Transforming Lives through Art and Social Impact: A Career Journey with María Antonia Pérez

Summary & Key Takeways

In Episode 19 of Season 12, Maria Antonia Perez shares her inspiring story of leveraging art for social impact. From her beginnings as a graphic designer in Medellin, Colombia, to her role as a global peace-building advocate, Maria's journey highlights how creativity can transform communities.

Why Take a Listen:

Art's Impact in Conflict Zones:
- Understand how growing up in Medellin, a city shaped by Colombia’s conflict, influenced Maria's belief in the power of art to drive social change and heal communities.
- Explore her approach to using art as a tool for addressing and healing societal issues in areas affected by violence.

Maria’s Global Peace Building Journey:
- Follow Maria’s path from volunteering in Sri Lanka after the 2004 tsunami to leading peace education initiatives with Peace Boat.
- Learn how her work in Sri Lanka, Japan, Cambodia, and Colombia has crafted her unique perspective on integrating art and peace-building.

The Creative Intersection of Arts, Education, and Social Innovation:
- Discover how Maria’s innovative projects, such as mural painting and art camps for children, contribute to lasting social impact and community engagement.
- Hear her insights on the '4 C's'—curiosity, creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration—and their crucial role in both personal and societal growth.

Career Insights and Inspiration:
- Gain inspiration from Maria’s career journey, moving from graphic design to becoming an influential peace-builder and advocate for using art in social transformation.
- Learn how she turned her skills and passion into a global career focused on creating meaningful change through creative initiatives.

Get tons of practical insights on advancing a career of impact.

Maria Antonia Perez's experiences offer a powerful example of how art, when combined with dedication and innovation, can make a significant impact on both local and global scales.


María Antonia Pérez is a committed and passionate Colombian woman with over 20 years of experience in social transformation. She has developed impactful processes in the social, cultural, and educational fields, leveraging strategic and creative thinking, education for peace, and social transformation. Her work spans multiple sectors, particularly with international non-profit organizations.

María Antonia has contributed to art, peace culture Peacebuilding, and social transformation projects in Colombia, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, and Japan. She has served as an advisor to the international NGO Peace Boat, promoting peace education programs, sustainable tourism, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. With a Master's Degree in Management of Social Innovation and Local Development, and as a Rotary Peace Fellow, a Positive Peace Activator and a Asia-Pacific Leadership program alumni, she has made significant strides in fostering peace and cultural citizenship.

Previously, María Antonia worked on Cultural Citizenship positions in Bogota and Medellin with the City halls leading projects of Art for social transformation.

Resources mentioned in the episode:

Rotary Peace Fellowship



Institute for Economics & Peace News

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