Community Programming


The Butterfly Project is a program that educates community groups about the dangers of hatred, bigotry and indifference. Our hands-on programming is made up of educational lessons, film and art-based learning activities, and source materials that proactively address these sensitive issues. Appropriate for all ages, these lessons promote greater understanding of history and diversity while fostering community pride in a shared community space.

Middle school participants at Lawrence Family JCC in San Diego, CA.

Personal Stories Make Compelling Programming

Our programing is designed to cultivate empathy and teach social responsibility in today’s world while enabling participants of all ages, faiths, and backgrounds to identify personally with those who lived during one of the darkest times in human history.

Students in Riga, Latvia.

Learning From a Shared Experience

Participants gain a profound understanding of how prejudice, racism, bullying and stereotyping can lead to systemic injustices over time. When individuals share a common artistic journey, as in this program, collective responsibility can be gained, helping the community to more effectively stand up to injustice, hatred and racism.

Tifereth Israel Synagogue in San Diego, CA.

Teaching Participants to be Upstanders

Through our interactive lessons, which include oral history, film, literature and hands-on art making, participants go through a shared learning experience that fosters collaboration and connection within the community, promotes collective responsibility, and teaches community members to more effectively stand up to injustice, hatred and racism.

The Butterfly Project’s lessons draw parallels between personal stories from the Holocaust and present day systemic issues. Through our flexible educational and arts-driven programming, participants paint ceramic butterflies together and learn from primary source educational materials such as rare artifacts, stories, art, photographs, diaries and biographies of children who perished in the Holocaust. Participants also work together to create a meaningful community art installation that fosters ongoing conversations about diversity, inclusion and justice.

Our programming is intergenerational and appropriate for ages 10 years old through adulthood, and all lessons can be modified based on time constraints. We are able to offer modified versions of our lessons for participants 9 years old and younger.

The Butterfly Project is suitable for most community organizations.

Youth Organizations, such as Boy/Girl Scouts or Boys & Girls Club
Senior Organizations
Jewish Community Centers
Neighborhood Community Centers
Museums & Libraries
Community Colleges & Universities
Religious or Interfaith Organizations
Summer or Day Camps
Academy of Our Lady of Peace in San Diego, CA.

The Power of Each Painted Butterfly

Each participant has the chance to make a personal connection to the child on their biography card as they paint their own personal butterfly in memory of that child.

The powerful symbolism of each painted butterfly then getting fired in a kiln to emerge renewed, glazed and shiny, ready for display is remarkably impactful for both participants and the entire community.

Pittsburgh Holocaust Center mural by Alex Paul.

Dynamic Works of Art

Our powerful programming culminates with the creation of the installation in your community. This dynamic work of art is created at your site to foster conversations about diversity, inclusion and justice today.

The art-making and displays are a tangible way to link the stories to be remembered, and serve as a visual reminder for the learner to be an empowered new voice for justice today.

Getting Started

Bringing The Butterfly Project programming to your group or community is easy. Visit our order form to purchase our lessons and materials. Butterfly kits can be sold separately or in a package with the educational film and corresponding film lessons. 

Educational Materials

Our programming provides teachers with a gentle yet profound way to bring hope and beauty to their students’ Holocaust education and help make these lessons from history relevant to today’s world.

The  Butterfly Project’s programming includes the following lessons and activities:

Butterfly Kits As the heart of our programming, each butterfly kit includes 36 ceramic butterflies, 36 biography cards of children who perished during the Holocaust, glazes, and paint brushes
Film and/or Educational Film Chapters Our award-winning documentary, NOT The Last Butterfly, and subsequent educational chapters help foster ongoing dialogue in the classroom about diversity, inclusion and justice, and leads towards the creation of a permanent installation.
Corresponding Film Lessons Lessons developed by our Education Team in collaboration with educational design consultants to enhance learning from the educational film.
Holocaust Families Speakers’ Bureau Helping to tell the personal stories from the Holocaust, our speakers’ bureau is made up of Holocaust survivors and their families (known as Second or Third Generation). Members of our speakers’ bureau visit classrooms (in-person or virtually) to tell their stories (or their family’s stories) and help students build a personal connection to these powerful lessons.
Access to examples and design guidelines for permanent and temporary butterfly installations of various sizes to help you design and build your display.

Benefits of Bringing The Butterfly Project to Your Community

Increase your community’s understanding about the lessons learned from the Holocaust and help your community members more effectively stand up to injustice, hatred and racism. .

  • Engage community members in meaningful activities, including hearing oral histories, exploring identity and creating a ceramic butterfly as part of a community art and memorial making effort.
  • The art creates an engaging space for important dialogue about the importance of history and standing together against injustice.
  • Teaches participants empathy, social responsibility, and the power of each person to become upstanders for justice.