our students. We rented the tallest, 40 high, heart balloon in North America as our centerpiece and featured a marathon reading of the children’s writings. Music, poetry, dancing, meditation, and a prayer vigil also happened in this arena.

Step Four . . . Linking With Others

If you’d like to link-up with folks in different communities around the US, or abroad, who are using Only Hearts Art/Peace projects as interactive, educational, service oriented arts, science, technology oriented presentations, contact us. On our Bucket List . . . An exhibit of the creations of students from many countries.

Step Five . . . A Memorable Experience For Students!

A suggestion for educators, parents, and facilitators: use the downloaded template as a master. Make copies on white card stock as these will be more durable. We went a step further and laminated our hearts once the students had finished the art/writing segment. These were more durable and have been lent to others for their events.

Step Six . . . A Guide for Educators and Facilitators.

Click on this link for your ARTE+© guide by Kathleen Kildahl / aka Kia Woods, MA , Expressive Arts and Expressive Arts Therapy.  Email:



Step Seven . . . Let Us Know How Your Project Is Going!

We look forward to assisting you in creating a memorable experience for students – and older folks too – in your neighborhood of Spaceship Earth. We CAN ALL embrace the World with Good Heart!

Your ideas and suggestions on the ways we can improve our Only Heart Art/Peace Project, and contributing toward peacemaking and conciliation in an artistic, educational, and heartfelt way, is important to us all.

Gratitude, dwij/David Gittens 

Life’s Aspirations come in the guise of children.  —Tagore

The laminated heart creations of over 1,500 Sarasota, FL students’ defined our Phillippi Park presentation arena (right) during our two-day Sarasota 2K New Year event. Hundreds of visitors entered through a portal of hearts to gather below a 40′ high heart balloon; students, teachers, and parents offered music, poetry, skits, stories, dances and talks on how to bring peace and conciliation to the world. Watch the video (left) and discover how students built a bridge of hearts that brought peace to Spaceship Earth.

Click for Art Gallery

Our quest as we launch this renewed “Only Hearts” Art/Peace Project website is to reconnect with a larger audience of young peacemakers and also to meet-up with the students from our 1999 launch, discovering how their dreams of yesterday match their vision the world today . . . and what they are teaching their children about peace and conciliation.

Thank you for your support and sponsorship,

dwij – David Gittens

The “Only Hearts” Art/Peace project was created by Dwij David Gittens, many creative friends, and the Sarasota community in December of 1999. It was coordinated for the two-day millennium celebration by: Abacus Web Services  • Allison Knapp • Arlene & Ron Morris • Cameron Icard • Iris • Janet Guttridge • Linda Maree • Rosemary and John Cannon • Wendy Foldes • Zan Benham • Cyndi Flanagan, photos • Laszlo, setup • Pete Wenner, Dir. Phillippi Estate Park • The Players Theater • Fogt’s Music • Florida Studio Theatre • Many Parents and Friends.
Dear people of peace. Peace is a way of showing the love and freedom we would like everyone to have. We celebrate the wonders of peace and love and recognize all the love and peace around the world. May your life be filled with peace and prosperity.     —Justin Werther
Please click on the donation link and lend your support to the growth of our “Only Hearts” Art/Peace Project. This “Grass Roots” educational project is being used successfully by educators, students, and parents worldwide.

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