Compassion Arts Festival 2017 is here! We are excited to announce this year’s festival will take place in both NYC and Massachusetts and is being made possible through partnerships and collaborations with advocacy organizations and arts initiatives for our featured programs: Beasts of Burden pop-up exhibit by O’Hara Projects NYC 10/20-10/22, Compassion Arts & Culture and Animals Festival with Culture & Animals Foundation at Symphony Space NYC 10/21 & 10-22), and Animal Art & Story Jubilee 10/28 to benefit Maple Farm Sanctuary. This year’s events also include smaller programs in Central Mass. such as workshops, house concerts, and presentations TBA in early October.

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We open our festival with O’Hara Project’s Beasts of Burden on Friday evening, October 20 th 5-8pm ( at 208 East 73 rd St off Third Ave at TUF Gallery, NYC), for a thought-provoking pop-up art exhibit exploring our complex relationship with animals, through the work of fifteen artists, curated by artist Jane O’Hara. A 2017 Culture & Animals Foundation grant recipient and past Courage of Conscience Award honoree, O’Hara will also be launching her gallery book of the same title at this event. The exhibit runs 10/21 & 10/22, 11am-6pm.

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Our main event, Compassion Arts & Culture and Animals Foundation, will be held at the Leonard Nimoy Theatre at Symphony Space in NYC in a variety of afternoon and evening programs on 10/21 & 10/22, in collaboration with the pioneering non-profit organization Culture and Animals Foundation, to benefit their grant program for artists and scholars working to advance the understanding of and compassion for animals. Four different programs and performances will feature music, art, photography, story, film, theater, poetry and spoken word to reflect on the ways we see and treat other animals, nature, and the world we share.

This festival within a festival will open with an afternoon matinee 10/21 featuring the World Premiere of And the Hummingbird Sings by Mihoko Suzuki & Martin Rowe, a song cycle on the life and work of Kenyan environmentalist, conservationist and Nobel Peace Laureate Wangari Maathai. The evening program of this same day will open with a talk by Dale Jamieson on the life and work of Culture and Animals Foundation founder, the late Tom Regan (who the festival is in honor of), and feature a multi-arts performance of Reflections on Beasts of Burden by artist Jane O’Hara, singer-songwriter Joy Askew and poet Gretchen Primack as well as a presentation by photojournalist Jo-Anne McArthur on her new book Captive.

Day two of the Symphony Space events 10/22 will open with an afternoon multi-media performance of The Music of Michael Harren followed by a screening of the award-winning documentary Kedi about the street cats of Istanbul with discussion after by Ayten Alkan. Later that day, the Sunday evening program will feature a live radio play “Sanctuary” by John Yunker presented by Our Hen House and will continue with a story from arts curator and educator Radhika Subramaniam, “The Long & Curious Journey of Abu’l Abas”. The program will close with new works from Compassion Arts in a music, theater and poetry performance of Food Chain Re-Imagined featuring the music of Ellie Sarty performed by WCUW’s Alfee Westgroves backed by a chorus of singers for animal advocacy and the spoken word artistry of Mr. Hip Presents founder Donald Vincent.

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We are thrilled to co-host an Animal Art & Story Jubilee with Maple Farm Sanctuary on 10/28 to benefit their compassionate work for farm animals and share in a day of art, stories, sanctuary tours and delicious vegan food. The afternoon will start with a painting party of MFS sanctuary animals followed by vegan lunch and a presentation of animal stories, songs, and spoke word hosted by Donald Vincent. The afternoon will continue with arts activities for all ages and close with a sanctuary tour to meet the animals at MFS. Details and tickets will be available at on October 2nd , World Farm Animals Day.

Compassion Arts Festival is an annual event of Compassion Arts, an all-volunteer project founded on the principles of a gifting economy as described in Sacred Economics by Charles Eisenstein ( Our project receives no donations or funding and is fueled by love, passion, vision, collaboration, and the artistry of our contributors. Our events are made possible only through the generous gifting of our presenters and partners who share their work in service to benefiting the charitable organizations each year that our festival’s mission supports.

Compassion Arts Festival, now in its third year, has featured past presenters such as Gene Baur of Farm Sanctuary, Martin Rowe of Lantern Books, Marlene Narrow of Vegan Nation, Lewis Randa of The Peace Abbey Foundation, Maple Farm Sanctuary's Cheri & Jim Vandersluis of the documentary Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home and others who offer a different perspective on animals, nature, and our relationship with all life.   We encourage you to explore the work of our past and present festival contributors and partners, and we welcome connecting with new projects and artists for our future festivals to come. 

To learn more about this year’s festival visit For information on Compassion Arts To contact us, please email or phone 508-353- 6001.