We are dedicated to creating a new model for approaching wellness, education and preservation of cultures.
We start with key issues by identifying what’s missing in healthcare, education and culture.
We find inspiration and wisdom in ancient traditions.
We find solutions by partnering with like-minded practitoners and partners who have the ability to change policy and legislation.
We offer the Urban Zen Center to these like-minded practitioners and partners as a vehicle to raise awareness and inspire change – taking into action these policies by creating a movement for the benefit of these important issues.
With these partners we create and offer a full curated calendar of events, lectures and conferences throughout the year to share this wisdom.
For more information, please email email@example.com or call 1.212.414.8520.
|URBAN ZEN CENTER HIGHLIGHTS|
|STEPHAN WEISS: CONNECTING THE DOTS, 2012
EXHIBITION AND BOOK LAUNCH
This year the 2nd Annual Stephan Weiss Apple Award was a dedication to Donna Karan’s love for Urban Zen and New York City. The recipient of the SW Apple Award is Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a man who captures the spirit of New York City and Urban Zen’s three initiatives. Mayor Bloomberg’s dedication to improving healthcare, empowering children and preserving the cultural vibrancy of New York City inspires the leadership that we continue to strive for at Urban Zen.
|STEPHAN WEISS APPLE AWARDS, 2011
LAUNCH OF THE INSPIRATION
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of her husband’s death, Donna Karan created the Stephan Weiss Apple Award to celebrate the contributions of pioneers and leaders in the three areas of our initiatives. The first SW Apple Award was presented to former President Bill Clinton for his contributions made through the Clinton Global Initiative. Also awarded Apples were Dr. Mehmet Oz for his well-being efforts and Courtney Ross of The Ross School for her groundbreaking work in children’s education.
|HOPE HELP & RELIEF HAITI, 2010
TENTS TODAY. HOME TOMORROW.
With the momentous success of HOPE HELP & RELIEF HAITI, Donna Karan and Urban Zen Foundation continues to pursue the preservation of culture initiative by expanding our Haitian efforts with HOPE HELP & REBUILD HAITI. The focus of this campaign is to assist the artisan community of the island to create a sustainable model for the artists of Haiti to produce art and craft that resonates with the cultural richness of the Haitian people. In collaboration with the Clinton Global Initiative, Urban Zen Foundation is funding a wellbeing program as well that will include the UZIT Program.
|NOMAD TWO WORLDS, 2009
PRESERVING CULTURE THROUGH THE ARTIST’S LENS
Nomad Two Worlds, which was exhibited at Urban Zen in January 2009, involved years of groundwork, including travel to remote regions of North Western Australia. In the spirit of reconciliation senior Indigenous custodians provided access to ,sites of great cultural significance to the aboriginal people. Burial grounds, gorges, stunning coast lines desert locations-often restricted and secret-were allowed to be photographed and filmed by Mr. James. The photographs were then reproduced to become oversized canvases for indigenous artists such as Clifton Bieundurry who then painted ‘story’ into the images; legends and concepts that relate directly to the image on the photographic canvas.
The result, an unprecedented artistic collaboration of hand embellished art photographs that form the heart of Nomad Two Worlds installation. Three short films by Mr. James provided a glimpse of his broader Nomad Two Worlds project thematic: INNOCENCE, INHIBITION and DISCOVERY as the three stages of cultural collision are explored: the past, the present and potential future outcomes through meaningful reconciliation. A number of extraordinary people are involved in the project including Hugh and Deborra-lee Jackman, Baz Lurhmann, Donna Karan and Grammy award winning artist will.i.am, lead singer and producer for The Black Eyed Peas. Lisa Fox who, through her lf8 Studio, is dedicated to promoting Australian culture and the arts along with Marni Lewis of InConnection have gathered a compelling, and dynamic week-long program of events.
In 2011, Russell James extended the scope and poignancy of the Nomad Two Worlds exhibit by including Haitian images overlaid with the paint strokes created by Haitian artists as well as new pieces created by members of the Native American communities. This expanded exhibit traveled to Los Angeles and later in Germany at the Berlin Peace Festival 2011.
|NUTRITION FORUM, 2009
MEDICAL ADVANCES & EXPERT VOICES IN THE FIELD OF NUTRITION
“Everything we eat has an effect on our body,” says Donna Karan. Doctors agree that the cornerstone of good health is healthy nutrition—but many people aren’t sure about what foods to eat. That’s why Urban Zen in its 2009 Well-Being Speaker Series gathered a stellar collection of doctors, experts, and health advocates to share their wisdom on nutrition—in a two day program on April 17th and 18th at the Stephan Weiss Studio in Lower Manhattan. Leading doctors, bestselling authors, and researchers, including Dr. Mehmet Oz, Dr. Colin Campbell, Dr. Mark Hyman, Dr. Woodson Merrell, Dr. James Gordon, Dr. Marcelle Pick, Dr. Frank Lipman, and Dr. Neal Barnard, along with a diverse range of health advocates and experts spoke to a gathered assembly, including Urban Zen Integrative Therapists—the participants in a ground-breaking program led by renowned yoga teachers, Rodney Yee and Colleen Saidman Yee, and launched at New York’s Beth Israel Hospital under the guidance of Dr. Woodson Merrell, Director of Integrative Medicine.
|WELL-BEING FORUM, 2007
THE BEGININING OF THE PATH TO WELL-BEING
Health and well-being issues touch us all, and all those we love. Inspired by the life and courage of the people around them, Donna Karan and Sonja Nuttall laid the groundwork for an unprecedented event that would bring people together in a setting where they could share their experiences, voices and ideas about healthcare. Out of that vision was born the Urban Zen Well-Being Forum.
Ten days in May of 2007 were designed and carefully planned to bring a dream to reality: designing and hosting a forum for the exchange of ideas between patients and world-renown doctors, nurses, yoga instructors and alternative healthcare practitioners. The result was pure inspiration, with a wellspring of ideas, potential initiatives and creative solutions to serious healthcare problems. The hopes and needs expressed by the professionals on the panel and those in the audience underscored that patient care and advocacy is at a critical impasse. Collectively, we sensed we were at a defining moment illustrating can be achieved when science and creativity come together.
The Well-Being Forum not only met our goals, but transcended them: there was one voice, one hope and one intention to move forward with increased energy. Through our combined and continued efforts, Urban Zen is becoming a part of the larger global well-being movement. Our name is becoming synonymous with hope and healing.
|HOPE EVENT, 2006
ON BEHALF OF NORBULINGKA INSTITUTE A SPARK OF LOVE, A SEED OF HOPE & THE BIRTH OF THE URBAN ZEN FOUNDATION
In 2006, Donna Karan and Sonja Nuttall hosted HOPE, an event of love and hope for their honored guest, His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, to raise funds for the Norbulingka Institute, a center in Dharamsala, India, dedicated to preserving the richness and luminosity of the art, history and culture of Tibet. The event included a yoga day sponsored by Rodney Yee, conversations with Professor Robert Thurman and a host of dignitaries and special guests.
HOPE secured more then one million dollars in support for Norbulingka and its initiatives, specifically the Tibet Nomad Project and the Norhla Workshop. Both of these activities were created to help revive the economy in rural Amdo, including stimulating a craft revival movement that integrates local raw materials into textiles and creates jobs in the village; improving animal husbandry techniques; addressing agro-educational preservation; creating innovative and effective insulation products made from yak hair; and constructing new educational facilities. Under the guidance of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, the Norbulingka Institute is a vibrant community spanning several generations from those born in old Tibet to those who are being raised in and around the ever-expanding Institute which serves to preserve Tibetan culture and values. HOPE is particularly significant to Urban Zen Foundation. It was at this pivotal event that all roads became one and the Urban Zen Foundation was born. It became our goal to learn from the past (preserving cultures), care for the present (advancing well-being) and prepare for the future (empowering children). Donna and Sonja’s dream to raise awareness, inspire change and make a difference in the world is now a living, breathing force of hope in the world.