Past Events

The CAST Mini-Festival of Arts and Social Justice

April 20, 2018

Festival 2018Shapiro Campus Center (SCC), Multi-Purpose Room

The interdisciplinary minor in Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation (CAST) will hold its annual Mini-Festival of the Arts and Social Justice on Friday, April 20, during the Brandeis University Festival of the Arts. Our mini-festival will be an interdisciplinary array of art and social change, featuring collaborations from CAST students working in the creative arts, humanities, and social sciences.

The Festival of the Creative Arts at Brandeis was founded in 1952 by the American composer, conductor, and Brandeis faculty member Leonard Bernstein. This year, from April 15th to the 28th, Brandeis will celebrate the centennial birthday of the legendary artist, showcasing music, dance, theater, film and artwork by Brandeis students, staff, and alumni.

The festival is dedicated to the belief that "the art of an era is a reflection of the society in which it is produced, and through creative endeavors the thoughts and expression which characterize each generation are revealed and transformed.” In this spirit, CAST will host installations and performances focusing on art and social change.

Please join us on Friday afternoon, April 20th, in the Shapiro Campus Center (SCC), MultiPurpose Room as we question, reflect on, and envision the meaning of social transformation through creativity and art. We think you will be thrilled with the thoughtfulness and the creativity of students’ performances and exhibitions.

Additional details to follow.

Melissa Tucke
Information & Inspiration: Why Art and Science Need Each Other

March 28, 2018

5:30 pm, Pearlman Hall

Without photographs, drawings, or well-written description, science can be difficult for a general audience to fully understand. Artists and writers can't explore the world's particularities without understanding them. Information and inspiration feed one another. Join us for a panel discussion of how art, science, and activism can converge. Panelists include a whale biologist trained in scientific illustration, the editor of an anthology of Eco-Justice poems, a naturalist who lectures on expedition ships, and a citizen science advocate.

Melissa Tuckey is a co-founder of Split This Rock, where she currently serves as eco-justice poetry project coordinator, and editor of Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology (U. Georgia, 2018).

Scott Landry is the director of Marine Animal Entanglement Response at the Center for Coastal Studies in Provincetown, MA. He has worked as a marine biologist and scientific illustrator over the last two decades, concentrating on the conservation of whales and sea turtles. www.coastalstudies.org

Elizabeth Bradfield, a poet and Associate Professor in the Brandeis Creative Writing program, works as a naturalist and marine educator on expedition ships around the world. Her poems and essays engaging science have been published in The New Yorker, Orion Magazine, and elsewhere.

Colleen Hitchcock is an Assistant Professor of Ecology in the Biology and Environmental Studies program and an active participant and promoter of a diversity of citizen science research. She is member of the 2018 City Nature Challenge: Boston Area steering committee which seeks to document and understand urban biodiversity through active collaboration between the public, educators, and scientists.

RSVP on Facebook.

This event is co-sponsored by the Creative Writing Program and the Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation (CAST) Program.

Announcing: Opening of the CAST Resource Room

March 12, 2018

5:30 pm

The International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life
Abraham Shapiro Academic Complex (ASAC), Room 327

We are excited to announce the opening of our new CAST Resource Room, Monday, March 12, at 5:30 p.m., in conjunction with the 20th anniversary celebration of the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life, where it’s located. The first space of its kind for CAST and Creative Writing students on campus, the Resource Room will be a place to meet and collaborate on projects or work individually. Designed and implemented by CAST senior Marcelo Brociner, the Resource Room is filled with comfortable chairs, a computer and desk, and a bookshelf of CAST-related books, movies, and other materials for use and inspiration. It is a welcoming, calming space that offers students a place other than the library to get work done and tap into their creativity. Helping design the space, and serving as mentors, have been Elizabeth Bradfield, Associate Professor of the Practice of English and Co-Director of the Creative Writing Program, and Kristin Parker, Deputy Director of the Rose Art Museum. Both are also members of the CAST Advisory Committee.

The Resource Room is located in Room 327 in the Ethics Center, which is on the third floor of the Abraham Shapiro Academic Complex (ASAC, the building right across from the Heller School and next to the Mandel Humanities Center).

Do you have suggestions for books or films you’d like to see in the room, or do you have any items you’d like to donate? Please email Marcelo Brociner at marcelotuto@gmail.com.

babu

March 6, 2018

Kenyan conflict transformation expert, theater artist and traditional storyteller

From March 6 – March 12, Dr. Babu Ayindo engaged members of the Brandeis community in activities and conversations on questions surround decolonization and arts-based peacebuilding. In addition to sessions with members of the CAST advisory committee and students, he will lead sessions open to the Brandeis community. View the full flyer of events and view video recording.
A generous gift from the Max and Sunny Howard Memorial Fund supported Babu's residency at Brandeis.

ayindo

Kinan Azmeh and Kevork Mourad: Home Within

November 4, 2017

7-9 p.m.
Slosberg Music Center

Kevork Mourad will perform live painting during Home Within, an ongoing reflection on the Syrian revolution and its aftermath, with the acclaimed Syrian jazz clarinetist Kinan Azmeh. The performance by two socially committed master artists will be preceded by a talk by Boston Globe music critic Jeremy Eichler. CAST students who do not have a free pass as creative arts students can arrange for the $5 student price to be waived. Contact Sarah Terrazano at sterrazano@brandeis.edu. Tickets required through the Brandeis Box Office.

Dorit Rabinyan: Book launch and signing with Iranian-Israeli author

November 1, 2017

5-6:30 p.m.
Rapaporte Treasure Hall

Join a riveting evening with Dorit Rabinyan, one of Israel’s most acclaimed young novelists. The author will discuss and sign copies of her international bestseller, the award-winning All the Rivers, the controversial lover story between an Israeli writer and a Palestinian painter.

Ebony Axis Launch

October 23, 2017

7–9 p.m. 
Location TBD

Ebony Axis is a poetry zine for Black women founded by LaShawn Simmons '18, published with help from a CAST grant. It features poetry, narratives, and illustrations that showcase the experiences and challenges of Black women, and uplift themes of self-love and joy. This year marks the third installment of Ebony Axis, and is also special because Kimberlé Crenshaw – the acclaimed scholar who coined the term “intersectionality” – will be in attendance. She will be at Brandeis and at the Ebony Axis launch as part of her Gittler Prize residency. 

Alicia Ostriker: Poetry Discussion and Reading

October 17, 2017

Alicia Suskin Ostriker, a renowned poet and critic, will be at Brandeis this month for two highly anticipated events. Ostriker has published 15 volumes of poetry, including The Old Woman, The Tulip and the Dog, the National Jewish Book Award winner The Book of Seventy, and The Book of Life: Selected Jewish Poems 1979-2011. She has received the Paterson Prize, the San Francisco State Poetry Award, the William Carlos Williams Award, and has twice been a finalist for the National Book Award, among other honors. As a critic, Ostriker is the author of the pathbreaking Stealing the Language; the Emergence of Women's Poetry in America, and other books on poetry and on the Bible.

Discussion: Writing the Holocaust
Tuesday, October 17, 5 pm
Pearlman Lounge

Alicia Ostriker will share some of her poems stemming from an engagement with the Holocaust (one example below). An open discussion led by Dawn Skorczewski, who is teaching "Writing the Holocaust" this semester, will follow.

Reading
Thursday, October 19, 5:30 pm
Berlin Chapel

Alicia Ostriker will read from her work. This event is co-sponsored by Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation; Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; and Hadassah-Brandeis Institute.

Open Screening of 'Third Ward TX'

September 19, 2017

2-4:50 pm
Location TBD 

A public screening of the film "Third Ward TX" will be held as part of Prof. Cohen's CAST 150b intro course. Third Ward is a historically black neighborhood in Texas where Project Row Houses is breathing new life into an inner-city community by converting the neighborhood's row houses to represent its strong legacy of history and culture. 

Meet the Minors

September 12, 2017

5:30-7:30 pm
ASAC Atrium

The Meet the Minors event will feature artwork and presentations by current CAST minors, and students and faculty will be available to talk about the department and enrolling in the introductory course. Anyone interested in the intersection of art and social change should attend! 

Germaine Ingram
Artists Mining/Lifting Community Identity and Capacity with Germain Ingram

March 29, 2017

A presentation on Olanrewaju Tejuoso’s residency at the Village of Arts & Humanities, a community-based arts organization in Philadelphia. This internationally recognized Nigerian artist, focuses on themes of remembrance, memorialization and transformation. Germain Ingram discussed the intentions of the project, the opportunities and challenges of this arts-driven community engagement, the short-term and potential impacts of the project, and the lessons learned.

Sponsored by the Mellon Foundation, The Rose Art Museum, SJSP and the Dean of Students

Imagining Freedom poster
Imagining Freedom | Creating Justice

Salon Series
A series of three salons were presented at The Rose Art Museum hosted by LaShawn Simmons ’18 and Artist-in-Residence: Jane Wilburn Sapp

"Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired"
Thursday, October 13, 2016
The first event in the series focused on visual art. Attendees shared their impressions of the works on view in the Lee Gallery: Based on the discussion, spoken word pieces and a song were created with Jane Sapp. 

"Creating Art, Seeking Justice"
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Part I: Lurias, Hassenfeld
Part II: Rose Art Museum
Attendees shared their art works and received feedback from other artists in our community.

"Staging Social Change"
Tuesday, November 12016
Rose Art Museum
The final event engaged participants through interactive performances of monologues and songs!
Sponsored by the Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts and the minor in Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation, the International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life, the Rose Art Museum, the Division of Creative Arts, and the Arts|Race|Activism Series with the support of the Brandeis Arts Council

Brandeis Cast of Colors poster
Shout the Big Dreams | Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Creative Arts

April 14, 2017

Performing and visual arts by Brandeis community and special guests

It is the artists of the world, the feelers and the thinkers, who will ultimately save us; who can articulate, educate, defy, insist, sing and shout the big dreams.” -- Leonard Bernstein

  • Brandeis Cast of Colors posterA Cast of Colors! Visualizing and Performing Oral Histories about Encounters with Differences featuring Marcelo Brociner '19, LaShawnSimmons '19, Bronte Velez '16 and others. Shapiro Campus Center
  • A Womyn Conjured, one-womyn show by Queen White '16
  • Brandeis Early Music Ensemble, Bethlehem Chapel
Now as Then poster
Now as Then: We Who Believe in Freedom Cannot Rest

September 28, 2015

Events focusing creative attention on the struggle for voting rights

Explored were the songs and stories which surrounded the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1963, and what actions we can take in the face of the 2013 Supreme Court decision that annulled the key provision of the Voting Rights Act and "put a dagger into the heart" of the law.

Workshop with Jane Wilburn Sapp
Workshop with Jane Wilburn Sapp, cultural worker, musician, organizer and educator. Adaptation and composition of songs and spoken word poetry that advocates for voting rights today

Songs and Stories of the Struggle for Voting Rights
October 1, 2015
Sloberg 212
Understanding the struggle for voting rights in song and story presented by Jane Wilburn Sapp, with comments from Dan Kryder, Politics Department

Selma ’65
Selma '65October 8, 2015
Shapiro Campus Center Theater
Performance by Marietta Hedges of Catherine Filloux’s Selma ’65, a one-woman play retelling the complex story of Viola Liuzzo, a white voting rights activist who was killed in Selma in 1965, and the FBI informant who was with the Klan the night she was assassinated.

Read reflection from Brontë Velez '16 on the event series.

***

Recognizing that 2016 was the first presidential election in fifty years when all or part of 16 states will not be required to seek federal approval for changes in voter regulations we asked:

  • What can we learn from the songs and the stories of those who participated in struggle for voting rights in Selma in 1965?
  • What strategies are being used to suppress Americans, particularly African Americans, from voting in 2015 and 2016?
  • What can we at Brandeis do to reclaim and strengthen voting rights today?
A Mini-Festival of Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation

April 24, 2015

Presented by the program in Peacebuilding and the Arts and the minor in Creativity, the Arts and Social Transformation. A Program of the Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Creative Arts "Find Your Light."  

The annual Festival of the Creative Arts showcases nationally acclaimed performers and visual artists together with music, dance, theater, film and artwork by more than 300 Brandeis students and alumni.

Acting Together on the World Stage: "Asking Toward the Light"
The screening of the award-winning, Brandeis-produced, hour-long documentary, Acting Together on the World Stage: Performance and the Creative Transformation of Conflict, which features courageous performance from conflict regions around the world, was followed by conversation with film-maker Allison Lund, Center associate Jane Wilburn Sapp and Associate Professor of English and Women’s and Gender Studies Thomas King and joined by students in the CAST minor.

Opening Eyes, Ears and Hearts: Oral Histories about Encounters with Differences from students in CAST 150b
Students from the Introduction to Creativity, the Arts and Social Transformation shared scenes, poems, songs and images based on oral history interviews with people different from themselves.

Brandeis Improve Festival
"Improvisation and Social Transformation" Brandeis Improv Festival launch

March 27, 2015

An exploration of the many ways improvisation enlivens the arts and sciences; inspires individual and group creativity; and encourages cultural innovation.   The Festivals opening discussion was on “Improvisation and Social Transformation” panelists included Tom Hall (author of “Free Improvisation: A Practical Guide”) and Cindy Cohen (director of the program in Peace building and the Arts).