Read Cynthia Cohen's notes on feminist epistemology, aesthetic ways of knowing and peacebuilding

Video: Presentation by the Ulafa’a Visual Artists of Bahrain

Read Reflection on Farhat Abgaria’s Visit by Cynthia Cohen 

Exhibit: BLUE - Read the interview on BrandeisNOW

Anna Khandros: The Politics Perspective on Peacebuilding

Program works with art to create peace

Past Events

Aug 31 - Sept 3, 2018
IMPACT Design Lab

March 6-12, 2018
De-Colonizing Approaches to Arts-Based Peacebuilding
Dr. Babu Ayindo in Residence at Brandeis University

May 2, 2017
Film Festival: Documenting the Immigrant Experience

February 4, 2017
Activism Through Song: Advancing Social Justice Through Folk Music, A Concert and Discussion with Magpie

October 13, 18, & November 1, 2016
Imagining Freedom | Creating Justice
Salon Series

April 14 - 17, 2016
Shout the Big Dreams - Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Creative Arts

February 2, 2016
Freedom Underfoot: Performance by Germaine Ingram

September 28 - October 8, 2015
Now As Then: We Who Believe in Freedom Cannot Rest
Events focusing creative attention on the struggle for voting rights

April 24, 2015
A Mini-Festival of Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation

March 2 - 5, 2015
Fatu Gayflor and Toni Shapiro-Phim in Residence

November 5, 2014
Music and the Cultural Survival of Indigenous Peoples: The Andean Q’eros and Amazonian Wachiperi Peoples of Peru

May 2014
A Call to Action - A Way Out of No Way: Learning from Jane Sapp's Life, Stories and Songs via Indiegogo
Jane at Piano

February 1-10, 2014
"Seeking Lives of Purpose"
Part of 'DEIS Impact 2014

January 28-29, 2014
Possibilities and Dilemmas of Incorporating Sacred Elements into Art for Social Change

September 17-19, 2013
Panel on Resilience, the Arts and Social Transformation
Vancouver, Canada

June 20-21, 2013
Community Arts Lab - Arts Festival and Conference
Utrecht, Netherlands

April 19-28, 2013
Bahrain/Brandeis: Ulafa’a
Reconciliation Art Project

September 21-23 &
28-30, 2012
Facilitating Encounters through Art

December 1-2, 2011
Just Performance: Enacting Justice in the Wake of Violence

October 23, 2011
"Acting Together on the World Stage" Boston Premiere

October 21-23, 2011
Weekend Intensive:
Peacebuilding and the Arts: Community Cultural Development

April 12, 2011
Nexus of Arts and Social Transformation

More Past Events

Read about the Acting Together launch on BrandeisNOW. More details on the Ethics Center website.


Guidelines for cosponsorship of your campus events.

Past Events

November 2018

Flawless: More than a Single Story

November 16, 2018, 6-8:30pm

Location: Intercultural Center (ICC), Swig Lounge

Come eat, listen, and mingle at our annual coffeehouse event in celebration of this year's issue of Ebony Axis. This community journal features the creative work of self-identifying black women in the Brandeis community. Make sure you come to hear from this year's contributors and special guests Poetic Justice, Brandeis' Slam Poetry Team, eat great food from Flames Restaurant, and receive a copy of the journal (while supplies last!).

If you would like to volunteer the night of the event, please fill out this form.

Make sure to RSVP on Facebook if you plan to attend. We hope to see you there!

Sponsored by Brandeis Pluralism Alliance, CAST Minor, AAS Department, and PARC.


October 2018

Book Presentation: La Batea
October 19, 2:30pm
Schwartz #103, Brandeis University

Free and open to the public
with Elizabeth Emma Ferry & Stephen Ferry

La BateaA brother-and-sister team, Stephen and Elizabeth Ferry have produced La Batea, a book exploring the varied lives of small-scale gold miners in Colombia - a group generally thought of as criminals, polluters or abject near-slaves. La Batea shows the many histories and contexts of small-scale gold mining that includes violence and exploitation but also long-lived, self-determining anchored communities. Many of the miners we document have been in conflict with transnational gold mining companies that seek to remove them to make room for open-pit projects. The graininess of Stephen’s film, along with the material and construction of the book, work to create a marked sense of texture. In their writing, Elizabeth and Stephen explore different observational genres of documentation, ethnography and poetry. With this emphasis on tactile experience and careful attention, La Batea bends the traditional genres of documentary photography and anthropological writing.

Sponsored by the Anthropology Department, the Latin American and Latin Studies Program, and Creativity, Arts, and Social Transformation Program.

La Batea

September 2018


IMPACT Design Lab

Aug 31 - Sept 3

IMPACT: Imagining Together
Platform for Arts, Culture and Conflict Transformation

Designing a university-based infrastructure for the field

Learn more about the Design Lab.

Learn more about IMPACT.

flyerCAST Welcome Back!

The Future of the Arts, Culture and Conflict Transformation Field
A panel discussion with leading thinkers from Argentina, Australia, Cyprus, Israel, Kenya, Pakistan

September 4, 2018
4:00 - 6:00pm
International Lounge, Usdan

The Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation (CAST) community welcomes students and faculty to a new semester. All are welcome to a discussion and reception featuring international artists and peace builders who are visiting Brandeis as part of the IMPACT initiative.

Students: Learn more about the minor in Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation (CAST) and how you can connect your art to social justice!

This open session of CAST 150b features leading figures in the global Arts, Culture and Conflict Transformation field, including Babu Ayindo (Kenya); Ellada Evangelou (Cyprus); Mary Ann Hunter (Australia); Shahid Nadeem (Pakistan); Carmen Olaechea (Argentina); and Lee Perlman (Israel). Roundtable discussion followed by reception.

Read more, including the bios of the presenters.

View the event flyer.

Questions? Contact Sarah Terrazano.


July 2018

In partnership with the University of Cyprus:

SUMMER SCHOOL: Theatre in (Post) Conflict Communities

Theory, practice and innovation in community-oriented theatre and performance in the Eastern Mediterranean


July 2-20, 2018
University of Cyprus, Nicosia, Cyprus

The Summer School is international and designed for undergraduate students from the Humanities, Social Sciences and other disciplines, as well as practicing artists and community workers, interested in attaining knowledge and tools in theatre and performance, as they relate to community. It is hosted by the Department of English Studies of the University of Cyprus in Nicosia (Cyprus), in partnership with Brandeis University's Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts, USA.

There are three pillars to the program: morning lectures, covering theory and framing the discussion of theatre in (post)conflict communities, afternoon workshops, providing hands-on experience of three methodologies practiced by groups and individuals in the Cyprus, the Eastern Mediterranean and globally, and the Incubation process, through which the TPCC participants will creatively engage with the material and people of the summer school in order to produce their own creative work. This work will be showcased and TPCC participants can use it in their portfolios. There are also parallel activities, such as discussions, book presentations and play attendance.

Pre-registration deadline: March 25, 2018
Registration and payment: April 15, 2018

Visit the program website to learn more and register.

April 2018

The CAST minor presents:

The CAST Mini-Festival of Arts and Social Justice

April 20
Shapiro 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.

March 2018

The CAST minor presents:

Information & Inspiration: Why Art and Science Need Each Other

March 28, 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 Tucke's bookMelissa 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.

The CAST minor presents:

De-colonizing Approaches to Arts-based Peacebuilding with Dr. Babu Ayindo

babuKenyan conflict transformation expert, theater artist and traditional storyteller

In residence at Brandeis University

March 6-12, 2018

From March 6 – March 12, Dr. Babu Ayindo will engage 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.

A generous gift from the Max and Sunny Howard Memorial Fund supported Babu's residency at Brandeis.

Read about the full series of events and view a video recording.


Opening of the CAST Resource Room

March 12, 5:30 pm
The International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life
Abraham Shapiro Academic Complex (ASAC), Room 327

The program staff of the minor in Creativity, the Arts and Social Transformation (CAST) announced the opening of the new CAST Resource Room on 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 the resource room 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.

September 2017

CAST Fall Meet the Minors Event

Tuesday September 12, 2017, 5:30 – 7:30 pm
minor-meetASAC Atrium

The Meet the Minors event will feature artwork and presentations by current minors in Creativity, the Arts and Social Transformation (CAST), 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!

The Abraham Shapiro Academic Complex (ASAC) is located across the loop road from the Heller School, adjacent to the Tower Parking Lot. Also nearby is the Mandel Center for the Humanities. Enter the main door and go downstairs to the Atrium.

May 2017

Film Festival: Documenting the Immigrant Experience
Tuesday, May 2, 2017, 3:00-5:00pm
Wasserman Cinematheque at Brandeis University
film fest
Please join the students in CAST 170a: Documenting the Immigrant Experience for a film festival featuring their work on Tuesday, May 2, 2017, from 3-5 p.m. in the Wasserman Cinematheque. Throughout the semester, students in CAST 170a have interviewed immigrants attending Waltham High School to record their stories of immigration. The resulting documentaries uplift their voices and shine light on the lives of immigrant families in Waltham. Through the festival, the humanity of all participants will become more visible. This event is free and open to the public! Please direct any questions to Sarah Terrazano.

March 2017

Artists Mining/Lifting Community Identity and Capacity - with Germain Ingram
Wednesday, March 29, 2017 | 4:00 - 5:30pm

SCC Room 314 ingram

This presentation will excavate a recent artist residency at the Village of Arts & Humanities, a community-based arts organization that is a long-time fixture in a socially and economically challenged neighborhood of Philadelphia. The residency with Olanrewaju Tejuoso, an internationally recognized Nigerian artist, focused on themes of remembrance, memorialization and transformation. The presentation will feature a conversation with Grimaldi Baez, a Philadelphia artist who facilitated the engagement between the resident artist and community residents. We will consider 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. We will look at how this project raises up questions about art’s capacity to stimulate social change, and the challenges for artists inherent in pursuing social practice.

Sponsored by CAST. Co-sponsors: The Mellon Foundation, The Rose Art Museum, SJSP, and Dean of Students

Cultural Spaces in the Rebuilding of Communities: Examples from Colombia, Syria and the United States
March 27, 2017 | 5:00–6:30pm
Mandel Atrium

How can culture and the arts be mobilized as communities seek to recover from violence, conflict and disorder? Join us for a panel discussion with members of the International Advisory Board of the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life: Germaine Ingram - Dancer, choreographer, songwriter, and vocal and dance improviser; civil rights lawyer (Philadelphia, PA); Ángela María Pérez Mejía - Chief Cultural Manager of Banco de la República (Bógota, Colombia); and John Shattuck - Professor at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Senior Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, former president of the Central European University (Boston, MA). Moderated by Kristin Parker, Interim Director of the Rose Art Museum and Cultural First Responder. Refreshments will be served.

RSVP (optional) on Facebook. Questions? Contact ethics@brandeis.edu.

CAST Community Gathering & Meet the Minors
Friday, March 10, 2017 | 4:00 - 6:00pm
Abraham Shapiro Academic Complex Atrium

castPlease join the  Creativity, the Arts and Social Transformation (CAST)  community, Faculty, UDR, and Minors to learn more about this incredible program! Current minors will present art and discuss their capstone projects, co-chairs Tom King and Cindy Cohen will speak about the program and leadership opportunities, and then the floor will be open to attendees wishing to share art.

February 2017

A Reading and Conversation with Carl Phillips

Thursday, February 16, 5:30 pm
Rapaporte Treasure Hall, Goldfarb Library

"Greek tragedy in particular concerns the conflict between private behavior and societal expectation, and that’s at the heart of what I write about. But I would say I’m just as influenced – moreso – by being gay and black, two things that meant growing up in conflict with societal ‘norms.’."
-- Carl Phillips in an interview in Smartish Pace

A finalist for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award, Phillips's honors include the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Poetry, two Lambda Literary Awards, and the Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry as well as fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Library of Congress, and the Academy of American Poets, for which he served as a Chancellor (2006-2012).

Currently the judge for the Yale Younger Poets Series, Phillips is a Professor of English at Washington University in St. Louis where he teaches creative writing, Twentieth-century poetry, and African-American Literature.

RSVP (optional) on Facebook. Questions? Contact ebrad@brandeis.edu.

Cosponsored by Creative Writing, Women's and Gender Studies, African and African-American Studies, and the Ethics Center.

Sacred Music of the Mid East and North Africa:
with Yuval Ron

Tuesday, February 7, 2:00-3:30pm
Slosberg Music Building, Brandeis University

A quartet performance of Yemenite-Jewish prayers, Moroccan Jewish Prayers, Sufi Mystical Islamic Turkish prayers, Armenian Christian prayers, and Andalusi-Sephardi music visiting Judith Eissenberg's World Music class is open to CAST community members. Sponsored by CAST.

View a video of the Seven Pillars Inter-faith Concert by Yuval Ron Ensemble and guests, presented by The Guibord Center. Read about Yuval Ron's award winning book Divine Attunement: Music as a Path to Wisdom

Activism Through Song: Advancing Social Justice Through Folk Music, A Concert and Discussion with Magpie

magpieSaturday, February 4, 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Mandel Center for the Humanities Forum

Fighting for civil rights and against racism on the same stage as Pete Seeger and the SNCC Freedom Singers. Opposing mountaintop removal, fracking and other egregious forms of resource extraction. And joining the struggle for Earth defense and religious freedom among America’s First Nations, fighting to stop the exploitation of Native lands by the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. How can this be done through song? The award-winning folk duo Magpie has done all of this and more. Magpie will give a concert and then lead a discussion about how music can be used to fight for social justice. Refreshments will be served. For more information, visit the Facebook event or email Rebecca Weiss.

Sponsored by: Brandeis Traditional Music Club, Brandeis Farmer’s Club, Brandeis Guitar Club, Peace, Conflict, and Coexistence Studies (PAX), Department of Music, Education Program, Environmental Studies Program, Social Justice and Social Policy (SJSP), Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation Program (CAST), and Students for Environmental Action (SEA). 

Lecture and Book Signing: Dr. Prasenjit Duara presents "Transcendence in a Secular World: Asian Traditions and a Sustainable Future"

duaraFriday, February 3, 4:00-5:30pm
Mandel Center for Humanities, G03

Please join us for the first lecture in the special program "Art and Environmental Crisis," featuring Professor Prasenjit Duara, author of"The Crisis of Global Modernity: Asian Traditions and a Sustainable Future" (Cambridge University Press, 2014). A book signing will immediately follow the lecture. 

The crisis of global modernity has been produced by human overreach that was founded upon a paradigm of national modernization. Today, three global changes: the rise of non-western powers, the crisis of environmental sustainability and the loss of authoritative sources of transcendence--the ideals, principles and ethics once found in religions--define our condition. The physical salvation of the world is becoming the transcendent goal of our times, transcending national sovereignty. The foundations of sovereignty can no longer be sought in tunnelled histories of nations; we are recognizing that histories have always been circulatory and the planet is a collective responsibility.

Duara re-considers the values and resources in Asian traditions--particularly of China and India--that Max Weber found wanting in their capacity to achieve modernity. Several traditions in Asia, particularly in local communities offer different ways of understanding the relationship between the personal, ecological and universal. The idea of transcendence in these communities is more dialogical than radical or dualistic: separating God or the human subject from nature. Transnational civil society, NGOS, quasi-governmental and inter-governmental agencies committed to the inviolability or sacrality of the ‘commons’ will need to find common cause with these communities struggling to survive.

Speaker: Prasenjit Duara is the Oscar Tang Chair of East Asian Studies at Duke University. Born and educated in India, he received his PhD in Chinese history from Harvard University. He was Professor of History and East Asian Studies at University of Chicago (1991-2008) and Raffles Professor and Director of Asia Research Institute at the National University of Singapore (2008-2015). His books include Culture, Power and the State: Rural North China, 1900-1942 (Stanford Univ Press) winner of Fairbank Prize of the AHA and Levenson Prize of the AAS, USA, Rescuing History from the Nation (U Chicago 1995), Sovereignty and Authenticity: Manchukuo and the East Asian Modern (Rowman 2003) and "The Crisis of Global Modernity: Asian Traditions and a Sustainable Future" (Cambridge 2014).

"Art and Environmental Crisis" is organized by the Dept. of Fine Arts and co-sponsored by the Mandel Center for the Humanities, the Peacebuilding and the Arts Program, and the Minor in Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation.

October & November 2016

Imagining Freedom | Creating Justice 

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

CAST (Creativity, the Arts and Social Transformation) at Brandeis University is excited to present "Imagining Freedom: Creating Justice" -- a series of salons co-hosted by LaShawn Simmons '18 and Artist-in-Residence Jane Wilburn Sapp.

The salon series, held in three parts, will invite participants to explore how various art forms approach the process of social change.

"Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired"
Thursday, October 13, 6:00-8:00pm
Rose Art Museum, Lee Gallery

The first event in the series will focus on visual art. Come share your impressions of the works currently on view in the Lee Gallery: What stands out for you in these works? What words, phrases, images and questions do they stir in you? Based on our discussions, we will create spoken word pieces and a song with Jane Sapp. RSVP encouraged

"Creating Art, Seeking Justice"
Tuesday, October 18
Part I: 5:00-6:00pm, Lurias, Hassenfeld
Part II: 6:00-8:00pm, Rose Art Museum

During the second event in the series, we invite YOU to share your art works, complete or otherwise, and receive feedback from other artists from our community. Come meet the Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation Minors! Feel free to join one or both parts. Refreshments will be served.  RSVP *required.* 

"Staging Social Change"
Tuesday, November 1, 6:00-8:00pm
Rose Art Museum

The final event will engage participants through interactive performances of monologues and songs! RSVP encouraged

RSVP to one or all of the events. View the salon series flyer.

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

April 2016

Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Creative Arts 
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


THURSDAY April 14 - highlights

  • A Cast of Colors! Visualizing and Performing Oral Histories about Encounters with Differences featuring Marcelo Brociner '19, LaShawn Simmons '19, Bronte Velez '16 and others. SCC MPR, 2:30 pm, Shapiro Campus Center | Multipurpose Room.
    • CAST-ColorsJoin the CAST Cast – declared minors in Creativity, The Arts, and Social Transformation (CAST) and students taking the course "Introduction to Creativity, the Arts and Social Transformation"-- as they share artistic interpretations of stories about people different from themselves. Witness new works by Marcelo Brociner '19, LaShawn Simmons '19, Bronte Velez '16 and others. Learn about this exciting new minor and be delighted by whimsical caricatures, elaborate architectural models, live performances of music and dance, and more! Learn about study abroad opportunities related to CAST.
  • A Womyn Conjured, one-womyn show by Queen White '16, SCC MPR, 5 pm.
  • Brandeis Early Music Ensemble, Bethlehem Chapel, 7 pm.

FRIDAY April 15 - highlights

  • Playback Theatre featuring Amanda Ehrman '18, Leah Nadelman '18, Sindy Sura '19, Kelyn Zhang '19, Yair Koas '19, Shaquan McDowell '18, and Eli Kengmana '19. Chum's, 8 pm.
  • Shoes On, Shoes Off -- original dance theater from the Theater Arts Department featuring Andrew Child ‘19, Josh Rubenstein ‘19, Hannah Mogavero ‘16, Sara Kenney ‘18, Sarai Warsoff ’16, Joy Liebman ‘16, Caley Chase ’16, Sam Rose Laney ’16, Kelyn Zhang ’19, Lilia Shrayfer ’18, and Richard (Zhi) Li ’18. Slosberg Theater Center, 8 pm.
  • One-act plays directed by Dylan Hoffman '18 and Mira Kessler '16featuring Emily Galloway '18, Emma Cyr '19, Remony Pearlman '19, Talia Bornstein '19 and Daniel Souza '19Mandel Center for Humanities, 8:30 pm.

SATURDAY April 16 - highlights

  • Brandeis Folk Festival, produced by Too Cheap for Instruments with food for sale from Brandeis Farmers' Club. Noon-5:30, Great Lawn.
  • Moving Voice, 2-6 pm, a campuswide, multi-location performance curated by Joshua Rubenstein ’19, Ayelet Schrek '17, and Nate Shaffer ’16. 
  • Guerilla Opera performs short works by Ernest Ling '16, Anne Kat Alexander '18 and Raphael Stigliano '18. Plus Culture X and Boris' Kitchen!

SUPER SUNDAY! April 17 - Performances and activities all afternoon 

  • Music from the Sephardic tradition by the Guy Mendilow Ensemble, 2 pm, SCC Theater
  • Shakespeare on Demand, Knighthorse Theatre Company, 3 pm, SCC 
  • Artist/activist Rick Lowe of Houston on how art can transform a community, 3 pm, Pollack
  • School of HONK with TOXIC and Boston Hoop Troop, 4 pm, Great Lawn
Plus Top Score, Brandeis Ballet Co., TBA, Eli Kengmana '19, Ben T. Montrym '19, Zachary LaMarca '19, Starving Artists, Brandeis Juggling Society, Brandeis-Wellesley Orchestra.
The full schedule is online at www.brandeis.edu/arts/festival. RSVP to the Facebook event for updates!

March 2016

Theaster Gates - Lecture and Award Ceremony | A Cursory Sermon on Art and the City

TheasterMarch 23, 4:00pm
Wasserman Cinematheque, Sachar International Center,
Brandeis University

2015-16 Richman Fellowship Award Presentation and Lecture Sachar Award presentation by Interim President Lisa Lynch

Named one of the hundred most important people in the art world by ArtReview and "Innovator of the Year" by the Wall Street Journal, Theaster Gates is a multimedia artist, activist, social engineer, curator, and cultural entrepreneur. His message that art and creativity are engines for attacking poverty, revitalizing neighborhoods and providing opportunity is motivated by a strong social justice agenda. Chicago-based artist Theaster Gates has developed an expanded practice that includes space development, object making, performance and critical engagement with many publics. Founder of the non-profit Rebuild Foundation, Gates is currently a Professor in the Department of Visual Art and Director of Arts and Public Life at the University of Chicago.

The Richman Fellowship will bring Gates to Brandeis from March 21 through March 24. His work will be on display at Rosebud March 3 - April 3

The Richman Fellowship is coordinated by the Ethics Center on behalf of the Office of the President. Theaster Gates' visit is cosponsored by the Department of African and Afro-American Studies; Brandeis Arts Council; Creativity, the Arts and Social Transformation (CAST); Division of Creative Arts; Department of Fine Arts; and the Rose Art Museum. All are welcome to attend. For more information, please contact ethics@brandeis.edu.

Read a related article about Theaster Gates' honor in Brandeis NOW.

Boston Children's Chorus Concert -
Found in Translation: Teacher Professional Development Concert with Jane Wilburn Sapp

bccSaturday, March 12, 2:00pm
Boston University College of Fine Arts

The Boston Children’s Chorus (BCC) harnesses the power and joy of music to unite our city’s diverse communities and inspire social change. The Found in Translation concert will be the culmination of the BCC's 8th Annual Weekend of Song and Professional Development for music educators on March 11 & 12. Registered educators will engage in workshops with our guest artist, Jane Wilburn Sapp, BCC Staff, and the singers of the Boston Children’s Chorus. Learn more, view the program flyer, and apply for the weekend program.

Learn more about A Way Out of No Way, a multi-media project of the Peacebuilding and the Arts program that is documenting the forty-year practice of cultural work of Jane Wilburn Sapp.

February 2016

Freedom Underfoot: Performance by Germaine Ingram

February 2, 2:00pm
Shapiro Campus Center Theater


Germaine Ingram
Photo credit: JJ Tizio

Philadelphia civil rights lawyer and jazz tap dancer Germaine Ingram, in an open session of CAST 150b, presents a performance about the final horrific year of the Civil War in Atlanta, including original songs and dances, combined with text from slave narratives diaries, women’s autobiographies, and letters that excavate the ambitions, fears, and internal conflicts of southern women – slave, free, white and black. Musicians Jacqueline Pickett and Diane Monroe lend their talents to the performance.

Read more about Germaine Ingram's appearance on February 2, her keynote presentation on Febrary 3, and her bio on the 'DEIS Impact website. 'DEIS Impact is a collaboration between the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life and the Brandeis Undergraduate Student Union, with support from the Louis D. Brandeis Legacy Fund for Social Justice. Cosponsored by Brandeis POSSE.

Read articles about Germaine's keynote and performance:

Drunk Enough to Say I Love You?
By Caryl Churchill

Thursday, Feb. 4, 7:30pm
Friday, Feb. 5, 8:00pm
Saturday, Feb. 6 8:00pm

The Merrick Theater, Spingold Theatre Center, Brandeis University

Please join Artists’ Theatre of Boston as we remount our production of Caryl Churchill's Drunk Enough to Say I Love You? at Brandeis University, February 4-6, 2016. A talkback will follow the February 4th performance. Admission is free and open to the public. If you would like to be guaranteed a seat, please RSVP to info@artiststheater.org. Read more.

Performances of Drunk Enough? at Brandeis are co-sponsored by the Minor in Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation; the Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences; the Department of English; the Mandel Center for the Humanities; the Minor in Sexuality and Queer Studies; the Program in Social Justice and Social Policy; and the Department of Theater Arts.

Learn more about the CAST minor.

December 2015

SarahBronteSound Mapping - Listening for Change

December 11
Shapiro Campus Center, MPR Room

CAST Student Award recipients Brontë Velez ‘16 & Sarah McCarty ‘15 present "Sound Mapping - Listening for Change," a creative reflection on the 2015 Venice Biennale. Read more about Brontë & Sarah's project.

November 2015

Presentations by Recipients of CAST Grants for Faculty Projects:

Tuesday, November 3, 5:00 - 6:30pm
Mandel Center, Reading Room (303)

Read more about the projects and grants recipients.



Distinguished British applied theater scholar/practitioner in conversation at Brandeis

JamesThompsonArt, Beauty and War: A Brief History
October 31, 7:00pm
Slosberg Recital Hall
A pre-concert presentation and discussion with Dr. James Thompson. Followed by MUUS Concert "Home Within - A Live Audio-Visual Performance from Syria" featuring jazz clarinetist Kinan Azmeh, and post-concert conversation.   

Presentation/Performance of "In Place of War: Digging Up Stories in Ondaadtje's Sri Lanka" by Dr. Thompson, followed by Q&A and reception
November 1, 4:00pm
Rapaporte Treasure Hall
Dr. James Thompson, an acclaimed leader in the global peacebuilding and the arts field, will discuss 10 years of theatre practice and research in the conflict-affected areas of Sri Lanka. He will explore how performance and the arts in these settings can deliberately and accidentally dig up issues from the past and question notions of truth places where those stories are violently contested. As in Anil’s Ghost, digging up human histories, as well as digging up human remains, challenges the present as much as putting the past to rest.

Open class and workshop in Applied Theater and Oral Communication with Dr. Thompson
November 2, 9:00 – 11:00am
Spingold Theater 

View the poster.

October 2015

Presentations by Recipients of CAST Grants for Faculty Projects:

Friday, October 23, 9:00am
Abraham Shapiro Academic Complex Atrium



  • "My American Girls" – Azlin Perdomo (Hispanic Studies, Romance Studies)
  • "Choreographing the Disabled Body: Gender, Performance, and Zionism in the work of Tamar Borer" – Prof. Ilana Szobel (Near Eastern and Judaic Studies)

Read more about the projects and grants recipients.


Students in the CAST minor, in collaboration with the Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts, and the Politics Department present:



Events focusing creative attention on the struggle for voting rights

We will explore songs and stories surrounding the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1963, and consider actions we can take today 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.

Read more about the event series and view a video from a workshop with Jane Wilburn Sapp.

September 2015

The new Brandeis minor Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation (CAST) presents:

LaShawnEbony Axis

September 25, 9:00pm
Chum's Coffee House

CAST Student Award recipient LaShawn Simmons ’18 shares her 'zine of poetry by Brandeis women who identify as Black. Read more about LaShawn's project.

April 2015

Jane Sapp in Residence

April 13 - 25

A Mini-Festival of Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation

Friday, April 24th, 12:00 – 4:00pm
Multi-purpose Room, Shapiro Campus Center

MFPresented 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. The theme this year is "Find your Light." 

12:00 – 1:45pm
Acting Together on the World Stage: "Asking Toward the Light"
Screening of the award-winning, Brandeis-produced, hour-long documentary, Acting Together on the World Stage: Performance and the Creative Transformation of Conflict, featuring courageous performance from conflict regions around the world, 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, joined by students in the CAST minor.

Refreshments and Q and A about the CAST minor

2:15 – 4:00pm
Opening Eyes, Ears and Hearts:
Performing Oral Histories about Encounters with Differences from students in CAST 150b

Students from the Introduction to Creativity, the Arts and Social Transformation share scenes, poems, songs and images based on oral history interviews with people different from themselves. Come prepared to listen, look, and, if you like, sing and dance as well! Refreshments will be served!

fbRSVP on Facebook!  View the flyer for the Mini Festival. 

March 2015

Director Cindy Cohen joins Tom Hall in an opening discussion "Improvisation and Social Transformation" to launch the first Brandeis Improv Festival
March 27, 3:00pm
Slosberg Recital Hall, Brandeis University

BIFExplore the many ways that improvisation enlivens the arts and sciences; inspires individual and group creativity; and encourages cultural innovation at the first annual Brandeis Improv Festival, the weekend of March 27-29, 2015. This three day festival, which is free and open to the public, will be filled with concerts, live performances, panel discussions and workshops, featuring a diverse range of mediums and artistic genres.

The Festival opens on Friday afternoon, March 27th at 3:00 with an open discussion on “Improvisation and Social Transformation” between Tom Hall (author of “Free Improvisation: A Practical Guide”) and Cindy Cohen (director of the program in Peace building and the Arts), followed at 5:00 by a multimedia improvisation (Shapiro Student Center) between artist Lennie Peterson, Tom Hall (sax), and Marty Ballou (bass). View the brochure and visit the website.

Forum on Peacebuilding and Traditional Arts

Saturday, March 21, 2:30 - 5:00pm
The Performance Garage
1515 Brandywine Street Philadelphia, PA
Please RSVP online or by calling the Philadelphia Folklore Project at 215-726-1106
View parking information

PFP ForumPeacebuilding encompasses efforts that aim to transform conflict by nurturing compassion and creating safe spaces for people to live fulfilled lives, with dignity and joy. Please join us as we explore the relationship between traditional/folk arts and historical memory, reconciliation, anti-violence, immigration rights and other justice work through a screening of the documentary, Acting Together on the World Stage, and a panel discussion featuring artists, activists and scholars.

The Philadelphia Folklore Project is proud to be collaborating on this program with Professor Cynthia Cohen of Brandeis University’s Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts, and local artists and activists Germaine Ingram, Yared Portillo, Ximena Violante and the Liberian Women’s Chorus for Change, featuring Fatu Gayflor, Marie Nyenabo, Tokay Tomah and Zaye Tete. Read more.

The new Brandeis minor Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation (CAST) presents:

To celebrate International Women's Day:

Movie: Traitors


March 8, 6:00pm
Wasserman Cinematheque
Sachar International Center, Brandeis University
Free and open to the public. Synopsis: "Malika agrees to make just one drug run to save her family home and make a demo tape for her punk rock band. When she is teamed with a veteran woman drug mule, she must decide what her deepest values are. A feminist thriller without a gun." 86 mins, in Arabic and French, with English subtitles. View the flyer.

Sponsors: Women's Studies Research Center (WSRC), International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO), Peacebuilding and the Arts, the Gender Working Group, the new Brandeis minor in Creativity, the Arts and Social Transformation (CAST), the Feminist Majority Leadership Association (FMLA), NARAL

Fatu Gayflor and Toni Shapiro-Phim in Residence

March 2 - 5


Fatu Gayflor, joined by Marie
Nyenabo, Tomah and Tete
on background vocals.
Photo credit: Toni Shapiro-Phim

The CAST minor will host singer/activist Fatu Gayflor and anthropologist/dance scholar Toni Shapiro-Phim, both now living in Philadelphia. Fatu is a renowned Liberian singer who is the founder and the artistic director of the Liberian Women’s Chorus for Change, a group that focuses on domestic violence, post-conflict reconciliation and other issues of concern for Liberians in the Philadelphia region. The Chorus is an initiative of the Philadelphia Folklore Project, an arts and social justice organization where Toni serves as Director of Programs. Toni has conducted extensive research on the performing arts of Cambodia, and edited an anthology on dance and human rights across the globe. 

Fatu and Toni will be giving five presentations during their time at Brandeis.

January 2015

Creative Approaches to Seeking Justice /
Portraits of Purpose

February 10, 2:30 - 4:00pm
Schwartz Hall, Room 103

Open session of CAST 150b featuring launch of a book by photojournalist creator of Portraits of Purpose Don West.
Conversation with photojournalist as well as Christle Rawlins Jackson, D. Farai Williams and Libbie Shufro discuss the contributions of the arts to social transformation, based on experiences in Boston's African-American community and beyond. 

Apply to participate in 'Facilitating Difficult Conversations: Building Skills, Gaining Awareness, Taking Action'
January 22 - 24

Application Deadline: Thursday, January 15 at midnight

Recent incidents of violent treatment of African-American youth by police have ignited a movement for racial justice in US policing and criminal justice systems. These events call for deep conversations and creative actions involving people of all ages, races, classes and ethnicities.

The Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts and the Student Advisory Committee of the minor in Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation, in collaboration with the Intercultural Center, is offering an opportunity for a diverse group of twelve Brandeis students to participate in an intensive and deep conversation about their own identities. They will consider how power dynamics affect our capacity to engage in productive conversation and collaborative action. Participants in the workshop will commit to apply the skills they learn in dialogue and action projects throughout the semester. Read more. Download the Word version of the application and details.

November 2014

Performing Arts in the Islamic World

Wednesday, November 12, 4:00 – 5:30pm
Spingold Theatre Building (room TBD)

Co-sponsored by CAST, MusicUnitesUS and the Brandeis Theater Department

Learn from noted theater director Hafiz Karmali, currently in residence at the Brandeis Theater Department directing Conference of the Birds, based on an early Persian Sufi text, to be staged November 20 – 23. Hafiz will offer a sampling of performance traditions from Muslim societies. He will also discuss inter-religious encounters in the Brandeis production of Conference of the Birds, and the way in which religious symbolism is being appropriated in support of political ideologies in the Islamic World.

Music and the Cultural Survival of Indigenous Peoples: The Andean Q’eros and Amazonian Wachiperi Peoples of Peru

Wednesday, November 5, 4:00 – 5:30pm
Slosberg Music Building, Room 212


Photo courtesy of Holly Wissler

Learn about the work of visiting ethnomusicologist Holly Wissler, who has built relationships with and documented the music of indigenous communities in Peru. Join in conversation with Dr. Wissler, Cynthia Cohen (co-chair of CAST minor and director of Peacebuilding and the Arts) and Judith Eissenberg, (Music faculty, member of the Lydian String Quartet, and founder of MusicUnitesUS) exploring the contributions of music and ethnomusicology to cultural survival.

Lunch and Learn: Peacebuilding and the Arts and Brandeis and Beyond

Thursday, November 6, 12:30 – 1:30pm
60 Turner Street. Open to BOLLI members

Cynthia Cohen shares news about the CAST minor and other developments in the Peacebuilding and the Arts field with members of Brandeis’ lifelong learning community.

October 2014

Conversations to launch the new CAST minor:
How do you understand connections among art, culture, social justice and peace?

Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014 12:15 to 2:00 pm
CASTShapiro Campus Center.
Multipurpose Room

Celebrate the launch of the new minor in Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation (CAST) featuring spoken word performance by Jamele Adams and conversation with faculty and students about creativity, justice and peace.
RSVP required.

lamama"SELMA '65" Performance and Panel
October 12, 2:00 pm
La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club
74 E 4th St, New York, NY 10003

Through "SELMA '65," award-winning playwright Catherine Filloux presents the stories of Viola Liuzzo, a white civil rights activist, and Tommy Rowe, an FBI informant undercover with the Ku Klux Klan. Following the performance, a panel featuring Cynthia Cohen, director of the Peacebuilding and the Arts Program, and David Cunnigham, Professor of Sociology and Social Policy and author of "Klansville, U.S.A: The Rise and Fall of the Civil Rights-Era KKK," will address peacebuilding and the arts, as well as the legacy of KKK violence and organized vigilantism.

Sponsored by the Brandeis Minor in Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation (CAST).

August 2014

Workshop and Film Screening of "Acting Together on the World Stage"
August 12, 6:00 pm
Istanbul, Turkey
Kadir Has University Theatre Department 

This workshop and film screening is open to all artists and activists interested in creativity, peacebuilding, social transformation and international exchange, hosted in conjunction with the 25th IPRA General Conference. An introduction and the film screening will start at 6:00 pm, conversation and resource sharing at 7:15 pm, and snacks and an International Artists’ Exchange at 8:30 pm. The event is presented by ReCAST, Inc. in partnership with the Art and Peace Commission of the IPRA; Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts; Kadir Has University Theatre Department; and Theatre Without BordersView the flyer and view more screenings.


Gathering of Acting Together, IPRA Arts & Peace
Commission, and Turkish theater colleagues at Kadir
Has University, Istanbul. Photo credit: Bilge Gulturk

May 2014

International Visiting Research Scholar Public Talk:
Arts, Well-being and Resilience: Ideas and Music

May 6, 2014
Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies
University of British Columbia


Listen to the podcast (beginning at 15 minutes & 30 seconds).

Dr. Cynthia Cohen reported on her research into resilience, peacebuilding and the arts, focusing particularly on her collaboration with the distinguished musician, activist, educator and cultural worker Jane Wilburn Sapp. Dr. Cohen was accompanied by Jane who illustrated the power of music’s contributions to resilience through her own stories and through songs performed at the piano.  Conversation will explore connections between resilience and the practices of cultural work, music-making, healing, and justice-seeking.

The evening was introduced by the premiere of “Invocation,” a new song for voice and piano with text by UBC Professor of Law Michelle LeBaron and music by award-winning UBC composition major Matthew Emery, performed by soprano Bahareh Poureslami and Professor Rena Sharon. View the flyerListen to the podcast (beginning at 15 minutes & 30 seconds).

A Call to Action -
A Way Out of No Way:
Learning from Jane Sapp's Life, Stories and Songs

via Indiegogo


Jane Sapp in Workshop



How can we use our stories to make the world a better place? How can songs build community and create a sense of hope? How can culture fuel our strategies for greater justice? Jane Wilburn Sapp, a friend and colleague of the Peacebuilding and the Arts Program at Brandeis, has spent more than forty years composing answers to these questions in a cultural work practice that has taken her into communities throughout the United States and abroad.

Our partner organization, ReCAST, Inc, is launching an online fundraising campaign to generate resources that will allow Jane Sapp to document her practice in a book, in performance/presentations that will be recorded and disseminated on an accompanying disc, and in a songbook with transcriptions of some of the powerful songs Jane has written with children. Read more about the campaign.

February 2014

Seeking Lives of Purpose:
Images, Songs and Stories that Challenge and Inspire

deisimpactEvents featuring cultural worker Jane Wilburn Sapp and photojournalist Don West
Part of ‘DEIS Impact 2014: The weeklong "Festival of Social Justice" at Brandeis University
February 1–10, 2014

View the event page


Photo Credit: David Weinstein
View full photo album

January 2014

Possibilities and Dilemmas of Incorporating Sacred Elements into Art for Social Change
ajokaFeaturing: Pakistani Theatre Director Said Nadeem
and African American Cultural Worker Jane Wilburn Sapp
January 28 & January 29

View the event webpage.

Organizational Meeting about New Independent Study/Internship Opportunity offered in Spring 2014:
Cultural Work and Social Transformation

January 15, 6:00 - 8:00pm, 
Abraham Shapiro Academic Complex (ASAC) Room 302


Cynthia Cohen is working with Jane Wilburn Sapp, a distinguished African American musician, educator activist and cultural worker on a major project called "A Way Out of No Way," documenting Sapp’s 40 years of experience working in communities struggling for social justice. Students are invited to join the project as interviewers, transcribers, archivists, researchers, writers and event producers. They are welcome to work as volunteers, or more intensively for credit as interns (in PAX 92a4) or researchers in a group independent study (PAX 97a1). Learn more about "A Way Out of No Way." View more spring 2014 courses supported by the Ethics Center.

fbRSVP on Facebook!

November 2013

Synergy: Women, Creativity & Peacebuilding
November 21-22
Mount Mary University, Milwaukee, WI

MMaryAs part of Mount Mary’s commitment to social justice and creativity, the University hosted “Synergy: Women, Creativity & Peacebuilding” led by the University’s faculty Peacebuilding Affiliate Group. The event included a screening of "Acting Together on the World Stage" on Thursday, November 21 and a keynote panel that explored how women leaders can use writing and theater arts to address and resolve conflict, featuring two national peacebuilding leaders – Cynthia Cohen, Ph.D., from Brandeis University and Jennifer Freeman, M.A., Director of the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice, Women PeaceMakers Program at University of San Diego – who shared their insight and experience. The event continued through November 22 for registered participants with a Workshop for Community Leaders, "Transforming Violent Conflict Using the Creative Arts"  led by Cynthia Cohen. Read more about the event. Read Cynthia's revised presentation notes from her keynote address.

Announcing two special sessions of PAX 250 - The Arts of Building Peace open to the Brandeis community
The course, taught by Dr. Cynthia Cohen, is opening its doors to all students for two sessions featuring two remarkable guests:

Theatre-based Intercultural Collaboration in Southeast Asia: Peacebuilding Opportunities and Obstacles
Tuesday, November 5, 2:00 - 3:30 pm
Spingold Theatre Center, Room 111
Presentation by award-winning Thai theatre artist Narumol Thammapruksa (Kop),PhD candidate at Payap University, Department of Peace Studies, Chiang Mai, Thailand.


Image courtesy of
Kop from her latest
work "The Demon Hero,"
Bangkok, Thailand.

Narumol Thammapruksa is an international theatre artist whose work focuses on theatre and creative dance as resources for social activism. Her most recent work is a mask theatre performance "The Demon Hero," which explores a story of an unusual demon,  Sukhahajara who sacrifices himself for peace and was staged at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC) this fall. Learn more about Kop
fbRSVP on Facebook & invite your friends!

“I’m Gonna Sit at the Welcome Table”: Resilience, Cultural Work and Development in the African-American Community
Tuesday, November 12, 2:00 - 4:50 pm
Slosberg Music Building, Room 215
Presentation/Performance by musician, educator, activist and cultural worker Jane Wilburn Sapp.


Image from
"Someone Sang for me" 
on Jane Sapp.

Jane Sapp is an extraordinary musician and activist who engages communities in struggles for social justice through music. She and Cindy Cohen are working on a book-length documentation of her four decades of practice, primarily in communities of color in the American South as part of a multi-media project called "A Way Out of No Way." Read more about her presentation.
fbRSVP on Facebook & invite your friends!

Read more about both sessions. Limited seating is available. Please also RSVP with the course teaching assistant Anneliese if you plan to attend either session.

Independent Study/ Internship Opportunity for Students -
Cultural Work and Social Transformation
PAX 92a (internship)/PAX98a (independent study) 
Offered in Spring 2014
Open for registration November 5

janeDr. Cynthia Cohen is working with Jane Wilburn Sapp, a distinguished African American musician, educator activist and cultural worker on a major project called "A Way Out of No Way" documenting Sapp’s 40 years of experience working in communities struggling for social justice. Students are invited to join the project as interviewers, transcribers, archivists, researchers, writers and event producers. They are welcome to work as volunteers, or more intensively, as interns or researchers in a group independent study in the spring of 2014. Registration for the spring term begins on the 5th of November. View the flyer and learn more about the project. View additional Spring 2014 courses supported by the Ethics Center.

September 2013

PeterWallPanel on Resilience, the Arts and Social Transformation at UBC Conference
September 17-19, 2013
The University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver, Canada


'Graphic Recording'
of presentation by 

(larger version)

The Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of British Columbia hosted a conference featuring scholars from the University-Based Institutes for Advanced Study (UBIAS).  UBC Professor Michelle LeBaron chaired a panel on the theme of resilience, that featured former Brandeis International Fellow Dr. Kim Berman of South Africa; Acting Together contributor Dr. Mary Ann Hunter of Australia; Neuroscientist Dr. Peter Reiner of UBC; and Cindy Cohen. Listen to a podcast of the entire panel; read Cynthia Cohen's remarksDr. Aftab Erfan created graphic recordings of all of the panel presentations. 


Panel presenters (left to right): Mary Ann
Hunter; Cynthia Cohen; Aftab Erfan;
Michelle LeBaron; Kim Berman.

Theatre for Change and International Education
in the Ecuadorian Amazon

September 10, 2013
2:00pm -
Open session of The Arts of Building Peace course, co-led by Daniel Bryan of the Pachaysana Institute
Spingold Theatre Building, Room 111
5:00pm -
Conversation with students
Mandel Center for the Humanities, Room 303
Brandeis University


Photo credit:
Pachaysana Institute

Daniel Bryan is the program director of a new study abroad program based in the Ecuadorian Amazon called “Rehearsing Change: Empowering Locally, Educating Globally” that is exploring various possibilities for collaboration with Brandeis. The program engages students from North America with members of local indigenous communities in sustainable development projects/service learning, theatre for social change, cultural and historical study, and work on Spanish language, and is operated by the Pachaysana Institute in partnership with the Universidad San Francisco de Quito. On September 10, Daniel co-led a class of The Arts of Building Peace. Read more about this event.

June 2013

Community Arts Lab - Arts Festival and Conference
Including "Acting Together" Documentary Screening
June 20-21, 2013
Utrecht, Netherlands
The city of Utrecht in the Netherlands was the site of the 1713 signing of a peace treaty that ended two centuries of religious conflicts in Europe. The organization Treaty of Utrecht commemorating the 300th year anniversary by hosting the Community Arts Lab (CAL) in June 2013, a festival and two-day symposium aimed at uniting people through art and continuing to develop community arts in the city. It will feature a dialogue component with themes including theatre for development, theatre in prisons, theatre with refugees, youth theatre community opera and dance. An ongoing online dialogue about community art will prelude the festival. Cynthia Cohen, Roberto Varea, and Dijana Milošević will be presenting at the event, numerous other ReCAST, Inc. contributors will be attending the festival, and there will be a screening of the "Acting Together" documentaryRead more about the program and festival events. Read the event update and Cindy Cohen's report on the event.

Cynthia Cohen to Receive Medicine Woman Award
June 5, 6:30pm
The CycloramaCEC
539 Tremont St, Boston, MA
Medicine Wheel Productions will be honoring Cynthia Cohen with the Medicine Woman Award at their annual Turning the Wheel Fundraiser on June 5, 2013. Dr. Cohen will be honored along with Mark Smith, Ed Merritt, and Shani Dowd, who will also be honored with Medicine Men & Women Awards. For more details on the event or on sponsorship opportunities, please contact Michael Dowling at mdowling@mwproductions.org or call 617-268-6700.

April 2013

Bahrain/Brandeis: Ulafa'a Reconciliation Art Project
Recasting Reconciliation through Culture and Arts


Tamadher Ali (right) and Khalid
Aljabri (left) offering free hugs
as a part of the campaign
"introducing Ulafa'a project" in
market 338, Adliya, Bahrain
Photography by Edd Ibrak

Ulafa'a Reconciliation Art Project is an initiative supported by the US Embassy in Bahrain in partnership with Bahraini artists and the Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts at Brandeis University. Since the fall of 2012 until the events in April 2013, project coordinators Tamadher Alfahal and Nada Alaradi worked to recruit a group of artists working in a variety of genres to participate in the project in Bahrain. Through a series of events that included film screenings, panel discussions, live performances, and trainings, Ulafa'a artists engaged in conversation with community members and learn how to develop community-based art initiatives that strengthen relationships across differences. See full event page including details on the exhibit and events, and videos of the presentation by the Ulafa’a Visual Artists of Bahrain.

September-November 2012

Facilitating Encounters through Art:
A workshop for artists working in zones of violent conflict

9/21–23 (Session I) & 9/28–30 (Session II) *The same workshop will be offered twice, so please apply for one session only.
Brandeis University, Waltham, MA

workshopFacilitated by Farhat Agbaria, coexistence facilitator from Givat Haviva and Seeds of Peace, and Cindy Cohen, director of the Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts, Brandeis University. This workshop is designed for artists, cultural workers and leaders of cultural institutions, who work or plan to work in zones of violent conflict around the world, including the United States. It will consist of an exploration of the relationship between dialogue and art. Application period has closed. Read more about the workshop and download the flier.

This workshop is programmed in conjunction with the art exhibition "Dor Guez: 100 Steps to the Mediterranean" at the Rose Art Museum, as a part of the Dor Guez Exhibition Programs. 

Co-sponsored by the Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences; Peace, Conflict and Coexistence Studies Program; the Department of Theater Arts; and the Interfaith Chaplaincy.  

Read Reflection on Farhat Abgaria’s Visit by Cynthia Cohen


The Art of Dialogue:
A conversation with facilitator Farhat Agbaria

*Open to the Brandeis community only

Wednesday, September 19
12:15-1:45 pm
Heller School, Room G4

Join undergraduate and graduate students in conversation with Farhat Agbaria, an experienced coexistence facilitator who has led dialogues with young people and adults from the Middle East, India and Kashmir, the former Yugoslavia and the United States. He has worked with the Seeds of Peace coexistence program since its inception in 1993. For many years he directed the Face-to-Face program of Givat Haviva, where he continues to work. Farhat grew up in a Muslim Palestinian family in Israel. He will share stories from his experiences and respond to questions from a panel of students and members of the audience. The conversation will be moderated by Cynthia Cohen, director of the Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts at Brandeis University. Free and open to the Brandeis community. Contact Ann Gudaitis for more information. 

Programs in conjunction with Dor Guez Exhibition at the Rose Art Museum:

Peacebuilding Tours 
Deepen your experience with a group tour hosted by Cynthia Cohen, director of the Brandeis Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts; and Farhat Agbaria, coexistence facilitator at Seeds of Peace and Givat Haviva. Visit the Rose Art Museum website or call 781-736-3434 for dates and times. 

Artist's Talk and Exhibition Catalogue Release with Dor Guez
Tuesday, October 30, 6:00 pm
Rose Art Museum, Foster Gallery

Panel Discussion: “Exposures: Photography and the Politics of Looking”
Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2:00-5:00 pm
Rose Art Museum
Join a panel of international artists and human rights activists for a discussion of the Dor Guez exhibition. Speakers include Catherine Cissé van den Muijsenbergh, director of the Institute for Historical Justice and Reconciliation, the Netherlands, and Dor Guez, with others TBD.

See more programs in conjunction with Dor Guez Exhibit at the Rose Art Museum.

Co-Sponsored Event at the Ethics Center

Film Screening - Ai WeiWei: Never Sorry
Thursday, November 1, 7:00pm
Wasserman Cinematheque, Sachar International Center
“Ai WeiWei: Never Sorry” is the inside story of a dissident for the digital age who inspires global audiences and blurs the boundaries of art and politics. First-time director Alison Klayman gained unprecedented access to Ai while working as a journalist in China. Her detailed portrait provides a nuanced exploration of contemporary China and one of its most compelling public figures. Following the screening, meet the director in a discussion moderated by Dr. Cindy Cohen. The event is sponsored by the Edie and Lew Wasserman Fund Film, Television and Interactive Media, the Department of Fine Arts, the Department of Politics, and the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life.

June 2012

Screening of the Acting Together on the World Stage
June 22, 12:30-3:30pm
The Boston Foundation, South Boston Room
flierFree and open to the public. Screening followed by post-screening conversation with Cynthia Cohen, co-creator of film and director of Acting Together project, Brandeis University; Kathleen Bittier, artist, policy expert and chief curator at Medicine Wheel Productions; Charles Mulekwa, playwright from Uganda and a curator of Acting Together project. An additional video clip from the toolkit will be shown, followed by conversation and activities exploring how artists and peacebuilders balance attention to aesthetic and socio-political imperatives. Space is limited. Please RSVP to Naoe Suzuki at nsuzuki@brandeis.edu. Read more or view the Facebook event page.

April 2012

acting togetherScreening of "Acting Together on the World Stage: Performance and the Creative Transformation of Conflict" 
April 25, 7:00pm
Juniata College

Neff Lecture Hall, von Liebig Center for Science
Free, public film screening with followed by a panel with Dr. Cynthia Cohen, Dr. Polly O. Walker, Kate Clarke, head of Theatre Program at Juniata, and Prof. Celia Cook-Huffman.

March 2012

Intercultural Residency Series: Spring 2012
Improvisations: Raga in Afghanistan and North India

March 6-10

A unique international music collaboration will come together at Brandeis from March 6 to 10 as part of the MusicUnitesUs program. Homayun Sakhi is the outstanding Afghan rubab player of his generation. Ken Zuckerman, an American, is internationally acclaimed as one of today’s finest sarod virtuosos. Salar Nader, born in Germany, is one of his generation’s leading performers on the tabla. Together, the trio will create a new and exciting world music fusion.

World Music Concert
March 10, 8:00pm
Slosberg Music Center
Improvisations: Raga in Afghanistan and North India
Master performers virtuosically reunite two historically kindred stringed instruments through the common language of raga and tala.
Homayun Sakhi, Afghan rubâb; Ken Zuckerman, sarod;
Salar Nader, tabla

Preconcert talk at 7:00 p.m. with Theodore Levin, Arthur R. Virgin Professor of Music at Dartmouth College
Read more and listen to a preview.

Making a Difference Through the Arts: The Practice of Cultural Advocacy
March 13

 MusicUnitesUs will host the symposium, "Making a Difference Through the Arts: The Practice of Cultural Advocacy," with cultural advocates Richard Kurin, undersecretary of the Smithsonian Institution for History, Art, and Culture; Ethel Raim, artistic director of the Center for Traditional Music and Dance in New York City; Zeyba Rahman, director of the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music; Jessye Kass '13, co-founder of the Attukwei Art Foundation; and moderator Theodore Levin, senior project consultant for Aga Khan Music Initiative.

Screening of "Acting Together on the World Stage: Performance and the Creative Transformation of Conflict"
March 21, 4:00 - 7:00pm
Peter Wall Institute, University of British Columbia
6331 Crescent Road, Vancouver
Free, public film screening with introduction from Cynthia Cohen and followed by dialogue with Commentators including Professor Rena Sharon, UBC School of Music, Professor James Stewart, UBC Faculty of Law, Professor Maureen Maloney, SFU School of Public Policy, and facilitated by Professor Michelle LeBaron, UBC Faculty of Law.  Registration required; please contact pwias.assistant@pwias.ubc.ca. View the event flyer.

Day Workshop:

Acting Together: Accessing Creativity to Transform Conflict
March 22, 9:00am - 4:00pm
Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) New Westminster Campus
 715 McBride Boulevard, New Westminster, BC Canada 
Fee: $175
In this one day workshop, participants will learn ways to use a range of arts-based approaches in diverse conflict contexts. Read more details about the workshop.

of "Acting Together on the World Stage: Performance and the Creative Transformation of Conflict"
March 22, 6:30-8:00pm

Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) New Westminster Campus - Theatre
715 McBride Boulevard, New Westminster, BC Canada
Free, public film screening followed by dialogue with Cynthia Cohen and Michelle LeBaron. RSVP is required; please contact conres@jibc.ca or 604-528-5608. Read more details about the film screening.

January – March 2012

blueExhibit: BLUE
Naoe Suzuki
January 12 – March 2, 2012
Women's Studies Research Center, Brandeis University
Art exhibit by Naoe Suzuki, Senior Program Coordinator for the Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts. Suzuki is showing her current work inspired by water—both its healing power and water crisis around the world. Read more.

Opening Reception
Thursday, January 26, 5:00 - 7:30pm
Women’s Studies Research Center, Epstein Building
Meet the artist and enjoy some refreshments in the Women Studies Research Center's Kniznick Gallery.  

Artist's Slide Talk
Tuesday, February 14, 12:30pm
Women’s Studies Research Center Lecture Hall, Epstein Building

Read the interview on BrandeisNOW.

February 2012

Introduction to Peacebuilding and the Arts Program
February 28, 2012, 12:30pm

Women's Studies Research Center Lecture Hall
Co-sponsored event
Screening of the documentary "Acting Together on the World Stage” and a talk by Cindy Cohen, director of the Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts.

Acting Together on the World Stage: Training For Trainers
February 25-26

New York City

Facilitated by Cynthia E. Cohen, Ph.D., this workshop is designed for educators, practitioners and trainers who have experience with the Acting Together project or have their own practice in peacebuilding and the arts in divided communities or schools.
Space is limited. Contact David Diamond, ddjdstar@gmail.com for more information.

February 5-13, 2012

'DEIS Impact!
Exploring social justice on campus and around the world
The International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life and the Brandeis Student Union present a weeklong "festival of social justice" -- a milestone in the history of Brandeis University's commitment to healing the world. Clubs and academic departments have planned dozens of events addressing topics from global health to climate change, from women's rights to ancient texts.

Below are the arts-related 'DEIS Impact! events. See the complete schedule of events.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Playback Workshop: Exploring Social Justice on Campus through Art, Ritual and Social Interaction
Levine Ross, Hassenfeld Conference Center
Together we will explore improvisation as a tool for community building and conflict resolution as well as artistic expression. Open minds, instruments, and all skill levels welcome. Read more.

Thursday, February 9, 4:00-6:00pm
Film: "!Women Art Revolution"
Women's Studies Research Center Lecture Hall
Get in touch with your feminist roots!  Join us for a film screening of "!Women Art Revolution," a documentary by director Lynn Hershman Leeson that explores the Feminist Art Movement over the past several decades through interviews with visionary artists, historians, curators, and critics. Read more.

Monday, February 13, 2012
Nimbaya!: Moving Peace through Drums and Dance & Film: "Wardance"
Shapiro Campus Center
Nimbaya! women drummers and dancers from Guinea come to campus to teach, perform and musically pave the path to peace.  Listen to their stories, watch their performance, learn dance and drumming...then see the film "Wardance," a story of how dance and drumming transforms the lives of children in Uganda as they prepare for a national competition. Read more.

Medicine Wheel Productions and ReCast, Inc.
February 9, 2012, 6:30pm

Medicine Wheel Productions
110 K Street- 2nd Floor
South Boston, MA
Reception at 6:30 and free, public screening at 7:30, followed by a conversation lead by the filmmaker Allison Lund, visual artist Linda Burke, Dr. Cynthia Cohen, director of the Peacebuilding & the Arts Program and Medicine Wheel’s Chief Curator Kathleen Bitetti. The film will be shown  in conjunction with a new exhibition at Medicine Wheel’s Spoke Gallery, “Points of Impact” by visual artist Linda Burke. Together these two projects will ignite a conversation about what impacts all of our lives and the healing powers of art.

December 1-2, 2011

Just Performance: Enacting Justice in the Wake of Violence

This two-day symposium will explore the performative dimensions of justice-seeking in the aftermath of violence, with a focus on Cambodia, Peru and the United States. Keynote by Dr. Salomon Lerner Febres, President of Peru's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2001-2003). This symposium is hosted by the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life in collaboration with Northeastern University School of Law. It is free and open to the public.

More information and a complete schedule of events will be posted soon. For more information, email ethics@brandeis.edu.

October 21-23, 2011

Weekend Intensive:
Peacebuilding and the Arts: Community Cultural Development

This weekend program is designed for students, practitioners and policy-makers in the fields of peacebuilding, the arts, and sustainable community, youth and economic development.


October 23, 2011

"Acting Together on the World Stage" Boston Premiere
Distler Performance Hall, Granoff Music Center
Tufts University

Featuring the film screening of "Acting Together on the World Stage,"  performances, and a post-film discussion on the importance and the risks of cultural diplomacy with leading experts... Read more.

Fall 2011

Featured in State of the Arts Magazine:
Peacebuilding and the Arts (Fall 2011)

Read more about our program and past events in the State of the Arts magazine.

The bi-annual Brandeis arts magazine, State of the Arts, explores the role of art in society, celebrates the achievements of students, faculty and alumni, and provides information on campus events. To receive State of the Arts, send an email with your mailing address to ingrids@brandeis.edu.

April 12, 2011

Peacebuilding and the Arts Think Tank: Educating Future Leaders

The program in Peacebuilding and the Arts invited college and university educators leading programs in the theatre/performance/visual arts/music and conflict/social justice/peacebuilding/social change. Participants explored options for the structure and programmatic focus of a consortium or network of university-based programs educating students to work at the nexus of the arts and social transformation. 

Nexus of Arts and Social Transformation: A Roundtable for Leaders in Higher Ed

A roundtable for leaders and educators in programs in the arts and social transformation to share their experiences and thoughts for educating future leaders in colleges and university settings.

"Acting Together on the World Stage:" Documentary Film Screening

The International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life hosted the official launch of the "Acting Together on the World Stage" documentary. The screening was followed by a series of responses from members of the Brandeis faculty and a reception.

April 1-3, 2011

Peacebuilding and the Arts Weekend Intensive

Peacebuilding and the Arts: Core Concepts and Principles
This weekend intensive was designed for students, practitioners, administrators, advocates and policy-makers in the fields of the arts, cultural work and conflict transformation.

This Intensive was free to members of the Brandeis community and the "Acting Together" project, and open for others for a fee.

Learn more about the program.


March 10-12, 2011

Intercultural Residency Series, 
Spring 2011

Highlights of Spring Residency
Simon Shaheen: Heritage Without Boundaries
World Music Concert 

Featuring Simon Shaheen and Guests

March 4-5, 2011

"Acting Together on the World Stage:" Documentary Film Screening at 5th Annual No Passport "Dreaming Americas" Conference, Nuyorican Poets Cafe, 236 East 3rd St., New York City. March 4th, 7:45pm.

This two-day conference will focus on a wide range of contemporary works for theatre and performance, viewing cultural transformation from a variety of formal perspectives. Keynote speech by Jose Rivera. Performances from Rock Wilk and Fulana.

March 5th, 7:00pm: NoPassPort Press Salon on Writing as Metamorphoses: Kia Corthron, Catherine Filloux, Linda Faigo-Hall, Carson Kreitzer, Ruth Margraff. Introduction by Cindy Cohen.

February 16, 2011

Mahmood Karimi-Hakak
Iranian Theater Artist, Poet and Educator
In Residence at Brandeis University

Artistic Director of Mahak International Artists Inc., Mahmood Karimi-Hakak is a poet, author, translator and theatre and film maker who has written, produced, directed, and designed over 50 stage and screenplays in the U.S., Europe and Iran.  His plays and films have received international acclaim and awards at such festivals as Edinburgh, Netherlands, Berlin, Delhi, Montreal, New York, Ft. Lauderdale, Los Angeles and Tehran.  A recipient of the 2009 Fulbright, and 2005 Raymond Kennedy awards, Karimi-Hakak’s literary credits include six plays, two books of poetry, several translations from and into Persian and numerous articles and interviews both in English and Persian. Karimi-Hakak will be giving a seminar, poetry reading and film screening on February 16th.

September 2010

"Acting Together," a new documentary film created by the Peacebuilding and the Arts Program of Brandeis' International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life in collaboration with Theatre Without Borders, was launched at a special screening at the La Mama Experimental Theatre Club in New York City on September 23, 2010, at a major international conference on theater and peacebuilding in conflict zones. Read about the launch on BrandeisNOW. More details on the Ethics Center website.