SICA’s programs and services work at the intersection of creativity and spirituality to awaken, encourage, and celebrate a vibrant human culture that enriches and enlivens the human spirit and broadens our understanding of others. Our goal is to play a role in inspiring human beings to bring forth a new era grounded in life-affirming cultural values, and to awaken a sense of our deeper selves so that we can all participate in what Thomas Berry called “the Great Work of a people:”
“History is governed by those overarching movements that give shape and meaning to life by relating
the human venture to the larger destinies of the universe. Creating such a movement might be called
the Great Work of a people.”
Programs & Initiatives
The brainchild of Sebastian Flynn, Culture Compass works with refugees in Australia. The program, via workshop intensives, invites participants to explore the cultural environment of their past and present in order to create a positive vision (origination) for their future.
“The opportunity to ‘tell a story’ and ‘articulate an experience’ to a genuinely empathetic and appreciative audience,” writes Sebastian, “can do much towards the process of reorientation and redirection of an individual as well as a community group.
“The Culture Compass is designed with this possibility in mind. If the individual or group prefer not to actively address an audience, the presentation will be via a form of exhibition; this still enables the individual or group to ‘process’ their experience and to know that it is being shared.
“Origination* is a term I have devised to describe the positive inner ‘vision’ or inspirational internal ‘picture/memory’ (usually from one’s culture/country of origin) that continually informs the creativity or cultural vision/pursuit of an individual. “Culture” is used here in the general sense of embracing all human endeavour. Recreating or repairing this vision to create a better and fully integrated personal and collective future is the aim of the Culture Compass.”
The Culture Compass has been adopted by Multicultural Development Association and is being presented by MDA in association with SICA all across Australia.
Sebastian looks to further develop Culture Compass as an educational tool, as an engaging template to enable a school-age student to explore and record the aspects of a culture, as an aide memoir leading to further interest and study.
*The Culture of Possibility: Art, Artists & The Future, by Arlene Goldbard, Waterlight Press www.cultureofpossibility.net
SICA launched Poems for Peace® in Austin, Texas in 2012 in partnership with a global coalition of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working with UK’s nonprofit, Peace One Day to celebrate the United Nations International Day of Peace via as a day of shared community action. What difference could we make by our efforts?
SICA’s Poems for Peace focused on publicly sharing poetry with others in order to fosterer love and respect. The program took off and immediately spread to 14 countries.
“Institutionalizing a day of peace is just a process,” says Peace One Day’s founder, Jeremy Gilley. “The real success of Peace Day comes down to individuals getting involved and taking ownership of the day.”
Poems for Peace® is our opportunity to take ownership of the gift we’ve been given, taking ownership of sharing that gift by living it, taking ownership of being the change we want to happen, taking ownership of ourselves and our humanity.
SICA’s Poems for Peace® has reached over 2,000,000 people since we began. It also inspired Austin’s annual city wide collaborative celebration of Peace Day that has garnered mayoral proclamations for SICA and its partners and has reached even more people.
Why poetry? To quote John F. Kennedy, “When power leads man toward arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the area of man’s concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses.”
Indeed. As Voltaire has said, “Poetry is the music of the soul.” And as Pablo Neruda has said, “Poetry is an act of Peace!”
We grow up with poems. They’re in our nursery rhymes, our music, our holy books, our history, our prayers, our hearts. Whether we write, recite, perform, or sing a poem, when we share poems with another, we connect to that deeper place inside. We touch the place that knows compassion and forgiveness, the place that values love and respect — building blocks of humanity and peace.
SICA’s Poems for Peace is an invitation to connect to that place inside us all and share our favorite poems — wherever we are — on Peace Day. Join us! Be sure to also viisit our dedicated Poems For Peace website for more inspiration.
Poems for Peace ® is the legally registered service mark of the Subud International Cultural Association (SICA) for arranging, organizing, conducting and hosting social entertainment events. Registered July 30, 2013.
PEACE DAY AUSTIN
Born out of the work SICA has done with its Poems for Peace initiative, Peace Day Austin is a collaborative grass roots initiative to promote meaningful city-wide participation in the UN’s International Day of Peace, 21 September.
We’re using the platform of Peace Day as a global time of local opportunity to come together in spirit and action for greater peace in ourselves, our communities, our world.
Peace Day Austin has reached over a million people in 2015 and even more ever since. It is ongoing.
SICA CULTURAL CAPITALS OF THE WORLD
Chennai – Colombia – Lewes – Seattle – Portland – New York – Suriname – Puebla – Uki
These are our proud SICA International Cultural Capitals 2014 – 2018. They are the groups that successfully bid for, or were kindly bestowed with, a national banner to endow them with the distinction of being a ‘SICA Cultural Capital of the World’ for the next four years.
Being a Cultural Capital connects each group with the other groups and offers them an opportunity to create something that will distinguish their group and local community as having made a distinctive and enriching contribution to
cultural endeavour — whether representing and framing the achievements of individuals, or initiatives of the whole group — or even the extended local community.
In the broader public arena, the European Capital of Culture is a city designated by the European Union for a period of one calendar year during which it organises a series of cultural events with a strong European dimension. A 2004 study conducted for the European Cultural Commission demonstrated that the choice of European Capital of Culture served as a
catalyst for the cultural development and the transformation of the city. Much funding was concentrated on each cultural capital providing the wherewithal for cultural projects that beneficially changed and rejuvenated the landscape and character of a city forever.
In other words, becoming a European Capital of Culture was recognised as an opportunity for the city to generate considerable cultural, social and economic benefits and help foster urban regeneration, change the city’s image and raise its visibility and profile on an international scale.
It is this idea which inspired SICA to launch its Cultural Capitals project at the World Congress in Puebla, Mexico in 2014. National banners created for the Congress were auctioned off, and each group purchasing a banner beccame a SICA Capital of Culture from 2014-2018. The nine “Capitals: are: Subud Colombia (banner donated by Alicia Thom, Russia); Lewes (UK); Seattle and Portland (US) are “twinning”; New York (US); Chennai (India) (banner donated by Judy Gibb – New Zealand); Suriname. (NE Coast of South America) (banner donated by Arif Matte – Brisbane); Puebla (Mexico); Uki (Australia)
Many of the groups making banners had their own special experiences in the process of creating their banners. See Germany’s Banner Story here.
KEYS TO CREATIVITY
Keys to Creativity is SICA’s exciting new program of workshops — some for the general public and others for Subud members only — that focus on how we can discover, develop, own, use, and express our own creativity in our lives. The initial series of workshops launch in Australia and Europe in 2015.
KEYS TO CREATIVITY — EUROPE
(SUBUD MEMBER WORKSHOP SESSIONS)
“My Creative Journey” at the Subud Zone 4 Gathering
in Budapest, Hungary, May 2015 (pictured right)
Sessions Organized and Led by Rusydah Ziesel
with Gregory Gudgeon assisting.
This workshop invites you to take a creative journey with yourself in order to discover, develop, and express your own talents and creativity. It uses an arts-centered approach and a rich variety of materials — paint, paper, colors, music, song, dance, film, media, performance, story-telling. Accompanying kejiwaan sessions helped individuals explore their inner creativity and talent via the wellspring of our development: the latihan kejiwaan of Subud.
“The act of creation,” writes Rusydah Zeisel, “has something essential to do with inspiration and spontaneity. Indeed we will learn to value our intuition, and honor our inspiration and spontaneity. These are our tools.” Or as Bapak said in a talk in Cilandak on New Years’ Day in 1987: “So this is Subud — something spontaneous.”
KEYS TO CREATIVITY — AUSTRALIA
(WORKSHOPS FOR GENERAL PUBLIC)
One-Day Workshops During School Holidays in 2015
Sessions Led by Lee Heather, Agnes Palffi, and Sebastian Flynn
Lee Heather Session: Howard Gardner’s Theory of Seven Multiple Intelligences — Learning approaches and types: Visual-spatial, Bodily kinaesthetic, Inter-personal, Intra-personal, Musical, Linguistic, Logical mathematical, etc. Creativity expressed via various human ‘intelligences’.
The role of mindfulness, stillness and silence in a creative approach
The Sedona Method of releasing emotional or historical blocks and letting go of frustrations to creativity.
Agnes Palffi Session: Capturing the Moment of Ease, Joy, and Playfulness – Creating our Image of This;
Jollyphonics; A Moment in Your Life When You Felt Creative; Mindfulness – Brain Gym; How do we Live a Creative Life?
Stories: Looking at a time when you felt creative; Capturing and consolidating a Creative State for you; Diagnosing and
Recognising ‘Stuckness’ — Does this reside in your left or right side and how to balance
Project-based Stuckness – Feeling Governed by Routine – Examine and Establish Creative Solution – Vision Setting ”
Small Group Work – Coming Up with a Plan; Collage – Drawing – Dancing – Singing
Sebastian Flynn Session: Inner Theme Tunes
Exploring the attributes and requirements of leading a creative life — especially in regard to performance.
Looking at the sources and causes of performance nerves and methods to overcome them, including Kinesiology
exercises. Practical exercises to improve ability to be grounded in preparing for performance. Performance Nerves (tools for dealing with and redirecting negative thoughts) – Brain Buttons – Role of Practice – Fear of Making Mistakes – Lifestyle choices
CONVERSATION CAFÉ: DISCUSSIONS ABOUT THE FUTURE — A NEW ONLINE EXPERIENCE
Conversation Café invites Subud members with expertise in a variety of cultural fields to share their ideas and passions with you. From design to education to story-telling, to the whole idea of “spirituality,” these individuals articulate exciting possibilities for the future that can have a positive impact on our world.
Begun as part of SICA’s festival of Art, Culture, and Creativity — “Conversations with Puebla” — in Puebla, Mexico in 2014, the initiative has vecomew an ongoing SICA program. It’s hosted on its own website and is guided by Susannah Rosenthal and Victor Margolin.
Check it out at conversation-cafe.com
The Future of Storytelling, the first “conversation” to go live on the new site, is featured above. It’s great! Click here or on the image above to go there now. Featured Participants: Poet Paul Nelson,TV Producer Mimi Machado Luces, Filmmaker Matthew Cooke, Filmmaker Myrna Jelman and Director Honora Foah.
SICA ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP
Associate Members of SICA are individuals, organizations, or projects whose activities align with SICA’s mission, vision, and values, and contribute to enriching the human spirit and broadening our understanding of others. Associate Members use the badge, right on their websites.
Creativity and innovation — awakened by our own inner selfhood — are at the core of SICA’s work. By partnering with our Associates whose work exemplifies these attributes, we can together begin to build a more truly human society.
SICA SEED GRANTS
A PROGRAM TO CREATE PUBLIC VALUE THROUGH ART, CULTURE, AND CREATIVITY
This program is designed to promote a framework for thinking about the public benefit of art, culture, and creativity — and for recognizing the value of developing individual talent. SICA’s Creating Public Value program will provide seed funding — when funding allows us to do so — up to a maximum amount of US$500.00 for fresh and original cultural endeavors that spring from an individual’s talent, reflect an inner content, and serve the public benefit.
Our website — this website — is the international portal for our work. Let us share here what we do, what inspires us, and what we are working on. Send us your stories, discoveries, projects, music, videos, ideas. All such contributions are most welcome. If you have a national SICA organization in your country, or a national SICA coordinator, tell us what you are doing in the name of SICA in your country — and tell us about the people doing the SICA work.
If you are a professional colleague working in the field, and our work interests you, regardless of whether or not you are a Subud member, please know we’d love to hear from you. All are welcome here. Culture belongs to all of us. Contact us.
THE SICA UPDATE
Our monthly e-news gives an upbeat snapshot of SICA activites including invites, sound bytes, and video clips. The Update also features items you send us regarding release dates for publications, CDs and upcoming events not to be missed. Send news items to be included here.
SICA’s International Cultural Festival for Subud World Congress
Puebla, PUE, Mexico, August 2 – 17, 2014
Conversation, from the Latin, conversare, to turn around with, is key to engaging with one another and ourselves, key to exploring new ideas and feelings and thensharing them, key to collabortation. It’s the heart of our creative process — and the theme of our Festival Program we presented at the 14th Subud World Congress in Puebla. This was a wonderful opportunity to engage, exchange, and interact with art, culture, and creativity from around the world.
For more on the Festival and how it was received, visit the Events Page of this site where you can also download a Festival Program.
THE SICA PRIZE 2014
The SICA Prize is a significant cash prize awarded at World Congress through a competitive submission process to a young person, age 19-28, active in Subud, who demonstrates an extraordinary TALENT in some field. (Art, Science, Education, Technology, Business, Film, Medicine, for example).
The 2014 prize of $10,000 was awarded to Mahallia Ward Pollard and Frances Madden (a tie!) at the Subud World Congress in Puebla.
To be considered for the prize, talented young people must submit an application through their national or zonal SICA organization. National or zonal SICA organizations will in turn select the nominees to go forward to SICA. An independent jury will review all nominations and select the prize winner who will be announced at the Subud World Congress, Puebla, Mexico, August 2014.
New eligibility guidelines and application form to be available soon