"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
Recipient of a CAST Grant for Student Projects
Art & Social Justice
State of the Arts - Fall 2015
Training in Music and Conflict Transformation
SIT Graduate Institute, Vermont
Summer Peacebuilding Institute
“Yes, Art and Culture Can Change the World”
By Adam Horowitz
Artist Protection Fund (AFP)
November 17 - 19, 2016
United States Department of Arts and Culture
International Community Arts Festival (CAF)
March 27 - April 2, 2017
Acting Together Documentary
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
News - Archive
"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 email@example.com 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.