What is the story behind the New Day Campaign name?
In late February 2014, New Day Campaign founder Peter Bruun sat down to write a post on his Bruun Studios blog only two weeks after he and his family suffered an unthinkable tragedy – the death of his eldest daughter, Elisif, from a heroin overdose. Peter titled the post “A New Day” and began the early work of starting this Campaign. He navigated his reflection towards the light of hope and connection with others. His words imagined redemption for the beautiful people who die from mental illness and addiction and for the loved ones they leave behind. Read the blog post here.
Through the act of telling his story and holding a space for the stories of others, Peter illuminated a path for healing — for himself and for the thousands who read the blog post. He shared his observations of recent shifts in mainstream attitudes and beliefs about mental illness and addiction, and his hope that these represent a cultural evolution away from stigma and towards understanding. He testified to the emergence of “a humane outlook that perhaps bespeaks the dawning of a new day,” and invited his audience to condition their hearts for compassion and love.
Who is Peter Bruun?
Baltimore artist Peter Bruun is the founder of the New Day Campaign. Peter Bruun is an artist, educator, curator, and community activist in the arts. Bruun received a BA in Art History from Williams College in 1985 and went on to receive an MFA in 1989 from the Maryland Institute College of Art’s (MICA) Mount Royal School of Art. Throughout his adult life, Bruun has been committed to his ever-evolving practice as an artist.
His work has taken him to diverse roles and sectors in the Baltimore area. Bruun has worked as a college-level art and art history teacher (1989-1999), worked as the exhibitions director at Villa Julie College, now Stevenson University (1997-2000), served in the exhibits educator role at the Park School of Baltimore (2000-2005), was a founding Board Member (and remains an ongoing Board Member) of the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance (2000-present), and worked as the founding director of the nonprofit Art on Purpose (2005-2012). He then began working independently and collaboratively under the aegis of Bruun Studios.
Bruun founded the New Day Campaign in early 2014, following the death of his daughter Elisif from heroin addiction..
Is this a political campaign?
No. However we do share advocacy opportunities with our audiences when they align with our mission, vision, and values.
Why is art the focus of the New Day Campaign?
Those who suffer from mental illness and substance use are likely to be met with fear and judgment rather than with compassion and acceptance. In the New Day Campaign, art is used as a humanizing antidote to prevailing dismissive attitudes, bringing people in as little else can — and once in, people can learn new truths about mental illness and addiction, and acquire accepting and compassionate attitudes toward those who suffer.
I'd like to bring New Day Campaign activities to my community. How do I do that?
Though the New Day Campaign ended in 2019, founder Peter Bruun remains available as a possible collaborator in your community. Email him and let us know what you have in mind. Peter will consider everything from full-blown campaigns replete with multiple exhibitions and events, to one-time events, to advice on what you have in mind doing yourself. All activities are tailor-made around clients' and prospective stakeholders' wants, and it begins with a conversation.
Is the New Day Campaign a 501(c)(3)?
No, we are not. The New Day Campaign is more a kind of branded experience, one where art experiences lie at the core of and in service to our mission: using art programs and public engagement to challenge stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness and substance use, making the world a more healing place.