In the borderland between human suffering and human possibility we find artists, cultural workers, justice-seekers and peace-builders acting with courage, beauty, compassion and power. Brandeis™ minor in Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation (CAST) will engage you in interdisciplinary exploration of the stories, the people, the actions and the artworks that animate this boundary.
Twenty-first century leaders will be called upon to engage creatively with the large-scale inter-related environmental, political and economic challenges that will confront communities around the world. Through courses where you can explore theory and practice at the nexus of the arts, creativity, social justice and peace, the CAST minor will challenge and support you to develop the capacity for resilience for "bouncing back" intellectually, culturally, ethically, emotionally and spiritually.
By joining CAST™s community of inquiry, and by taking courses in the humanities, the arts, and social sciences, you will become prepared for careers and vocations that link your talents and interests in creativity and the arts with your concerns for the needs of communities, and for social justice and peace.
Interested in the Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation minor? Find out what courses you'll need to complete.
A Reflection on Ebony Axis
By Sarah Nzisabira, current student in CAST 150b, Introduction to Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation
LaShawn Simmons ’18 founded Ebony Axis, a poetry zine for Black women, with help from a CAST grant in 2015. Sarah Nzisabira, a current student of CAST 150b, reflects:
"I am forever grateful for the spaces I have shared ever since then with real poets, particularly poets of color. An individual who I am particularly appreciative of would have to be Brandeis and CAST alum, LaShawn Simmons ‘18, who cultivated one of the most culturally impactful and transformative spaces I have ever been in - Ebony Axis. Ebony Axis is a literary magazine dedicated to women of color on Brandeis’ campus and with each annual publishing comes a coffeehouse-esque sort of open mic/reading/celebration which I have attended each year since my start at Brandeis. Ebony Axis has been a literal and metaphorical healing space for many women of color, particularly Black women, as it allows us to take a physical and mental break from all that comes with being a Black woman studying on Brandeis’ campus and provides a space dedicated specifically to sharing, communing with and celebrating ourselves."
Let’s Make a Better World: Stories and Songs by Jane Sapp is a new resource for music educators, chorus leaders, activists and cultural workers,. In it, the nationally admired cultural worker, musician, educator, and activist, Jane Wilburn Sapp, shares her approach to social transformation and its roots in African-American musical traditions. In the book, Jane tells the story of her childhood, nurtured by the Black community while living in the brutal world of the Jim Crow South. She describes her participation in the Black Power movement and introduces us to her mentors. She shares 25 songs she has written with young people and sung with people of all ages, and tells the stories behind each song and offers suggestions or teachers and chorus leaders. The book also includes scores, and all of the songs can be heard on podcasts where Jane’s approach to cultural work is illuminated through conversations with activists, cultural workers, and music educators.