Guitars for a good cause: auction through Dec 17th benefits PeaceJam

by Kerry Dexter /
Kerry Dexter's picture
Dec 10, 2009 / 0 comments

"I fell in love with PeaceJam!" singer-songwriter Beth Nielsen Chapman explains. "I was really inspired by what this organization has accomplished in bringing kids into the presence of some of the greatest living Peacemakers of our time. The seeds that are planted in the hearts of these young people when they've come face to face with the Nobels is the greatest investment toward world peace that I could imagine and I wanted to bring a gift from my world to theirs."

So Beth asked Taylor Guitars to send her five guitars and she had five great artists design or hand paint them. Then she carried them with her to Denver for the 10 Year Anniversary of PeaceJam in 2006 with the intention of having all the Nobels sign the back of the guitars.

"It was quite a scramble during that huge weekend event – which involved several thousand teenagers and 10 Nobel Peace Laureates – working out a way to get all the Nobels to sign five guitars each!" she recalls. But with help from dedicated PeaceJam supporters, it miraculously came together. Thereafter, it became clear that securing the guitars somewhere safe and quiet was the best plan. So Beth put them into climate controlled storage.

Fast forward three and a half years! Why did it take so long for the guitars to become available for auction? "Well," Beth reports, "besides the fact that they just had to germinate and ripen up like good treasure should, I always felt that if I was patient and trusted fate, I would somehow meet the person who could help get them out in the world in a way that would bring the best result for PeaceJam, and that only materialized this past September." At a gathering of people from all over the world called, coincidentally, "Connecting For Change" at the Vancouver Peace Summit, Beth met the founder of eBay, Pierre Omidyar. "From that moment on, I felt the universe take over and it all has felt perfectly timed," she says.

All this led to the upcoming eBay Giving Works auction of five hand-painted guitars signed by 10 Nobel Peace Laureates. For a preview of the auctions, which begin Monday, December 7th, and end on Thursday, December 17th, visit All proceeds from these auctions will benefit the PeaceJam Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that pairs youth with Nobel Peace Laureates to tackle the toughest issues facing our planet through innovative community service projects.

Chapman serves on the Advisory Board for PeaceJam and on the Board of Directors of Healthy Child Healthy World. She is well known for her own recordings and her songs have also been performed by artists such as Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris, Bette Midler, Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings. She co-wrote “This Kiss,” ASCAP’s Song of the Year in 1999, for Faith Hill. Her groundbreaking “Sand & Water,” written and recorded following the death of her husband from cancer in 1994, was performed by Elton John on his 1997 U.S. tour. Her 2007 release, "Prism: The Human Family Songbook," was a collection of culturally diverse songs sung in nine languages. It was endorsed by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who said: "What a glorious, melodious testimony." Chapman, whose new collection of songs, "Back To Love," comes out in early 2010 couldn't be happier:

"This is like a dream finally coming true,” she says. “I had no idea it would take so long, but I am thrilled to see those guitars, sprung from hiding, in all their glory, posted up on eBay! As a songwriter living in the vortex of songwriting, the guitar symbolizes a lot. It's been an honor to be a part of bringing together the generosity of these talented visual artists with the incredible presence of these Nobel Peace Laureates through these guitars. I know that all of Nashville would agree with me that PeaceJam has been a tremendous gift and an inspiration to so many young people. It's great to be able to give something back!"

A different artist painted each guitar, but the back of each bears the signatures of:
The Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Jody Williams, Shirin Ebadi, Rigoberta Menchu Tum, Jose Ramos Horta, Oscar Arias, Sanchez Adolpho Perez Esquivel, Mairead Corrigan Maguire and Betty Williams.

"PeaceJam tips its hat to Taylor Guitars, Nashville, and singer/songwriter Beth Nielsen Chapman for taking the time to procure the guitars, have her friends paint them, drag them up to Denver and help get them signed by the Nobel Peace Laureates who participated in our 10th anniversary conference. This fundraiser wouldn't have happened without Beth and these wonderful artists!" commented PeaceJam founders Ivan Suvanjieff and Dawn Engle.

Artists who created the one-of-a-kind guitars up for auction are as follows:

“Invisible Power” – Linda Marks
“Ever. Peace. Ever” – McKay Otto
“The Church of Love” – Don Henry
“A Thousand Flowers” – Bob Nielsen and Billie Tannen
“Blue Rose” – Renee LaRose

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For more information about PeaceJam Foundation, contact:

PeaceJam Foundation

5605 Yukon Street

Arvada, CO 80002

Ph: 303-455-2099

Founders are Ivan Suvanjieff & Dawn Engle


Kerry Dexter is the Music Editor for Wandering Educators. Her credits include Strings, Symphony Magazine,, Ireland and the Americas,and Music Road