Ami Yares is an educator, performer and social activist. He draws inspiration from English, Hebrew and Arabic traditions and collaborates with audiences from around the world, bringing disparate communities together through his peace building efforts. Ami’s performances and educational programming have been featured components of the US Department of State’s diplomatic missions in Israel and Germany, Seeds of Peace, Harvard University, Columbia University and the University of Pennsylvania.
For nearly nine years, Ami lived and worked in Israel where he focused on music-based interventions for peacebuilding between Israeli and Palestinian youth. He joined Heatbeat in 2011 and helped established dialogue and music groups in Jerusalem, Jaffa and Haifa. Ami traveled a significant part of Europe and the United States teaching and performing music about conflict resolution, socio-political activism and music rooted in his American and Jewish background. In conjunction with the US Department of State in 2012, Ami established FocUS Music and taught civic engagement through the American music.
Upon returning to the US in 2014, Ami began a LLC dedicated to social change through the arts called, AltNeu Arts. Through AltNeu Arts, Ami curates and produces events that foster inter-community dialogue. This year, AltNeu Arts' Tones of Home concert brought togther musican immigrants, refugees and asyless for a free concert promoting equity through arts-access.
Ami graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s Social Policy and Planning (SP2) department with a Master’s of Science in Social Policy. During his studies, Ami concentrated on the role of arts and culture as a tool for social change and advocated for its increased representation in social policy and public health. Ami continues his relationship at Penn as a research fellow for the Slought Foundation.
Ami recently became the executive director of BuildaBridge International. BuildaBridge. The position fortuitously captures that which epitomizes one of Ami’s most central values -- that the transformative power of the arts creates healing, hope and change.