Kosovo Initiative

The Kosovo Initiative, also known as Cities of Peace Illuminated® Pristina Laboratory, worked to reduce the risk of extremism by its inclusivity.

WHAT: Creation of a monumental painting illuminated with four precious golds, including palladium leaf to celebrate the 8000-year history of the region. Created with participation by students, artists, scholars, people from all the ethnicities and 38 municipalities, Pristina: The Flowering traces with the finest lines of filigree the past, present and future of this growing city.

HOW: Former Cities of Peace Illuminated interns from Armenia traveled to Kosovo to participate in the training of new Cities of Peace leaders. Young people from all ethnicities participated in the creative, interactive art-making, validating and strengthening community cohesion and promoted visual and historical literacy.

WHERE: Housed at The National Museum of Kosovo in the city of Pristina, Kosovo. Our Pristina Consortium also included The University of Pristina and CHWB (Cultural Heritage without Borders).

WHEN: The grand unveiling of Pristina: The Flowering, our eleventh Cities of Peace Illuminated painting, took place on June 12th, 2018—Kosovo Peace Day—at the Museum of Kosovo.


  • Reduce the risk of extremism
  • Validate and strengthen community cohesion
  • Promote visual and historical literacy
  • Convene young people from different ethnicities, faiths, and backgrounds to collaboratively explore, reflect on, and build a shared artistic vision of their urban environment
  • Enable youth to express their stories, experiences, and perspectives through artistic engagement
  • Teach non-violent communication, cultural diplomacy, critical thinking strategies, compassion and principles of non-authoritarian agreement
  • Challenge participants’ stereotypes and preconceptions about “self” and “other” through experiential, collaborative, arts-based peace education
  • Empower educators and community leaders with skills in peacebuilding, research, and artistic collaboration, reducing helplessness and promoting civic and cultural engagement
  • Provide a global context in for participants to understand their own actions, lives, communities, and futures.


The Cities of Peace Illuminated® Pristina Laboratory is among the first Challenge Grants ever awarded by the Robert F. Schumann Foundation.

The Robert F. Schumann Foundation was created by Robert F. Schumann, a Madison, Connecticut resident who died in 2011.  Robert Schumann’s sons, Ford Schumann and David Schumann, are the Foundation Advisors.  Wells Fargo Bank and Attorney Timothy Crowley are co-Trustees of the Foundation.