What's Happening

Updates from the Recipients
of Acting Together 
Small Grants


"Arts and Building Peace: Affirming the Basics and Envisioning the Future" - Paper by Dr. Cynthia Cohen

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

Article: LaShawn Simmons '18 breaks down barriers and builds empowerment with poetry
Brandeis NOW
Recipient of a CAST Grant for Student Projects

Art & Social Justice
State of the Arts - Fall 2015

CAST 2015 Annual Report

CAST Design Lab Reports

American Theatre Magazine Features CAST, Peacebuilding and the Arts

Article: New minor brings social purpose to the arts


Crowdfunding Campaign: In/Visible City
Via DAH Theatre, Serbia

Arts for Social Change - 2016 Fall M.Ed. Program
Simon Fraser University
Apply by: March 15, 2016

Broadsided Press
Published monthly via international vector distribution
Submissions invited September through May
You could be a vector.
You could get Broadsided.

Drama Club - NYC

Music Versus Gun Violence

Video: Workshop with Jane Wilburn Sapp
Part of the event series Now As Then: Events focusing creative attention on the struggle for voting rights 

Article: CAST-sponsored Ebony Axis debuts

Art With Impact and Movies for Mental Health

Sundance Institute Theatre Program

Kidnap Road - A New Play by Catherine Filloux

The Incredible Ways Art Is Helping Charleston Unite After Church Massacre
The Huffington Post

Srebrenica Quilt Display Will Cap 20 Years of Advocacy and Anguish

Book - Forced to Flee: Visual Stories by Refugee Youth from Burma

OAS Peace Fund Promotes Arts Among Belizean and Guatemalan Children

: An e-Journal from Imagining America


Talk bridges improvisation and justice

In Place of War

Featured Theme -
News from the Field: “The Most Important Images of the Year”: Artists Respond to Racial Violence in the U.S.

Read more News from the Field.


Acting Together Documentary

holding hands

Watch the preview!

Find "Acting Together" screenings near you.


Read the latest issue of our newsletter, Peacebuilding and the Arts Now.

Sign up to receive updates about the Peacebuilding and the Arts program and the Acting Together project

Exploring the contributions of arts and culture to peace

Welcome to Peacebuilding and the Arts, a program of the International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life at Brandeis. This website is for artists, cultural workers, coexistence practitioners, peacebuilding scholars, and all who are interested in how the arts and cultural traditions can be crafted to bridge differences, mediate conflicts, and contribute to peace.

We collaborate with artists who work in divided communities, supporting them to reflect on, document, and strengthen their practice. The lessons from these collaborations are accessible through publications, trainings, courses, and this virtual resource center. Read more about why we need creative approaches to peacebuilding.

Sign up to receive our newsletter, Peacebuilding and the Arts NOW, and read the latest issue.

Featured News

Now As Then: We Who Believe in Freedom Cannot Rest

Events held September 28 through October 8 focused creative attention on the struggle for voting rights

We explored songs and stories surrounding the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1963, and considered actions we can take today in the face of the 2013 Supreme Court decision that, according to the distinguished civil rights leader and now Congressman John Lewis, "put a dagger into the heart" of the law.

Video: Workshop with Jane Wilburn Sapp
September 28, 2:00-5:00pm
Slosberg Music Hall
Workshop with Jane Wilburn Sapp, cultural worker, musician, organizer and educator, adapting and composing songs and spoken word poetry advocating for voting rights today.


Recognizing that 2016 will be 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?

Read more about the Now As Then event series.

LaShawn Simmons '18 breaks down barriers and builds empowerment with poetry

With a CAST program grant, the Posse Scholar made "Ebony Axis," a zine for black women on campus
Brandeis NOW  |  By Jarret Bencks  |  Oct. 9, 2015

LaShawn Simmons ‘18
Photo Credit: Mike Lovett

"During rehearsals of 'for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf,' a play presented by Brandeis Ensemble Theater this past March, LaShawn Simmons '18 began to conceive an idea to keep the collective creative juices flowing.

'I wanted it to be part of a movement,' she said. 'I wanted to continue the care-free black girl vibes. I didn't want it to end with the play...'

Simmons' inspiration led to the founding of Ebony Axis, a poetry zine for black women on campus. The seed for Ebony Axis was planted during the play's production, but the concept was brought to reality through the first round of Creativity, the Arts and Social Transformation (CAST) student grants...."

Read full article from Brandeis NOW.

CAST Annual Report


This report outlines the activities of the Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation (CAST) minor in the 2014-2015 academic year. The first sections describe the development of the minor; the support staff; the recruitment efforts; and the opportunities CAST provided faculty and students in its first year. The next section describes the inaugural Introduction to CAST course, covering the assignments and general activities of the class. The final section provides information about the first ever CAST graduates and how they were formally recognized. View CAST Annual Report.

Updates from Recipients of Acting Together Small Grants for Course Development in Performance and the Creative Transformation of Conflict


Meeting held by Walungwa Bitela
Christian with pupils of Makungu
High School.

The Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts provided small grants designed to provide support to five college and university educators as well as trainers of theater practitioners to support the incorporation of the resources of the Acting Together Acting Together Project into their course curricula and workshop sessions.

Acting Together resources were sent to educators and trainers in Canada, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nepal, and the Oglala Lakota College in South Dakota, USA.

Read updates from about how the recipients are using the Acting Together resources.

American Theatre Magazine Features CAST, Peacebuilding and the Arts


American Theatre magazine is featuring the Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts and the new minor in Creativity, the Arts and Social Transformation (CAST) and in a feature of university and college programs that focus on the nexus between theatre and social change.

"Within Brandeis’s International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life is a groundbreaking program called Peacebuilding and the Arts. A leader in for social justice programming among university campuses, Brandeis created Peacebuilding and the Arts to give artists working in conflict zones a toolkit for enacting positive change.... Read more.

New Minor at Brandeis: 
Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation

CASTDo you want to combine your passion for social change with your creative talents?

Do you want to explore how can we join our stories together to create more justice in our communities and around the world?

Do you believe in the power of the arts and want to learn more about how the arts can make a difference?

Join the minor in Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation! The Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts is proud to announce this new interdepartmental minor at Brandeis. The minor offers students the opportunity to explore theory and practice at the center of arts and culture, peace and justice, and creativity. It is designed for students in the arts who want to connect their creative talents to their concerns for social change, and for students in the humanities and social sciences to explore music, theater, literature and visual arts as resources for justice and peace.

Learn more about the minor.

Read an article about CAST in the Ethics Central newsletter.

Read more about the objectives, learning goals, and requirements for the minor. Read the description in the 2014-2015 list of courses (page 18). Students who are interested in signing up for the minor can email Jennifer Cleary or call 781-736-3377. SoA

Read an article about CAST 
by Cynthia Cohen
in Brandeis' State of the Arts Magazine 
Fall 2014 issue

With generous funding from the Max and Sunny Howard Memorial Foundation, the minor will sponsor grants for faculty research and creative projects, and host conversations and events that will invite affiliated students and faculty into an interdisciplinary community of inquiry. We also express gratitude to Naomi Sinnreich P '13 for her vision and support.

Global "Acting Together" Campaign

We are currently partnering with ReCAST, Inc. on a Multilingual Global Campaign for "Acting Together on the World Stage."

Acting Together documentary: “Acting Together on the World Stage
This remarkable 54 minutes documentary highlights courageous and creative artists and peacebuilders working in conflict regions, describes exemplary peacebuilding performances and offers tools for the creative transformation of violence. Order your copy now.

Acting Together anthology: “Acting Together: Performance and the Creative Transformation of Conflict is a two-volume work describing peacebuilding performances in regions beset by violence and internal conflicts.  Volume II focuses on the transformative power of performance in regions fractured by "subtler" forms of structural violence and social exclusion. Order your copy now.