Lessons on the Road to Peace with John Noltner
Since 2009, Bloomington freelance photographer John Noltner has been asking people the simple (or not so simple) question, “What does peace mean to you?” for his multimedia arts project, A Peace of My Mind. In a polarized world, these stories rediscover the common humanity that connects us.
He has driven 40,000 miles across the country, meeting with diverse subjects, photographing them, and recording their personal stories exploring the meaning of peace. He has included the voices of Holocaust survivors, the homeless, undocumented immigrants, convicted criminals, political refugees and others. The series has been produced as two award-winning books and four exhibits that travel the country.
“The word comes with a lot of baggage and preconceptions, notions of hippies and rainbows and daisies,” said Noltner, 44. “People don’t often dig into the deeper meanings of peace, and how we can have a personal impact on that in our lives.”
A Peace of My Mind has been presented at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum, The Sojourners Summit for Change, Everyday Democracy, the Peace and Justice Studies Association, the Gandhi-King Conference on Nonviolence and the Dayton International Peace Museum.
In this special SHIFT Forum evening, join John for a multimedia presentation of his journey, the people he met, and the lessons he learned along the way.
John Noltner has been telling stories with words and images for 25 years for national magazines, Fortune 500 companies and non-profits. His work has appeared in National Geographic Traveler, Forbes Magazine, Midwest Living, and the New York Daily News, among other publications.
Throughout his career, he has managed logistics for editorial and commercial clients, both nationally and internationally, having worked on three continents. John carefully arranges details and builds relationships with his clients, using humor, understanding, and compassion to craft compelling and insightful stories.
He is sought after as a presenter and lecturer. He has spoken at the Nobel Peace Prize Conference, the National Civil Rights Museum, the Gandhi-King Conference on Non-violence, the Sojourners Summit for Change, and at colleges and universities across the United States, sharing his belief that art and storytelling have the power to transform our hearts as well as our communities.
An author of six books, and regularly teaches workshops on writing. He is the founder of the Bloomington Writer’s Festival, has appeared on radio programs across the nation and is a professional skills trainer in Organizational Development. For over 30 years, Jim was an award winning-manager in Mental Health and Social Services at Hennepin County. In his spare time, he enjoys long distance running and is an avid outdoorsman.
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