Our Story

World Citizen Artists first year attracted artists, musicians and fans from all continents, backgrounds, styles, ages, political views, religious beliefs, levels of wealth and poverty, etc…

Despite our differences, we all share the same world and the World Citizen Artists team and members have been working actively to reunite those who believe that together, we can create positive change in the World.

Year 1: Creating the Community 

On 20th June 2014 (World Refugee Day), World Citizen Artists created its website and Facebook page in order to Raise Awareness through Creativity. Artists contributed their ‘Voices‘ to Issues covered by the United Nations World Days.

Within the first three months, World Citizen Artists reached over 10 000 fans.

Three months later, on 21st September 2014 (International Day of Peace), World Citizen Artists launched its first Worldwide Competition COMPETE FOR PEACE - NOT WAR on the theme of Peace, in partnership with Playing For Change Foundation (worldwide music foundation, operated in association with world-class musicians and producers, which assists children to learn music.) Belgravia Gallery (named Gallery of the Year 2013. One of Europe’s leading art galleries, it regularly features the work of renowned artists and celebrities such as: Picasso, Andy Warhol, Matisse, HRH The Prince of Wales, Nelson Mandela, Sir Peter Blake and others) and Issuu (one of the world’s leading digital publishing platforms, which gives publishers tools to deliver over 5 billion page views each month to more than 80 million readers.)

The competition attracted over 3000 applicants.

COMPETE FOR PEACE - NOT WAR has been a key opportunity for emerging and established artists to win the first World Citizen Artists Recognition and to exhibit their work in the prestigious Belgravia Gallery, Mayfair, London, and for musicians to have their name featured by the renowned Playing for Change Foundation on their website and social media channels.

Yosvany Terry, the Cuban saxophonist/percussionist/composer and Grammy Award Nominee 2015 joined the World Citizen Artists jury and Nomfusi, the South African celebrity singer and actress portrayed the character of Miriam Makeba in the Golden Globe winning film about Mandela “Long Walk To Freedom” with appearances at both the Hollywood and Berlin premieres, announced the results of the Compete for Peace - Not War initiative.

Issuu gave free premium memberships to the winners and finalists and the first World Citizen Artists selected musicians were featured on Playing For Change Foundation website and the selected visual artists saw their one month exhibition taking place at the Belgravia Gallery in December 2014.

Sponsored by Bataclan and supported by the Playing for Change Foundation and RFI radio, World Citizen Artists celebrated its first Anniversary event On World Music Day 2015.

Sponsored by and supported by the On 21st June 2015 (World Music Day), World Citizen Artists celebrated its first Anniversary in partnership with the Bataclan Café. The event was also supported by RFI, the French public radio service that broadcasts in Paris and all over the world. With 35.6 million listeners in 2008, it is one of the most listened to international radio stations in the world, along with BBC World Service, Voice of America and Deutsche Welle).

The World Citizen Artists fans and partners around the World who could not attend the event sent their support videos.

Within its first seventeen months, World Citizen Artists has reached over 100,000 fans.

Year 2: Making an Impact

In October 2015, World Citizen Artists launched its Awards Channel and started to give non competitive Awards. The German Non Profit organisation Be Japy and the Sudanese Hip Hop celebrity Emmanuel Jal were first to be awarded.

The channel also features the WCA COMPETE FOR PEACE - NOT WAR Award recipients, and awarded celebrities and creative humanitarian projects around the World, selected by WCA and fans. Click here to learn more about our new Awards Channel.

On its second Anniversary, World Citizen Artists launched its second worldwide Awards initiative: ONE FOR ALL in partnerships with well known NGOs GUA Africa, and Safe Passage and music celebrities Emmanuel Jal and Marta Gomez.

As a result of this Award initiative, ONE FOR ALL participants helped sponsor:

  • 235 Weeks worth of bus travel to university for Gua Africa students

  • 254 Full days worth of work on garbage dump for those Safe Passage is helping in Guatemala​

Year 3: Building Solidarity  


Landfill Harmonic follows the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura, a Paraguayan musical group that plays instruments made entirely out of garbage. The orchestra is now touring the world, with famous bands such as "Megadeth". In 2017, World Citizen Artists awarded both, the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura for its amazing work and achievements and Landfill Harmonic for raising awareness worldwide about the Recycled Orchestra.

In September 2017, WCA celebrates its third Anniversary and launched its second worldwide World Citizen Artists Awards initiative ‘Compete for Peace – Not War’ reuniting some of the most influential nonprofit organisations, musicians and artists to make it possible for emergent and established artists alike to be recognised for works that promote ‘Peace’ and have the chance to win a World Citizen Artists Award.

In the jury, you’ll find nonprofit organisations the Bob Marley Foundation and the Gandhi Foundation, music celebrities such as Fat Freddy’s Drop and photography celebrities Tim Page and Lisa Kristine. 

World Citizen Artists partners Nomfusi, Belgravia Gallery, Emmanuel Jal and Playing for Change also took part. The Award initiative was celebrated at the Bob Marley Birthday Celebration on February 6, 2018.