We are a global leader in presenting educational forums built around substantive, entertaining documentaries — as well as theatrical works and books.
What we do
"It’s clear we have to set up more forums for personal encounters between different kinds of people. You detoxify disputes when you personalize them. People who don’t have regular contact with people they disagree with become intellectually dishonest quickly."
-David Brooks, columnist, The New York Times
Through its educational forums, which are built around specially created documentaries, CITIZENARTS seeks to bring thought-provoking information to the dialogue about important civic, political, economic, social and cultural issues. Our ultimate goal is to engender harmonious interaction and creative thinking around sometimes contentious and complex subjects.
The audience for CITIZENARTS forums most often represents undergraduate and graduate college and university educators/students, advanced high school curriculums, civic, public policy and culture organizations, and the business community. We are affiliated with a growing number of highly respected institutions worldwide.
Forums are presented virtually or in-person in the US, China, India and Europe often as part of academic class curriculums and may include faculty/student panels. Discussions are led by CITIZENARTS along with faculty, students and others. They explore themes presented in the programs in the context of experiences/attitudes of the audience and are frank, impassioned and enlightening.
CITIZENARTS draws inspiration and guidance from an international Advisory Council and growing corps of volunteers in the U.S., Asia and Europe. As a non-commercial, educational endeavor of gabbegroup, we are self-funding, independent and objective, and we are not affiliated with any political, government or religious entity. Typically, we do not charge fees for our presentations. Honorariums and/or travel stipends are appreciated if funding is available.
For information about bringing CITIZENARTS virtual or in-person presentations to an academic institution, organization or other venue, please contact us.
CITIZENARTS is affiliated with a growing number of academic institutions and other organizations that have hosted educational forums and partnered with CITIZENARTS in other ways. Some of these organizations are listed below. Please contact us to discuss bringing an educational forum to your organization.
Ashoka University/Young India Fellowship
Beijing Foreign Studies University
Bennett University (New Delhi)
California State University Los Angeles
California State University Northridge
Chinese Language Institute (Guilin, China)
Huaiyin Normal University
Jindal University (New Delhi)
London City University
Loreto College (Kolkata)
M.O.P Vaishnav College for Women (Chennai, India)
Mount Carmel College (Bangalore)
Mountain Empire Community College
Nanjing University of Science and Technology
National Law University (Jodhpur, India)
Portland State University
Prague University of Economics and Business
Praxis Business School (Kolkata)
St Paul's Institute of Communication (Mumbai)
Stella Maris College (Chennai, India)
Symbiosis School of Economics (Pune, India)
Symbiosis School of International Studies
Techno India NJR Institute of Technology
Tianjin Nankai University
University of the Arts
University of North Texas
University of Virginia - Wise
University of West Bohemia
Vellore Institute of Technology (Katpadi, India)
Public Policy, Civic, Community, Culture
Beijing Changier Education Foundation
Bug Community Theater (Denver)
Cambridge, MA Library
Chennai Centre for China Studies
China Institute (NYC)
Chinese Consulate General in New York
Chinese-American Planning Council
Convergences Theater Collective (NYC)
Museum of Chinese in America
Nishan Forum on World Civilizations
Nishan World Women's Forum
New York Public Library
Phoenix Theatre Ensemble (NYC)
Prague Writers' Festival
Public Conversations Project (Watertown, MA)
The Confucius Institute U.S. Center
The United Nations (NYC)
United States Embassy - Prague
Vineyard Theatre (NYC)
Asia-America Chamber of Commerce (Waltham, MA)
Essar Group/Avid Learning (Mumbai)
Finn Partners (NYC)
Mahindra & Mahindra (Jaipur, India)
Canadian International School
Dulaney High School
Garrison Forest School
The Packer Collegiate Institute
Royal Elite International (Guilin, China)
Shanghai American School
CITIZENARTS Social Media
The following are a few examples of feedback we have received from students, teachers, civic and government leaders and others from the U.S. and internationally who have participated in CITIZENARTS educational forums. More testimonials can be found on the individual educational documentary pages on this site.
What a wonderful event at Harvard! We all appreciated the film and the informative and inspiring (and lively!) discussion and debate that followed. We look forward to many more CITIZENARTS forums in Cambridge.
-Bruno, University professor, Cambridge, MA
Thank you so much for your effort in making this evening's virtual presentation of Pacific Destiny possible! We appreciate the hard work you do to bring some new and important questions to the environment! The content of the film is so timely, the technology worked well, and the panel was well run and had very interesting perspectives. I'm just so delighted to have worked together to create this opportunity to help build bridges, at this time when I don't think that is happening nearly often enough.
-Eric, University professor, Portland, OR
Your forums are excellent material for teachers to generate discussions in class with students while they are studying China and the US. We can't wait for the next forum!
-Shenzhan, Director Confucius Institute at China Institute, New York, NY
Some works stay relevant even with the passage of time, and others are quickly forgotten. CITIZENARTS films and forums stand out as events to remember.
-Milan, Business executive, Mumbai, India
The audience at our school included members of different races, nationalities, ages, genders, and political affinities. The film broadened the perspectives of all who attended the forum, but equally effective was the respectful discussion that followed which brought to light questions, concerns, and suggestions for improving communications and understandings.
-BJ, High school teacher, Baltimore, MD
Our sincere gratitude to CITIZENARTS for collaborating for the Conference. The presentation was well received, along with the discussions and the viewpoints shared. The documentary is comprehensive, timely, relevant, highly informative and deeply engaging. We appreciate that CITIZENARTS is taking keen interest in India and China and shares goals of enhancing people-people linkages among the two nations. We are looking forward to continued interaction with CITIZENARTS including virtual forums!
-Asma, Think tank research officer, Chennai, India
What an exciting forum! This event was an inspiration for our students and a perfect discussion platform for our current area of study, globalization.
-Luther, Director of university lectures, New York, NY
I want to go into politics. Before seeing this film and participating in this forum, I thought I wanted to represent the members of my party, but after this, I want to represent everyone because everyone deserves to be heard.
-Tom, High school student, Baltimore, MD
The filmmakers went after humanity. It could’ve been another of those head to heads, showing how this place and these people are different from those places and people. That’s what we hear all the time. But as we explored in the discussion forum, if you point out the folly in our tendency to make people others, and you don’t ask divisive questions and just focus on basic views and values — you see how everybody is saying the same thing. And isn’t that much more compelling and informative and constructive...?
-Maureen, College Student, Boston, MA
Thank you for sharing such an insightful experience with us. The forum was incredible and put a lot about the giant that is China into sharp focus for me.
-Reda, Telecommunications executive, London, UK
I lived in China for sometime and I think you really do capture the spirit of China. Your presentation is just so gutsy and so much fun. You have some of the best visuals of China I’ve ever seen! The forum was fantastic and it was wonderful to see our students so engaged.
Suzanne, Political science professor and department Chair, Boston, MA
The message that most resonates from the forum is that we are one humanity, and that it would be just wonderful and in everyone’s interest if we could just stop for a moment to accept and appreciate that – and then interact with each other in a way guided by this recognition. Making the effort to simply see each other as each of us desires to be seen, without artificially influenced prejudices and biases – setting this as a goal and understanding that it is, in fact, achievable. There just has to be willingness to make it happen.
-Joe, Retired military officer, Raleigh, NC
These educational forums are fantastic. I would recommend it to exchange students, businessmen, and anyone else coming to live and work in China for the first time. I think it is also an excellent resource for USA/Canada-based students in high school and universities who are studying current events in East Asia.
-Dijana, Social Studies Teacher, Shanghai, China
The event was a great success! The discussion following the film with director Jim Gabbe aroused enormous interest and enthusiasm from the large student audience. The back and forth between the panel and audience about China and United States was indeed thought provoking.
-Qingyun, Coordinator of University Chinese Program, Los Angeles, CA
This film is absolutely amazing and it is unbelievable! Through the unique perspective of foreigners and using the most abundant language, the film perfectly captures what is happening in China. The content is rich; the view is broad; the structure is unique; the design is special; the commentary is clear, and the style is attractive. These forums are a great contribution to the cultural exchanges between USA and China will be remembered forever.
-Xiaoman, Research Scientist, Cambridge, MA
Thank you again for the forum last night. I have received great feedback from the students. It was a unique opportunity for them to get a panoramic view of modern day China, and then you did a wonderful job of tying it to their personal experiences thus far during the audience forum. And had us laughing too!
-Charlie, University professor, Shanghai, China
I salute the heart and soul CITIZENARTS has put into this work. Your documentary radiated wisdom and a depth of understanding. A true piece of art — a combination of ideas and creativity. Coming away from this forum, it is easy to predict what an impact this film and discussion will have on the audience—the young generation in particular. This forum will help people comprehend China’s experiences and successes/failures – and will add to their understanding and ability to work with China in a constructive, harmonious way.
-Hong, Economics instructor and entrepreneur, Boston, MA
A big thank you to everyone that made this forum a great success. What an incredible discussion! The response has been tremendous and we are looking forward to doing it again soon.
-Joseph, Museum program director, New York, NY
During the film and discussion, I felt so many moments of reflection and revelation. Things that are comparable to our middle class here. One student commented to me that she watched a Chinese news program recently and saw the program in a very different light and she credits the documentary for that.
-Nancy, University administrator, Boston, MA
Thank you for presenting such a wonderful event! The film received many laughs and positive responses, and the discussion panel lasted for an hour past our scheduled time and could have kept going (thank you for your flexibility)! My Chinese students told me it gave them a new perspective to rebuild the image about China in this stage of change. And my Western students told me it has opened their eyes to their many misunderstandings of modern China. Job well done!
-Bei, University professor, Dallas, TX
It was a great opportunity to attend the forum here in London. The film was really fabulous and the discussion following was even better!
-Sidd, Banking executive, London, UK
The film presented at the forum is absolutely fantastic. It’s not PBS preachy. It’s informative and has large audience appeal because it’s user friendly. Someone who doesn't know where China is on a map can get into this and learn. And the quick pace of the film complements the fast pace of China’s growth. That, along with your funny, irreverent, sardonic approach, places you where you want to be in telling a story in this era. You have a terrific film on a critical topic that is audience friendly — and that was obvious from the discussion during the forum.
-Bill, Filmmaker and university professor, Boston, MA
This film looks at China from a different perspective. While many Westerners still hold negative stereotypes about China and the Chinese, this documentary shows a much more complete, fair and balanced presentation of a developing China. It was amazing to be a part of the discussion as I could actually hear a changing mindset among the mostly Western audience. This forum makes a very positive contribution to a better understanding of my country!
-Weiwei, University student, Providence, RI
We thoroughly enjoyed attending the forum this evening. It was provocative and interesting film and the deep knowledge of and enthusiasm for the subject by CITIZENARTS really shines through!
-Stan, Financial executive, San Francisco, USA
The forum was incredible and inspired many questions and thoughts from the students. The condensed version of the film is so good that we want to make the whole film available for all our students to see at the library. Please come back some time soon with your other projects.
-Weimin, University professor, Northridge, CA
This forum was uplifting and inspirational — and that’s confirmed by the comments I heard from a number of people who I spoke to later that evening! Thank you this and the insights into amazing people from all walks of life.
-Richard, Business executive, New York, NY
I have loved America from the time I came here from China 30 years ago, and this film makes me only more proud and lucky to be surrounded by the beautiful people the film has reflected. America’s assets are its people and the foundation laid down by our Founding Fathers. I am confident our Founding Fathers all agree with me with a big smile from above.
-Hong, Teacher and entrepreneur, Cambridge, MA
The film is outstanding and to fully absorb in its entirety I had to view it twice — once at the forum and then again online. This film brings out very strong responses to all topics presented as we saw during the discussion and hopefully, for many viewers, it will be a call to arms. This presentation should be “must see” for not only education (civics and political science) but also freshman orientation for local, state and federal lawmakers to reinforce why they were elected in the first place.
-William, CEO, Falmouth, MA
I am so pleased with what I saw during this forum. The diversity of America was amply illustrated in the film and the comments from it, and the discussion, were intriguing. The ending of the film, when the interviewees offered their prescriptions for what ails America, really hit me. The topic is timely and valuable.
-George, Former senator and foundation founder, Washington DC
You’ve done a great job capturing the thoughts, feelings, and ideas of many people here in the USA. The film and discussion made me laugh, smile, and tear up, but mostly I feel proud to be an American! The freedom to think and voice our own likes and dislikes within reasonable means makes us true Americans. It’s not that we are a divided, two-way country, but a country filled with many dreams and plans to make many choices and build many good ideas to help America grow.
-Melissa, Vintner, Paso Robles, CA
It’s so amazing to see that even with all diverse backgrounds in our country, so many of us can agree on many things. It really shows that the American people can and will make an impact on our society when collaborating with each other. Truly inspirational. And thank you for giving Appalachia a voice. It’s not often you get to hear from Appalachians unless it is a documentary showing how hard life is in Appalachia when in reality it has the potential to be a very prosperous and productive region. Thank you for not settling for clichés.
-Tyler, Landscaper, San Antonio, TX
It was truly a thrilling experience to see this film and participate in the discussion. I felt as if I were right there with you seeing everything you were describing through an incredibly vibrant lens. The scale is difficult to comprehend if you haven’t actually seen it, but the visual impact is stunning. The discussion afterwards was so enlightening and I know I’ll be reflecting on all this for a long time to come.
-Karen, Boston, MA
We are truly honored and privileged to have had the opportunity to offer this forum at our university. The film itself is quite an accomplishment, and needless to say it was a unique and unprecedented view into China. It was exciting and gratifying to see and hear the student engagement during the discussion.
-Xavier, College dean, Boston, MA
Thank you so much for coming to campus last night. The forum was a great success with an enthusiastic audience and the a lively, provocative and informative discussion. We can’t wait to have CITIZENARTS back soon.
-Harold, Professor of Chinese History, Denton, TX
A most comprehensive overview! The color, music and majestic scenery was breathtaking. Both the cinematography and narration was so well done and at times hilarious. We believe this informative and unbiased film provides great education value to promote greater understanding between our great countries. We learned so much from the discussion we are now planning a visit to China which was not previously on our “bucket list”!
-Janey, Cambridge, MA
This forum has totally shifted how I view and think about China. It gave me a much broader context which has been really helpful and interesting. The comments and perspectives I heard during the forum have stuck with me for weeks.
-Jeremy, Theatrical producer/director, New York, NY
I thoroughly enjoyed being part of the discussion forum following this terrific film. I have been promoting civic engagement for as long as I can remember — my mantra is, “you get the kind of government you are willing to work for,” and the forum we held the other evening was a fantastic example of “putting in the work!” And my students have expressed to me how much they got out of the forum.
–Michael, University professor, Boston, MA
Well, the film is brilliant. As a viewer, we get to know Americans from many sectors. The film and the discussion gives us an understanding of the feelings of anger and frustration about the dysfunction in our government: feelings that our unique and noble political, economic and cultural institutions and our wondrous heritage are being frayed, squandered and dissipated by a host of seemingly uncontrollable forces. This forum shows clearly there is more to be hopeful about than the media is willing to believe.
-Bill, Communications consultant, Wittman, MD
The forum was very entertaining and informative and certainly changed my view of China — a country I thought I knew.
-Stephen, Attorney, New York, NY
I enjoyed the forum very much. The film is quite an accomplishment and the discussion following was a real eye-opener.
-Myron, Financial editor and broadcaster, New York, NY
click an image to meet our team
US Education Programs
We are honored to have as members of the CITIZENARTS Advisory Council a growing number of accomplished academics, business leaders, public servants and professionals from China, Europe, India, and U.S. who are providing us invaluable knowledge and guidance in the creation of our educational documentaries and other presentations.
United Nations Senior Translator, New York
Hospitality industry executive and academic, Tianjin, China
Hotelier and teacher, sponsor of the China Forum at Northeastern University, Cambridge, MA
Marketing and management consultant, Beijing
Technology executive, Beijing
University researcher and professor, Boston
University professor, Northridge, CA
University researcher and professor, Boston
Business Executive/Author/Professor, Mission Viejo, CA
Professor of law, expert on the judicial system of the
People's Republic of China, Boston
Professor, Dean, Beijing
University professor, Boston
Scholar and Former Ambassador of the Czech Republic to France, Prague and Paris
Entrepreneur and financial specialist,
London, Mumbai, and Singapore
University professor, Pilsen, Czech Republic
Author, poet and president, Prague Writers' Festival,
Prague, Czech Republic
Professor of political economy, Sicily and Cambridge, MA
Journalist and author, Delhi
Teacher of Indian and Chinese history and culture,
Bangalore and Kolkata
Senior Vice President, chief marketing and strategy officer,
New York and Bangalore
University Director, Pune
Executive associate dean, Bloomington, Indiana
Chairman & CEO, Mumbai
UNITED STATES ADVISORS
Financial professional and education entrepreneur, New York
Educator, Richmond, Virginia
Educator and musician, Philadelphia
Former U.S. Congressman, foundation founding chairman, Washington, DC
Public Relations and Public Affairs Executive, Maryland
University executive, Boston
Technology development/marketing guru and poet, Seattle
University Dean, Boston
Senior financial and marketing consultant, Pennsylvania
University administrator and former city
commissioner, New York
"Forums like this are long overdue. People have been talking at each other – from different sides of the fence. We can't allow that any longer. We all know we have problems. But guess what? The most immediate and effective solutions are going to come at the local level – and will be the result of people from all kinds of backgrounds and with different points of view coming together and talking to each other – at forums like this. That is how we can make positive change."
-Ray Flynn, former Boston mayor, U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican, and a panelist in a recent CITIZENARTS forum
CITIZENARTS educational forums are built around specially created educational documentaries and are typically incorporated into university and advanced high school curriculums and panels — where they complement coursework — as well as for culture, public policy and business groups. This brief video gives an overview of how our virtual and in-person forums work.
Our forums are presented in a number of different formats:
Virtual - Forum is held live online (a number of virtual conference options are available), with CITIZENARTS educators remotely leading the discussion or as part of a panel.
In-person - Forum is held on-site and discussion is led by a CITIZENARTS educator alone or as part of panel comprised of faculty, students and others as designated by the hosting institution.
Online viewing - CITIZENARTS can make any of our educational documentaries available for presentation via a private link. The program is presented at discretion of the institution as many times as desired within an agreed upon time period.
Please contact us to discuss details and explore what might work best for your organization.
Some key reasons CITIZENARTS is invited to academic and other institutions throughout the U.S., China, India and Europe are:
Relevancy of presentation - Forums cover key civic, cultural, economic and other topics in the U.S., China, India and Europe. CITIZENARTS educators have deep, timely, firsthand knowledge of those topics.
Content validity - Rigorous research underpins our documentaries, and we are guided in their development by the CITIZENARTS International Advisory Council of academics, civic and business leaders, journalists and others.
Academic experience - CITIZENARTS educators have years of experience in working collaboratively with faculty and in engaging students.
Faculty/student participation - Faculty, students and civic leaders often participate on forum discussion panels.
Audience appeal - Our documentaries are applauded for being entertaining and compelling as well as insightful and substantive. Many of our partner academic institutions enhance student interest and participation by providing course credit.
Time and venue flexibility - Our forums are designed to work within class timeframes, as part of discussion panels and in larger, less time-limited settings.
Affordability - As a self-sustaining, non-commercial organization, CITIZENARTS is able to offer its educational programs either without or at very reasonable fees.
Ease in planning/executing - Forums come together quickly. Our staff assists in planning the event, creating promotional materials (if needed) and ensuring technology compatibility.
Follow us on our social media channels to see posts from some of the academic and other institutions that have hosted CITIZENARTS educational forums and to keep up to date on upcoming forums and other events.
Our educational documentaries are presented in a forum format – virtually, or onsite – in classrooms or in larger venues – that includes screening of a CITIZENARTS documentary film followed by vigorous discussion. Key goals are to increase knowledge of the importance of civic affairs and engagement and to demonstrate how harmonious interaction and creative thinking can help to solve even contentious and complex issues.
To learn more about a specific CITIZENARTS educational documentary, please click the images below.
Journey with the Giant
To the Mountaintops
Yunnan Project Hope for the Minorities
Visions & Voices
Teenager AIDS Prevention in China
The Global Pandemic
How Come the US and China Aren't
Leading the Global Fight?
A CITIZENARTS snapshot series
A More-or less-Perfect Union
Voices from Around the World
The Global Pandemic
How Come the US and China Aren't
Leading the Global Fight?
A CITIZENARTS snapshot series
Visions & Voices
Czech Voices: Who We Are