On the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci, The Leonardo Museum of Creativity and Innovation and global humanitarian organization Roots of Peace has announced a new partnership that will feature a new exhibit at the Salt Lake City museum focused on Roots of Peace’s global efforts to remove landmines and help farmers regain a sustainable livelihood on previously war-torn lands.
The exhibit, which will open to coincide with the United Nations 68th NGO Conference being held in Salt Lake City in August 2019, will raise awareness of the innovative model Roots of Peace has developed and serve as a launching point for a new fundraising campaign to fund the removal of all landmines and unexploded ordinance (UXO) from the Quang Tri Province in Vietnam, more commonly known as the former DMZ. The exhibit, entitled “Mines to Vines,”will run in the Leonardo Museum’s Human Rights Gallery and then be gifted to Roots of Peace and travel internationally to further share their story around the world.
Roots of Peace was founded in 1997 after the death of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, who catapulted the issue of landmines to the forefront of the international agenda shortly before the car accident that took her life. For more than two decades, Roots of Peace’s Founder and CEO, Heidi Kühn, has dedicated her life to sustainable peace and social impact and led her to partner with The Leonardo to create an exhibit connecting more people to the global effort to heal and invest in communities damaged by the presence of land mines.
“We are humbled that The Leonardo Museum would honor Roots of Peace with this partnership and exhibit, especially given the significance of today, commemorating the 500th anniversary of his death,” said Kühn. “Just as he boldly envisioned a world with innovations like winged flight, today we partner to boldly envision a world without landmines. Our partnership with The Leonardo provides the perfect home and appropriate venue for us to share the ‘Mines to Vines’ story and continue the tradition of bold innovation and interconnected change started by their namesake more than five centuries ago.”
Since its founding 22 years ago, Roots of Peace has worked in seven countries – Afghanistan, Angola, Cambodia, Croatia, Iraq, Vietnam and West Bank. Their award-winning “Mines to Vines” approach has facilitated the removal of over 105,000 landmines and UXO and impacted over one million small-holder farmers and families. Their market-driven solutions tailored to rural communities of war-torn lands have enabled the export of over 100,000 metric tons of fruits and nuts worth more than one quarter billion USD to international markets.
The Leonardo Museum will produce and host the exhibition and engage the community through programs and outreach activities. Alexandra Hesse, Executive Director of the Leonardo Museum added, “The work of Roots of Peace is a perfect example of how creativity and social innovation can be harnessed to catalyze life-saving improvements to our world. We believe that cultivating inspiration through stories like this can make a critical impact.”
The exhibit is scheduled to open on August 25, 2019 at The Leonardo Museum of Creativity and Innovation in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah.