The Peaceful Educator Foundation

Social Services Organization

The Peaceful Educator Foundation is a 501c3 Non-Profit located in Shelburne Falls, MA primarily serving New England and New York. Our mission is to nurture, through the arts, a peaceful, just and sustainable future for all humanity’s children. Our current major arts project is the production a new work for musical theater titled Humanity’s  Child: A Musical in Five Continuous Acts: Fear-Joy-Action-Vision-Mission. This timely and deeply-relevant work by composer/playwright John McDonnell Tierney was performed by an international cast of 13 young women in the New York Theater Festival (July 29-August 3, 2019 -Nominated for Best Musical) and Off-Broadway at the historic Players Theatre in Greenwich Village (August 9 – September 1, 2019).We are currently developing a touring ensemble to bring Humanity’s Child to regional and community theaters throughout New England.About Dr. TierneyJohn McDonnell Tierney. “Jack,” as is his preference, likes to describe himself  as a“retired professor and aspiring playwright living in the woods and trying to make sense of life.”  Having had some seventy-four years “of life” so far to do that, he is continually surprised by how much of life seems to make no sense at all. This is how he got here: Graduating with a Masters in Performance from UMASS (1969), Jack joined the music faculty of Holyoke Community College (MA) in the fall of 1970 where he co-conducted the Civic Symphony, directed an 18 piece Jazz Ensemble and a 12 voice “Pops Choir.”  Jack was invited a year later to come to Hartford where he remained for some twenty years during that time holding a fulltime faculty position at Hartford College where he established and directed the Musical Theater Program and numerous other ensembles. Simultaneously Jack carried on an active career as a performer in such diverse groups as: Hartford Symphony, Ringling Bros Circus Band; Ice Capades Orchestra; New York Brass Quintet (sub); and most recently occupying the bass trombone chair in the Vermont Jazz Center Big Band. Following completing of a doctorate in Educational Psychology in 1997, Jack began a series of professional engagements that took him from The Connecticut State Department of Education, visiting professor stints at UCONN and Mass College for the Liberal Arts; and, eventually landing him at a lovely little community college in Western Mass where he retired as Chair of Social Sciences and Professor of Human Development in 2012. Not one to dawdle, Jack immediately established The Peaceful Educator Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit charity dedicated to promoting, through the arts, a peaceful, just, sustainable future for all humanity’s children. And, in pursuit of that mission, he composed and produced two major musicals: Peacemaker: The Dreams of Humanity’s Child, which premiered in Hartford 2016), and Humanity’s Child which received its New York Debut and 19 performances off-Broadway in 2019.

Primary Discipline

Theater - Musical

Additional Disciplines

Dance - General
Humanities - Literature
Literary Arts - Fiction
Literary Arts - Non-Fiction
Literary Arts - Publishing
Literary Arts - Spoken Word
Media - General
Media - Audio / Sound
Media - Digital
Media - Film
Media - Video
Music - Composition
Music - Electronica
Music - Native American Drum
Music - Opera
Theater - Playwriting
Theater - Storytelling


Arts for Social Change / Creative Activism
Audio or Video Recording
Community Arts
Creation of a Work of Art (Including Commissions)
Curriculum Development
Performance / Concert / Reading
Professional Development / Training
Residency - Community
Residency - In School
Residency - Production / Development
Writing Services
Workshops / Demonstrations / Master Class


  • Masters in Music Performance, UMASS, 1969
  • PhD in Educational Psychology, UCONN, 1996

Additional Information

  • Year founded: 2011
  • Is a Teaching Artist
  • Approx. 20 events per year
  • Geographic Reach: Surrounding States/Region, Nationally
  • Seasons active: Year round