Ruth is a multi award winning CEO, activist and change-maker. Inspired by the transformative use of hip-hop in the drug cartels of Medellin, Colombia, when a young MC said: ‘If it wasn’t for hip-hop, I would be dead. Hip-hop gave me another option and I’m truly thankful for that.’ Ruth believes art has a capacity to make change in the toughest of contexts.
A Former musician most notably playing with The Fall, record label founder and global festival and music industry event maker, she is now the CEO of In Place of War, she works with arts and creativity in places of armed conflict as a tool for positive social change, transforming cultures of violence and suffering into hope, opportunity and freedom.
Ruth has developed a network of 125 grassroots change-maker organisations across 26 countries in Africa, Latin America and the Middle East, and facilitated the creation of new music studios and cultural spaces in gang affected communities; the development of five pioneering creative education and entrepreneurial programmes, rolled out across 20 countries; and developed multiple platforms for those with the most marginalised voices to tell their stories. She has established In Place of War as a charity in the UK and Ireland and a 501c3 in the USA, rolling it out from the University of Manchester, where it began life as a research project in 2004.
Ruth was CEO of Un-Convention, a grassroots music industry organisation and grew it from an event in Salford, to delivering over 100 events across 30 countries, working with platforms like Primavera Sound, SIM Sao Paulo and OML India.
She works closely with the music industry to build music spaces, mobilise equipment and musicians to conflict zones and to that end, has established a Global Music Industry Advisory Board with members including Native Instruments, Roland, Pioneer DJ, The Recording Academy and Spotify. She is an Honorary Research Fellow at The University of Manchester, a Visiting Scholar, Hip-Hop Education Center, New York and Cultural Ambassador at Somerset House, London.
Most recently Ruth has pioneered a new global fundraising initiative called Around The World in 80 Raves, creating a global shared challenge working with some of the biggest DJs, labels and management companies in the world.
She is a Board member of her local radio station, All FM; Comma Press, a not-for-profit publisher specialising in the short story and fiction in translation; Opencity, Open City is a charity dedicated to making London and its architecture more open, accessible and equitable and The Radical Independent Arts Fund, funding radical artists in the UK.
Ruth has created several modules for an MA programme in Music Industries at Waterbear University in Brighton and mentors students, change-makers and young people. Ruth also mentors young people facing homelessness at Depaul.
Ruth is a great speaker and presenter, and has delivered talks and workshops across the world. She works with a huge network of friends and contacts in the global music industry and was part of the founding group to set up Palestine Music Expo.
Ruth has written a book, ‘Make Art, Not War’ available in 2022, documenting the art, methodologies and work of 40 change-makers across the world. She is making a new project with multi-disciplinary artist Tracey Moberly called Love in Lockdown - a book and multi-art work project with people who have found love during the pandemic.
‘When it comes to finding peace, no stone should be left unturned. Art and culture work from the street level up, and are often one of the only safe spaces where voices for alternative action can share their vision and build momentum for peaceful change. From the role music and the arts had in the struggle to end Apartheid, to the healing power of resistance theatre in Palestine, art and culture should never be underestimated as a driver of change’.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu about the work of In Place of War led by Ruth Daniel.
A Futures Venture, UK
All FM, Manchester
Comma Press, UK
SIM Sao Paulo, Brazil