Slifka Director Speaks at University, Facilitates Arts Workshop

May 22, 2008

Cynthia Cohen, executive director of the Coexistence Program, earlier this month was a featured speaker during the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the women's studies program at the University of New Hampshire, from which she earned a Ph.D. in education, and she facilitated a day-long workshop for the Massachusetts Cultural Council on the topic of "Crossing Cultural Boundaries."

At UNH, Cohen spoke about her current work in the arts and coexistence, including an anthology in progress that examines the contributions of performances to peacebuilding. "This project is, at its core, a feminist effort," she said, "because it is about transforming the power of domination and control to the power of creativity and collaboration." She also reflected on the importance of a feminist education and of women’s studies from the perspective of a practitioner.

The Massachusetts Cultural Council workshop, attended by New England area master teaching artists and arts administrators, asked how can artists working in culturally and racially diverse public schools effectively strengthen intergroup relations. The workshop include a lecture by Cohen on the concepts of coexistence and reconciliation, and why the arts are uniquely well-suited to the work of strengthening relationships across differences.