News & Events


A Call to Action:
Learning from Jane Sapp's Life, Stories and Songs

via Indiegogo

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Jane Sapp in Workshop
Photo Credit: ELLEN AUGARTEN

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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. This campaign is an experiment to see if folks of modest means can join together to support a cultural worker whose life has been devoted to strengthening communities by helping us value our cultures and build the kind of trust that allow us to work together across differences in the pursuit of justice. This project is designed to support Jane to share her skills, her wisdom and her work with a generation of emerging leaders: organizers, artists, educators, young people and community workers of all kinds, who are pursuing social justice in relation to the criminal justice system, schools, the environment, economic inequity, immigration reform, gender-based violence, voting rights, labor issues, youth development, and more. Please check out the campaign. Even very modest contributions are welcome! You can also support the campaign by sharing it with friends, colleagues, comrades of all kinds.

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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

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PeterWall

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).




Letter from Cynthia Cohen to students of the independent study course of spring semester 2014, “Cultural Work and Social Transformation"

During the course, students learn about the cultural work and the 40 years of experience of Jane Wilburn Sapp, a distinguished African American musician, educator activist and cultural worker, in communities struggling for social justice. Students have the opportunity to reflect on Jane’s work and its meaning in their own lives in writing and in an intimate, small group format.
 Read Cindy's letter, which includes powerful excerpts of reflections from students. 




February 2014


SEEKING LIVES OF PURPOSE:
Images, Songs and Stories that Challenge and Inspire

deisimpact
Events 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

Portraits of Purpose: Focusing on Social Justice Leaders in Boston and the World
February 1 - 10, 9:00 am – 9:00 pm
Slosberg Music Center Library

Composing Our Lives Together: Song-Writing Workshop with Jane Wilburn Sapp
Sunday, February 2, 2:00 – 5:00 pm
Slosberg Recital Hall
Application deadline: January 27
Download the application and instructions
Watch a video from the workshop.

Ain't You Got a Right to the Tree of Life:
Spirituality and the Quest for Justice in the African-American Musical Tradition
Wednesday, February 5, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Slosberg Recital Hall
View photos

Meet and Greet Artists Don West and Jane Sapp: Reception
Wednesday, February 5, 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Slosberg Music Center Lobby
View photos

Read more details about these events and view the program brochure pageSEEKING LIVES OF PURPOSE is co-sponsored by ‘Deis Impact, The Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts; Graduate Student Association; The Office of the Dean of Student Life; Social Justice Social Policy; The Intercultural Center; Peace, Conflict and Coexistence Studies; The Protestant Chaplain’s Office and others. Read more about ‘DEIS Impact and view the entire event scheduleView photos from the events.

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Photo Credit: David Weinstein
View full photo album

Watch a video from Composing Our Lives Together: Song-Writing Workshop with Jane Wilburn Sapp.
Song-Writing-Workshop



Composing Our Lives Together:
Song-Writing Workshop with Jane Wilburn Sapp
Sunday, February 2, 2:00 – 5:00 pm
Slosberg Recital Hall
Application deadline: January 27 (Download the application)

Join the dynamic activist, musician, educator and cultural worker Jane Wilburn Sapp to create an original song that will inspire us to compose lives devoted to social justice. We will draw themes from Portraits of Purpose and from our own experiences and aspirations. Musical background welcome but not required. Participation limited. If you wish to attend, please download and complete the application and email it to David Stiefel by January 27. This event is part of the "Seeking Lives of Purpose" event series featuring Jane Wilburn Sapp and photojournalist Don West as part of 'DEIS Impact "Festival of Social Justice."




Five Misconceptions about Documentation, Archiving, and Communication in the Field of Community Cultural Development
virgtechartsBy Jamie Haft
A small national meeting on documentation, archiving, and communication in the field of community cultural development was hosted December 6 - 8, 2013 by the Virginia Tech School of Performing Arts & Cinema, Center for the Arts, Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology, and Institute for Policy and Governance. Dr. Cynthia Cohen and Jane Wilburn Sapp participated in the meeting. Read a blog post by another participant Jamie Haft, Assistant Director of Imagining America
. The post reflects on learnings from the meeting and explains five misconceptions about documentation, archiving, and communication in the field that the meeting helped to debunk.
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January 2014



Spirituality and the Quest for Justice in the African American Musical Tradition
January 29, 2:00 – 4:00pm
Slosberg Music Center, Room 215
Jane Wilburn Sapp and Cindy Cohen will share work from their multimedia project "A Way Out of No Way: Jane Sapp, Cultural Work and Social Transformation." They examine the roots of African-American musical tradition in West African cultures, in the period of slavery, and in the Black Church. The songs that emerged combined the community’s spiritual impulses with its commitment for social justice. Presentation followed by discussion. (Note: A formal presentation of this material will be offered February 5 at 10:00, as part of ‘DEIS Impact.)

Download the flyer to read more about this event, which is part of the "Possibilities and Dilemmas of Incorporating Sacred Elements into Art for Social Change" event series on January 28 & 29 featuring Pakistani Theatre Director Shahid Nadeem and Jane Sapp. 



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

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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). View more spring 2014 courses supported by the Ethics Center.

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November 2013

“I’m Gonna Sit at the Welcome Table”: Resilience, Cultural Work and Development in the African-American Community
Presentation/Performance by Jane Wilburn Sapp, special session of PAX 250 - The Arts of Building Peace open to the Brandeis community
Tuesday, November 12, 2 – 4:50 p.m.
Slosberg Music Building, Room 215

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Image from
"Someone Sang for me" 
Documentary 
oN Jane Sapp

In this performance/presentation, Jane Wilburn Sapp will discuss the conditions that gave rise to the need for resilience in the African-American community, including slavery and life under the Jim Crow regime of segregation, and the sources of resilience in the African American family, community, and church. Songs will illustrate the power of culture to validate people’s experience and nourish their capacity to maintain a sense of dignity in the face of forces determined to humiliate them. 
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Read more about this session as well as another open session of PAX 250 featuring a different special guest. 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 92a4 (internship)/ PAX 97a1 (independent study) 
Offered in Spring 2014
Registration opens November 5

sappStudents are invited to join the "A Way Out of No Way" 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.




October 2013

Blue Mountain Center Residency
This October, Jane Sapp, Hubert Sapp and Cynthia Cohen will be focusing on the project during a ten-day collaborative residency at Blue Mountain Center. During the residency, they will focus on completing original interviews needed for the book and for the development of the performance/presentations.