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Join the Global “Acting Together” Campaign.
Call for Papers: ACPR Special Issue on the Arts and Peacebuilding in Africa
Deadline: March 15, 2014
Read more News from the Field.
Acting Together short film featured in Culture Unplugged film festival
Read reflection from a meeting on documenting and communicating in the field of community cultural development
Read News from the Field under the featured themes of "Theatre for Peacebuilding in South Asia" and "Millennial and Intergenerational Approaches to Peacebuilding and the Arts."
February 15, 2014
Call for Papers:
International Peace Research Association (IPRA) 25th General Conference
Read reflection by Cindy Cohen: "Synergy: Women, Creativity & Peacebuilding"
A reflection on the life and passing of Nelson Mandela
by Kim Berman
Read review by Anthony Ellis of the Acting Together anthology.
Read News from the Field under the featured themes of "Peacebuilding and the Arts in Latin America" and "Artistic Responses to Trayvon Martin's Life and Death."
Read about Panel on Resilience, the Arts and Social Transformation at UBC Conference
Learn about our new project:
"A Way Out of No Way"
with Jane Wilburn Sapp
Read Cindy Cohen's article in the 2013 Olive Branch Teacher's Guide.
View video: Presentation by the Ulafa’a Visual Artists of Bahrain
Acting Together at Community Arts Lab (CAL) Theatre Festival in Netherlands
Read portrait of Cynthia Cohen in American Theatre magazine.
“Acting Together” Documentary receives the “Spirit of Place” Award
Ethics Central: Winter/Spring 2013 issue featuring Rose Art Museum Exhibit and From Bahrain to Brandeis and Back Again
Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts featured in Brandeis Magazine: (Summer 2012 issue)
“Acting Together” Documentary selected to receive a 2012 Telly Award
Xchange Perspectives (XCP) is using a Peacebuilding and the Arts report to support their work in South Sudan. Read more and watch the video.
Read a review of the Acting Together documentary by Shoshana Zeldner, featured by the Compathos Foundation
Read a Book Review
by Serge Loode of the
Acting Together Anthology
Vol. I & II
Acting Together Documentary
"The beat of 10 drums filled the Alumni Lounge of the Usdan Student Center on Tuesday evening as musician and educator Toussaint Liberator led a group of Brandeis students in a drum circle. In a collaborative effort by Brandeis Beats and ’DEIS Impact, the event Beats of Peace aimed to enlighten students about the power of drum culture and how drumming can be used as a tool for peace. During the first half of the event, Cynthia Cohen, the director of Peacebuilding and the Arts, a program affiliated with the University’s International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life, spoke about how music, and in this case, drums, can be and have been used for peacemaking. Cohen told a story of two drummers, one of the Hutu tribe and one of the Tutsi tribe, both living during the Hutu-Tutsi conflict...." Read more.
Photos from "Seeking Lives of Purpose"
Photographer Don West unveiled his new portrait of Jane Wilburn Sapp and Hubert Sapp during “Seeking Lives of Purpose: Images, Songs and Stories that Challenge and Inspire,” part of ’DEIS Impact 2014. Read about the event series and view additional photos from two of the events: "Ain't You Got a Right to the Tree of Life: Spirituality and the Quest for Justice in the African-American Musical Tradition" and "Meet and Greet Artists Don West and Jane Sapp: Reception."
Acting Together short film accepted into
Culture Unplugged film festival
“Dijana Milošević: Performing Truth in the Face of Denial,” one of the short films from the Acting Together toolkit, was accepted to the online film festival Culture Unplugged! Culture Unplugged aims to integrate disparate parts of the self and the global human society, primarily by leveraging the power of new media and extending the effort to offline events and actions. The organization is committed to contemplate and contribute to personal as well as collective spiritual need of the time by focusing on inner and intercultural expression. View the film.
Reflection on a national meeting on documenting,
archiving, and communicating in the field of
community cultural development
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.
By Erica Granor '15
Exploring Ethics: Ethics Center Leadership Council Blog
"I’ve always loved to draw. The margins of my chemistry notebooks are dotted with doodles, my dorm room walls are plastered with sketches of landscapes and flowers. Until I became a member of the Ethics Center Leadership Council, art had always been about the aesthetic. Art took on new meaning when outreach for Peacebuilding and the Arts became my semester project for the ECLC...." Read more.
Applications now being accepted for
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)
Part of ‘DEIS Impact 2014: The weeklong "Festival of Social Justice" at Brandeis University
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 in February 2014. View the program brochure page.
"In November of 2013, I was honored to be invited to a two-day symposium at Mount Mary University in Milwaukee. The event, Synergies: Women, Creativity and Peacebuilding, was coordinated by Lynne Woehrle and Jordan Anderson and involved students, faculty and staff from across the Mount Mary campus. Jen Freeman of the Women’s Peacemakers Program at the Kroc Center at the University of San Diego joined me in sharing stories about our careers with students, and in offering keynotes on the symposium theme. In addition, the film "Acting Together on the World Stage" was screened, and I led a workshop on peacebuilding and the arts for about 50 members of the Mount Mary community joined by local artists and cultural workers..." Read more of Cindy's paper, and read more about the event.
Award-Nominated Book Review by Jean Randich
Join us in congratulating Jean Randich as a finalist for consideration in the Los Angeles Press Club's 6th Annual National Entertainment Journalism Awards for her review of the first volume of "Acting Together: Performance and the Creative Transformation of Conflict.” This award is presented to a "Critic that embodies the best qualities of depth and overall excellence on entertainment or arts critique." Read Jean's review on TruthDig.com (or the PDF version).
Learn more about the Acting Together project, including the anthology and documentary. Read another review by Jean of the second volume of the Acting Together anthology on TruthDig.com (or the PDF version). Read additional reflections and responses about the anthology and documentary.
A review of the Acting Together documentary
by Shoshana Zeldner, MA '12
featured by the Compathos Foundation
"The 'purest densest meanings are conveyed through art, through individual and collective creations driven by the desire to express and communicate unencumbered by extraneous objectives (Adams, Goldbard).' Because human beings are avid meaning-makers, the arts offer a necessary discipline for meaningful expression. Not only does art provide a communication channel that transgresses traditional boundaries but it also provides a platform for difficult conversations and invites the public expression of complex or controversial ideas..." Read more of the review. Read more about the Acting Together documentary.
“Peacebuilding and the Arts: Join the Global Conversation,” an article by Cindy Cohen in the upcoming
Olive Branch Teacher’s Guide
Seeds of Peace is a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring and equipping new generations of leaders from regions of conflict with the relationships, understanding, and skills needed to advance lasting peace. One of the elements of their Educator Programs is the Olive Branch Teacher’s Guide. Cindy Cohen contributed an article to the upcoming issue titled “Peacebuilding and the Arts: Join the Global Conversation.” View Cindy's article (2MB). The full version of the guide is also available for download (23MB). Please visit the Seeds of Peace website for versions in Arabic and Hebrew, as well as past issues of the guide, and to read more about the teacher’s guides.
'Graphic Recording' of
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 Cindy's remarks. Dr. Aftab Erfan created graphic recordings of all of the panel presentations.
Panel presenters (left to right): Mary Ann Hunter;
Over 150 international artists joined colleagues from The Netherlands in a midsummer’s weekend theatre festival hosted by Acting Together contributor and CAL director, Eugene van Erven. The festival was an extraordinarily diverse gathering of artists, scholars and students, joined by 1500 children and adults from the city of Utrecht in a final gala parade and dinner, marking the culmination of a seven-year initiative honoring the 300th anniversary of the Peace Treaty of Utrecht.
Dijana Milošević and Roberto Varea, featured Acting Together artists, joined Cynthia Cohen in leading a workshop and screening the project’s award winning documentary. We distributed multilingual copies of the film to colleagues from Sri Lanka, the Netherlands, Bolivia, and, shown here, Ana Correa from "Grupo Cultural Yuyachkani" of Peru. Roberto Varea’s and Cynthia Cohen’s participation in the Utrecht festival was supported, in part, by public funds from the Consulate General of The Netherlands in New York. Read Cynthia Cohen's report on the research festival.
Cynthia Cohen: First, Peace
Her strategies for defusing conflicts converge at the nexus of art and justice
By Simi Horwitz
American Theatre Magazine
“The United States government spends more on a single day on the war in Afghanistan than its annual budget for the National Endowment for the Arts,” Cynthia Cohen will tell you, reciting the statistic with a certain degree of exasperation. “The issue is society’s lack of investment in creativity, versus its habit of addressing conflicts destructively. We in the arts can transform conflicts creatively for the betterment of everyone…” Read more.
PAX 250 students with
Through analysis of case studies, interviews with socially engaged artists, critical reflections on works of art and student projects, this course explores how cultural productions contribute to non-violent resistance, the re-humanization of former enemies, and reconciliation. It will focus on performance and visual arts. There are no prerequisites and this course is open to both graduates and undergraduates. Contact Alia Goldfarb for more information. See other courses supported by the Ethics Center.
Choosing Peace in Bahrain: Using the Arts to Unite
April 19, The Brandeis Hoot
Ten young artists from Bahrain were at Brandeis from April 14th through the 20th, and they attended a week-long training on peacebuilding and the arts, facilitated by Cynthia Cohen. Their art exhibition will be up until April 28th as a part of the Festival of the Arts. Read more of the article in the Brandeis Hoot. Read more about the visit by the Ulafa'a Artists of Bahrain.
Ulafa’a Team members with Sarah McCarty, a Brandeis student
Cynthia Cohen to Receive Medicine Woman Award
June 5, 6:30pm
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call 617-268-6700.
Cynthia at Medicine Wheel Productions with 2012 recipient
Acting Together on the World Stage receives the
“Spirit of Place” award!
February 8, 2013
The documentary, “Acting Together on the World Stage” is receiving the “Spirit of Place” award at the 9th Orlando Latin American Film & Heritage Festival (OLA FEST,) presented by the Awakening/Art & Culture Ola Fest. The "Spirit of Place" Award is an award that was established two years ago for excellence in social realism and activism in the arts. The opening night for the OLA FEST includes Flamenco music concert and a screening of the “Acting Together on the World Stage,” followed by Q & A with Roberto Varea. More information.
Read the news from the Ethics Central: Winter/Spring 2013 issue
Rose Art Museum Exhibit a Catalyst for Peacebuilding Explorations (page 1)
From Bahrain to Brandeis and Back Again (page 3)
Photo: Samira, Lod Ghetto, a year after 1948,
from the series, Scanograms #1, 2010,
manipulated readymade, archival inkjet.
Photo credit: Cindy Cohen
Peacebuilding and the Arts Update: Reflections on Fall by Cindy Cohen
It is the last weekend before the spring semester begins at Brandeis, and it looks like the semester will be a full one. … Before I jump onto the speeding train known as spring semester, I’m taking a few moments to reflect on this past fall, which was an extraordinary period… Read more.