Light / The Holocaust & Humanity Project

Light  / The Holocaust & Humanity Project is a full-length contemporary ballet and Holocaust education partnership that promotes the protection of human rights against bigotry and hate through arts, education and public dialogue.

Since its world premiere in Austin in April 2005, Light / The Holocaust & Humanity Project travelled to Pittsburgh in 2009 from September-November, culminating in performances by the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. The project returned to Austin in 2012 from January-March with 46 community partners engaged in the community collaboration. The City of Miami next hosted the project late 2012 from August-November with performances and community dialogue hosted by The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. Denver, Colorado welcomed Light in 2013 from January-March with performances by the Colorado Ballet, which was followed by the international debut of the work through a three-city tour to Israel, September 18-October 2, 2013.

We come together as a community to explore answers to the following questions:
     How are the issues of the Holocaust relevant in our community today?
     What is our responsibility when confronted by acts of bigotry and hate?
     What actions can we take to promote understanding in our community?

On this page you can view excerpts of video, photography, press releases and a toolkit to bring this work to your community.

For more information to bring Light / The Holocaust & Humanity Project to your community email Cookie Ruiz or call 512.476.9151 ext. 110

Light / The Holocaust & Humanity Project Background

 Stephen Mills rehearses with Ballet Austin
 Company Dancers for the premiere of
 Light / The Holocaust & Humanity Projectin 2005.
 Photo by Hannah Neal


Naomi Warren, a Holocaust survivor living in  
Houston, Texas, serves as the inspiration  
behind the story of survival and triumph of  
the human spirit in Ballet Austin's  
Light / The Holocaust & Humanity Project. 
Photo by Hannah Neal 

 While creating Light / The Holocaust & Humanity
, Ballet Austin Artistic Director
 Stephen Mills traveled throughout Europe,
 researching locations like Treblinka, an
 extermination camp in Poland.
 Photo courtesy of Ballet Austin


Ballet Austin Company Dancers visit  
the Holocaust Museum Houston in  
December 2011 in preparation for Light / The  
Holocaust & Humanity Project
in March 2012.  
Photo courtesy of Ballet Austin  

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Light / The Holocaust & Humanity Project Video Gallery

The Light / The Holocaust & Humanity Project YouTube Channel houses several videos surrounding this full-length contemporary ballet and community wide educational initiative.

In 2005, Light / The Holocaust and Humanity Project was featured in KLRU's "Arts In Context: Ballet Austin's Light / The Holocaust and Humanity Project," which won a Emmy Award. In 2012 KLRU won a second Emmy Award for their documentary Producing Light, both of which can be viewed below on the YouTube channel.

You will also find Artistic Director Stephen Mills' TEDxSMU 2010 speech on Light / The Holocaust & Humanity Project.

UN Headquarters Archives:
Artistic Director Stephen Mills Among Renowned Artists to Encourage Holocaust Education

(Note: Stephen's 20min interview begins 20min into the video)

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Light / The Holocaust & Humanity Project Podcasts

Listen to the United Nations Radio Interview with Stephen Mills.

The United State Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) invited Stephen Mills to speak in 2013 on the Voices On Antisemitism - U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Podcast Series. The USHMMA is a living memorial to the Holocaust and inspires citizens and leaders worldwide to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity.

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Light / The Holocaust & Humanity Project Photo Gallery

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Light / The Holocaust & Humanity Project in the News

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Light / The Holocaust & Humanity Project Press Kit

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Leadership & Sponsors

National Honorary Chair

    Abraham Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League

Austin Chairs

    The Honorable Lee Leffingwell, Mayor of the City of Austin
    Dr. Meria Carstarphen, Superintendent Austin Independent School District
    Chief Art Acevedo, Austin Police Department

Executive Leadership Team

    Steve Adler & Diane Land
    Tom & Lynn Meredith
    Kirk & Amy Rudy


Lead Partners

Austin Police Department


Community Partners

Austin/Travis County
Hate Crimes
Task Force

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