The 29 Pieces Mission

29 Pieces (formerly known as Today Marks the Beginning) is about monumental art and monumental change. It is art with a purpose – to uplift and heal. The 29 Pieces refer to 29 large sculptures, inspired by sacred passages from the world’s faith traditions. Currently these exist as drawings and models made by Karen Blessen, an accomplished professional artist whose creations grace public spaces like Times Square NYC and Baylor/Deep Ellum Station in Dallas, and whose illustrations resulted in the first Pulitzer Prize awarded to a graphic artist. Karen is also the Program Manager for “MasterPEACE”, and, with assistance from many talented artists and educators, developed and implemented an in-school, hands-on program using art to teach about peacemaking and nonviolence.  Now in its fourth year, the 14-lesson program has been taught to more than 2,500 Dallas students.  It has been enthusiastically received by principals, teachers and students. The lessons are facilitated by dancers, poets, musicians, and other artists.  Student artwork has been displayed at the African-American Museum, Goss-Michael Foundation, Neiman Marcus NorthPark Center, Dallas Central Library, the Aloft Hotel, Clampitt Paper, and over 100 other public venues.  The 29 Pieces sculptures, and the stories behind them, are the basis for exhibits, performances and workshops that uplift and inspire people of all ages and backgrounds.  

For more information, please visit


MasterPEACE:  Young Artists Making a Kinder World. MASTERPEACE Workshops are a model for students in resolving conflicts with peers, family, friends in school, in the neighborhood, at home and in more

Videos - MasterPEACE 

Be amazed and inspired: watch the 7 minute video by John Katz of the children at LL Hotchkiss creatng shadowbox art.  Children from around the world, many in the US for only a few weeks, created art reflecting what they would do for the children of Darfur,  "If I Were a Great Peacemaker".  World leaders take note. 
This link will take you to our You Tube channel to watch this video:

 Art Mark #1 by James Neel. See the video! Time 1:40. Dallas Artist Nancy Rebal talks about her portrait of "Madalene"

Be enlightened and inspired by the Great Peacemakers Like You and Me video by John Katz, with music by James Neel. See it on YouTube: Great Peacemakers Like You and Me. 

Watch all 29 Pieces Videos including the original Today Marks the Beginning documentary film by Ginny Martin.  And Flip-cam interviews with the teachers and facilitators of the MasterPEACE program.  Watch on 29 Pieces youtube channel.

 The 225 students in the middle school of Irma Rangel Young Women's Leadership School participated in our INFLUENCE lesson. Check out the results at our interactive INFLUENCE blog:  MasterPEACE: INFLUENCE


Stations Two

A story about the transformative power of art giving voice to forgiveness under horrific circumstances. Stations TWO, an interactive artwork gathering the collective voice of forgiveness began its tour in Dallas on its way to Kigali, Rwanda to help commemorate the 15th anniversary of the genocide. Stations Two is now a part of the permanent collections at the Genocide Museum in Kigali. Watch the film on YouTube

Artists and educators teach children about peace through art and improvisation…more

An interactive public artwork, STATIONS, echoes recorded words of forgiveness and graffiti expressions of human rights…more

Various social issues are explored by creating art, music and theatre…more 

We want YOU to be a part of our ongoing work.  As you read about 29 Pieces projects, watch the slide shows and experience the reactions of those impacted in our video, please consider volunteering your time and making a donation…more



Photos by John Katz, Karen Blessen, Nancy Rebal, James Neel, Lou Michaels, Joe Stokes, Pam Sparks, Willie Baronet


Art Conspiracy

Texas Women for the Arts

The Dallas Foundation

Embrey Family Foundation

The Harold Simmons Foundation 

The Boone Family Foundation

Jill Peterson, D.D.S., Ph.D. Uptown Endodontics, PA

Joan and Terry Oxford


The Rachel B. Williams Foundation (Christy and Wendy Williams)

Jane Johnson

Advocate Foundation

The Clampitt Foundation



Christy Williams

Kelly Nash

Karen Blessen

Barbara Miller

Kesheth Dancers

Bette Buschow

Charme Robarts

Janelle Nash


Melanie VanLandingham and Barbara Koegl

The Goss-Michaels Foundation

Lea Beach

Dwight Robarts

Jody Johnson

Lou Michaels

Buz Barlow


John Katz Photography


James Neel Music House

Fast Cut Edits

Dr. Karen Bembry

The JSA Group

Jim Erenzo: Collective Strategies, Inc.

Green Bandana Group

Kevin Collins

Dr. Donna Bearden

Karen Blessen

Don Wilmarth

Kip Lott

Brent McMahon

Willie Baronet

Pam Sparks

Darcy Brown

Gracie Golonka

Kent Barker Photography

Margaret Wolf Photography

Jeff Baker Photography

Tim Coursey

David Searcy