Sara Green ’01 began developing Art for Refugees in Transition (ART) as an MBA student to revitalize artistic traditions among refugee populations. Having learned about the healing power of the arts as a dancer, she created the program to counteract the “social paralysis” suffered by those forced to abandon their homes and communities.
Although Green suffered a head injury in 2001 that left her barely able to stand for months, she graduated from business school on time and launched the pilot program for ART this year. Today, she is helping more than 21,000 Burmese refugees living in Thailand to form committees within their living camps and introduce classes in weaving, instrument making, folklore singing and dance. She designed the program to be “self-sustaining” and hopes it will be instituted for other groups around the world some day.
“No matter what was happening in my life, I could always turn to dance for comfort,” Green says. “I wanted to translate that feeling for other people.”