Poster “Lamby” from painting by artist Jane O’Hara

Each year Compassion Arts hosts a “festival of the arts”; an event series based on our project’s mission to celebrate, reflect, and explore our connection with animals and the earth. Some of our programs are inspiring and uplifting, many are serious and thought-provoking and others are ways to cultivate community.  In 2016, our festival focus was “The Link Between” about intersections of connection and how our relationship with animals and the earth is linked to everything in our lives. We hosted a book studies series, workshops, and a concert series at Unity of Central Mass. Our main event was a vegan benefit for Maple Farm Sanctuary which featured presentations by the following local heroes who use their artistry and work for peace for all beings.

Lewis Randa
The Peace Abbey



Courage of Conscience
Award Presentation 2016




Cheri Vandersluis
Maple Farm Sanctuary



Marlene Narrow
WCUW Vegan Nation




Donald Vincent
Mr. Hip Presents


Artist Jane O’Hara
w/ guest Ariel Bordeaux




Alfee Westgroves
WCUW Vegan Parenting





The Promise is Hope



The highlight of CAF 2016 was the presentation of the Peace Abbey’s 2016 Courage of Conscience Award to Maple Farm Sanctuary founders Cheri and Jim Vandersluis, in honor of their decades of animal advocacy, animal rescue and humane education for compassionate living. Twenty years ago, Cheri & Jim had turned their former dairy farm into a farm animal sanctuary – a transformation that is the subject of the award winning documentary “Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home”. Other past recipients of the Courage of Conscience Award have included the Dalai Lama, Maya Angelou, Pete Seeger, Will Tuttle and Jane O’Hara.