About Compassion Arts Festival

Ruby throated hummingbird and thistle

Ruby Throated Hummingbird and Thistle © Chris Taylor

Compassion Arts Festival is an annual project of Compassion Arts, an all-volunteer grassroots arts and education collective for exploring our connection with all life, and expanding our circle of compassion. The festival’s mission is to provide a platform for sharing ways that creativity can be an instrument for deepening our understanding of, and respect for, other animals and nature.

This year’s festival, November 14th – 24th, 2021, is inspired by themes of The Ten Trusts, from the book The Ten Trusts: What We Must Do To Care For The Animals We Love, by Jane Goodall & Marc Bekoff. Each of the 2021 festival’s virtual events represents one of the Ten Trusts (see Welcome page) and includes programs such as a group art exhibit, house concerts, performing arts videos, poetry, films, workshops, speaker roundtables, sanctuaries and humane education, as well as special features on plant-based living and holistic nonviolence.

To learn more about Compassion Arts Festival 2021, please sign-up for our mailing list, to receive information and updates. Compassion Arts Festival, now in its 7th year, is currently in its second season as an online event. Our programs are made possible by the generous participation of contributing artists, educators, advocates, volunteers, partnering organizations, and vegan creatives. We are not a 501c3 at this time and so we don’t accept donations. Most of our festival events are free, except for those occasionally that are held as a benefit to support 501c3 organizations in humane education or helping animals directly.

CAF2021 Poster Image

Egrets in Fog / Wild Love Photography

Curious American Mink

Curious American Mink © Chris Taylor


Deer © Chris Taylor

Compassion Arts is honored and grateful to share this year’s festival poster image, Egrets in Fog (see Home page) by vegan nature photographer CHRIS TAYLOR, from her digital library Wild Love Photography.

An advocate for cultivating respect for wildlife, her candid online writings journal her experiences (2008–present) and document her work through the lens of quietly compelling photographs, that allow us to connect with moments in the lives of individuals in nature. Chris Taylor’s heart-opening artistry encourages reflection and the celebration of non-human animals of all species and the natural world. Some of her photos are featured on this page.

She writes:

“I am a vegan, writing teacher, and nature photographer living in Lawrence, Kansas with my partner and amazing feline.

I am one of those people who is always stopping to look around and look up, witnessing those life and death interactions taking place every day outside our windows that so many of us never notice.

In my writing and photography, my goal is to celebrate and witness these interactions, encouraging a commitment to an inclusive approach to conservation, and the protection of urban and wild spaces for all of us.”

Chris Taylor (pronouns: she/her)

Artists for Ahimsa Award 2021

Each year, Compassion Arts Festival selects an artist for its annual Artists for Ahimsa Award, to honor and highlight individuals using their artistry in a three-fold mission in work that: inspires compassion for animals, helps animals directly, and provides a platform for advocacy for others.

Past honorees include filmmaker Allison Argo of Argo Films and The Last Pig, photojournalist Jo-Anne McArthur of We Animals Media and Unbound Project, and artist advocate Cyrus Mejia, co-founder of Best Friends Animal Society and Ravens Heart Gallery.

We are very happy to announce our Artist for Ahimsa Award honoree this year is AYSHA AKTAR.

Vegans of New England


Turkeys © Chris Taylor

The festival closes with the launching of Vegans of New England ( VoNE), a co-partnered project of Compassion Arts Festival, New England Veg Fest and CompassionFest. The VoNE project will present a live-streamed event focused on Gratitude in Action, for uplifting and connecting plant-based community, as well as exploring the work of redefining the traditional Thanksgiving 'holiday' and examining what it means. The event hosts an inspiring line-up of farm animal sanctuaries, cooking demos, interviews, and recipes from vegan kitchens and chefs, interviews, music, healing arts, advocates and artists sharing their work and stories of hope and inspiration for creating a narrative of healing and holistic nonviolence towards a more compassionate and just world for all.

You don't need to be a vegan to attend — all are welcome!

Vegans of New England will stream on the festival website 11/24 at 2pm EST.

“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of a difference you want to make.”

Jane Goodall