Freedom to Create

What is Freedom to Create?

Freedom to Create was founded in 2006 to harness the power of art and culture to build creative and prosperous societies. Freedom to Create plants the seeds for human flourishing by unleashing creativity and fostering harmony for everyone, everywhere. The Prize was established in 2008 and celebrates the courage and creativity of artists who use their talents to promote social justice, inspire the human spirit and transform communities. It is open to artists in all creative fields.

The Freedom to Create Forum is a platform for global dialogue between women, to identify the opportunities and challenges for women in building creative and prosperous lives, families and communities.

How is AAPF involved?

Our co-founder and executive director, Kimberle Crenshaw, was asked to serve as both judge for the awards and on a panelist on the forum panel focusing on Female Empowerment.

Imprisoned Artist Prize

Kimberle was also asked to award the Imprisoned Artist Prize. Kazak author and poet Aron Atabek was awarded the 2010 Imprisoned Artist Prize for his literary works, including ‘Nazarbayev’s Regime and Revolution’, which laments the lack of democracy in Kazakhstan. Atabek, who has been in jail since 2007, received an 18-year sentence after being convicted for his role in a violent riot that resulted in the death of a police officer, a charge he strongly contests.

Receiving the award on behalf of his father, Askar Aidarkhan said, “I am very grateful for this recognition of my father’s talent by Freedom to Create. My family and I would like to continue the campaign to have my father released. It is very difficult to gain recognition for my father’s plight and gain support for our campaign for his freedom.”

Forum on Female Empowerment

The 2010 Freedom to Create Forum is a platform for global discussion to identify creative opportunities for the inclusive empowerment of women.

Women have a special role to play in society. As individuals, they comprise half the world’s creative capital. As mothers, they are uniquely positioned to guide the next generation with an understanding and empathy that is uniquely their own. In many societies, women have fewer opportunities than men to contribute to society through creative self expression, whether in the arts, entrepreneurship or political leadership.

2010 Discussion Topics

Cultural and religious dogmas

The life-long suppression of women based on the misuse of traditional cultural tenements and the central dogmas of religion hinder opportunities for women to contribute and participate as equal members of society. These factors remain an issue across diverse cultures and communities, preventing women from flourishing in religious, cultural, political, social and economic spheres.

Investing in the potential of women

Investing in girls will yield asymmetrical returns. Educating a girl empowers her to enter the labour force, creating prosperity for herself, her family and her country. It improves the family’s health. It is also associated with greater democracy and improved civic participation. The cost of female discrimination to the world is staggering, not only in human terms but also in economic terms: lost human capital and cyclical poverty.

Get Involved!

The next round of prizes for Freedom to Create 2011 will begin accepting applications in May of 2011 here.