John Aaron, artist and organizer, launched CHALK4PEACE globally in 2006 to honor the International Day of Peace with visions and messages of peace in sidewalk chalk.

It grew from a curbside art salon for kids on Sundays at the Museum of Modern ARF in Arlington, VA, to an artistic collaboration practiced worldwide in 50 countries. He has personally participated 100+ C4P events, organizing many of them in addition to handling the C4P social media, visual archives and communications. John's current focus is expanding this project to include a day when one million people chalk 4 peace at the same time; build a larger organization to handle the expansion; and to enlist assistance to create the documentary film short, CHALK4PEACE: Drawing The World Together.

With a degree in Art from the University of Michigan, he pursued sculpture in clay for 40 years, presenting more than 35 one person exhibitions. He is a painter, illustrator, author, blogger and screenwriter, (Romancing The Smoke: Reflections of a Nicotine Addict) and also wrote and recorded the official theme song of CHALK4PEACE. 

People he admires include Archbishop Desmond Tutu, David Byrne, Dr. King, Jr.,    Dr. Jane Goodall, Leonard Cohen, Lyle Lovett, JK Rowling, Robert Arneson, Audrey Hepburn, Bill Murray, Samantha Bee, Mel Brooks, Robin Williams, Dame Maggie Smith, Malala Yousafzai and the Dalai Lama...

John is a great believer that humor is the best medicine in the world; that dogs and cats should live together; certain magic is, in fact, real; he's also a reformed chimney who thinks everyone should quit smoking...and admits that when John Lennon said it, he decided that he too would give peace its chance...

John lives in Southern California.

Marielle Mariano

Since 2007, Marielle Mariano has been the East Coast Coordinator (US) of CHALK4PEACE; and she has been responsible for more than one hundred C4P events in addition to encouraging the Fairfax County Public Schools (VA) to adopt CHALK4PEACE district wide; initiated events all over the Washington Beltway, in Maryland, D.C. and Virginia, including Busboys & Poets, Yoga in Daily Life, Dr. MLK, Jr. Memorial Library, Artomatic and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Some of our most iconic photos are pictures taken by Marielle. In her work as Arts Specialist at Woodlawn and Groveton Elementary Schools, Alexandria, VA, she has led the development of a Teach Peace program in the Fairfax County Public Schools that encompasses art, history, reading, writing, public speaking and chalk painting. She has touched thousands of students' lives. She is the most valuable volunteer coordinator CHALK4PEACE could have ever hoped for! Marielle joined us in New York for the Student Peace Day Observance at the United Nations.

Jerry Downs

Jerry is a noted photojournalist and author of Why You Were Born and The Present: Finding Myself in the Middle of NowHere, and has been collaborating with John Aaron, the founder of C4P, since they met in Boulder, CO in 1981. Jerry's photos have graced dozens of major magazines and have been the visuals for numerous Fortune 500 clients. Also a board member of CHALK4PEACE, his arresting photos have helped show the story of CHALK4PEACE to the world. His ability to see people in their finest and most human moments makes his contributions to CHALK4PEACE amongst the greatest gifts that we have to share.

Jerry is our lead photographer for the United Nations Student Peace Day Observance...

Jerry lives in San Rafael, California.