Mission Statement

At Armed with the Arts Inc, we promote peace and understanding through the arts. Our primary activity is The Peace Crane Project. We invite every child in the world to fold an origami crane, write messages of peace on its wings, then through us, trade their crane with another child somewhere in the world. To facilitate this program, we provide a newsletter, learning materials including instructional videos and guides, and manage a list of community groups and schools interested in participating. 

Each child participant strengthens their hand-eye coordination, practices their writing and penmanship skills, gains a better understanding of geography and another country, makes global connections, is exposed to new languages, new customs, and comes away with a broader understanding of the world. 

Our Story

It all began at a dinner party shortly after the heinous shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  As we debated at the dinner table why nothing was ever done and when “they” were going to come up with solutions, it occurred to me that maybe “they” were not the answer. The answer might just be in each of us.

As a former Disney animator and longtime author and illustrator of books for children, I began to wonder how people like me could move beyond entertainment to guide the world’s youth towards a conversation about peace, community, harmony, and connectedness.

As I mulled the possibilities on Facebook, the discussion caught the eye of Deborah Moldow, the chair of the United Nations Peace Day NGO. Deborah asked if I could create a project for Peace Day. This was the beginning. Soon, my Peace Crane Project took flight.

Since launching the Peace Crane Project in late 2012, my goal to arm our children with the skills to express themselves creatively, and connect them to one another through the arts has been met with astounding enthusiasm and support around the world.

The United Nations Peace Day team has been incredibly generous in their support and encouragement. Rubia Braun, a friend and fellow creative, has been instrumental as well, producing a series of global videos to capture the essence of the Project. Our incredibly generous and capable Board of Directors and Advisors now help to keep the cranes in flight.

But, at its core, is all of you. The teachers, parents, and community leaders that have joined in, one by one, have come together in ways I could never have imagined, to make the Project their own and build a more harmonious world of tomorrow.

Millions of children, from 154 countries, have now participated. The students engage and communicate with one another every day of the year, often building on the network I have created, and bringing a new level of compassion, appreciation, and understanding to their communities.

In addition to overseeing the Project, I have recently published a book with Masahiro Sasaki, Sadako Sasaki’s older brother, to bring you her true story. Sadako was 2 years old when the bomb was dropped on her hometown of Hiroshima at the end of WWII. Her quest to fold 1,000 cranes in hopes her wishes would come true made the act of crane folding a symbol of peace around the world. The book is now available online and at bookstores everywhere. You can read more about the book and learn more about Masahiro here. 100% of the profits from the book are used to support the Peace Crane Project and the Sadako Legacy NPO. We also host other events and projects all year long and are always looking for new ways to connect our children.

Thanks for joining me on this incredible adventure.

Sue DiCicco

Meet The Board

Sue DiCicco
Sue DiCiccoFounder and President
Sue is a former Disney animator and longtime author/illustrator of books for children.
Masahiro Sasaki
Masahiro Sasaki Honored Advisor
Masahiro, older brother of Sadako Sasaki and survivor of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima is an active advocate for peace and founder of the Sadako Legacy NPO.
Rubia Braun
Rubia BraunVice President
Rubia is a serial entrepreneur with a background in creative production, media and early childhood education. She is the co-founder of Learning Yogi, a program designed to educate children around the world.
Marge MacDonald
Marge MacDonaldSecretary
Marge is a retired Human Resources executive of the Polaroid Corporation with 24 years’ experience in their US and international operations. In addition, she has served on the boards of three non-profit organizations devoted to personal and community growth.
Doug MacDonald
Doug MacDonaldTreasurer
Doug is a former CPA and retired financial executive from the high-tech sector. He is a US Army veteran and has Degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Public Accounting. Doug has also served as treasurer and executive director of several non-profit organizations, including the Windstar Foundation. He currently serves on the Financial Advisory Board of his home town in Colorado.
Beth Moore
Beth Moore Member at Large
Beth is a civil rights attorney and community activist, specializing in providing pro bono services to underrepresented clients of local nonprofits. She spent her childhood in post World War II,1950’s-1960’s Tokyo, Japan. And, through that experience of witnessing first hand the long-term destructive nature of war, is committed to advocating for peaceful resolutions to conflicts locally as well as globally.
Maria Kruzdlo
Maria KruzdloMember at Large
Maria is a 13-year veteran classroom teacher with a passion for bringing learning to life. Prior to becoming a educator, Kruzdlo worked as an emmy-nominated news producer and a public relations account executive. Kruzdlo holds a Master’s degree and Supervisor Certification and is currently working on her doctorate in Educational Leadership.
Pam Gunther
Pam Gunther Member at Large
Pam’s career has been focused on the field of disability education and including leading a project to build a school in Rwanda where almost 600 children now attend.
Rolland Smith
Rolland SmithMember at Large
Rolland is former CBS news anchor in NYC and noted writer of poetry and commentary.
Barbara Gaughen-Muller
Barbara Gaughen-Muller Member at Large
Barbara is President of the United Nations Association, Santa Barbara Tri-County chapter, unasb.org, and a co-founder and charter member of the RotaryEClubofWorldPeace.org. She is the co-author of “Revolutionary Conversations” and is co-author with her late husband, Dr. Robert Muller, former UN Assistant Secretary General, of 7500 Ideas for a Better World, shared daily on GoodMorningWorld.org
Walter Enloe
Walter EnloeAdvisor
Walter Enloe is a senior advisor to Armed With Art Inc and The Peace Crane Project.
He grew up in Japan and was teacher principal of Hiroshima International School where he and his students initiated the 1000 Crane Club. He is Professor Emeritus at Hamline University in St. Paul, the sister city of Nagasaki. www.walterenloe.com