New Minor: Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation

25th IPRA General Conference
August 10-14
Istanbul, Turkey

Video: "This Land is Mine"
Exploring the real reason why there is so much violence in the Middle East

"A Call for a Boston Spring: Arts for an Urban Renaissance"

Rehearsing Change: A semester study abroad opportunity in Ecuador
Spring 2015

Report - "ReGeneration: Young People Shaping Environmental Justice" 

Int'l Playwright Retreat
August 1 - 10

Behind Barbed Wire, Shakespeare Inspires a Cast of Young Syrians
New York Times

Africa Yoga Project
Photo Credit: Robin O'Neill

Read Ceremonies of Dance and Song in Native American Peacemaking by Polly Walker

Xchange Perspectives (XCP) is using a Peacebuilding and the Arts report to support their work in South Sudan.
Read more and watch the video

Archive -
News from the Field

Acting Together Documentary

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News From the Field

A listing of news and events related to the field of peacebuilding and the arts.

  News & Events    |    Arts    |    Resources & Opportunities

Featured Arts: Creative Approaches to Sustainability and Environmental Justice

Featured Arts: Puppetry and Social Transformation

Featured Resources: Creative Approaches to Sustainability and Environmental Justice 

News & Events

Video: Liberian Song about the Abducted Girls of Nigeria
The members of the Liberian Women's Chorus for Change wanted to do something to keep the world's attention focused on the search for the missing abducted school girls in Nigeria. "Kweyenge" is a song of lament in the Kpelle language of Liberia. It is sung by mothers longing for their daughters who are far from home. Watch the video, courtesy of Philadelphia Folklore Project.

Liberian Women's Chorus for Change
Photo courtesy of the Philadelphia Folklore Project

Video - Sarah Lewis: How Art Can Change Society
 Sarah Lewis, author of "The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery," describes how photography and music are often the catalyst for radical societal change. Lewis is a curator and historian based in New York. Watch the video and learn more about Sara Lewis.

Conference: “Reconstructing Societies in the Wake of Conflict: Transitional Justice and Economic Development”
May 25–June 6, 2014
WPSPNorthampton & Amherst, MA
This two-week Institute of the Women in Public Service Project (WPSP) is co-hosted by Mount Holyoke College, Simmons College and Smith College. The Institute brings together emerging women leaders, primarily from Asia, who are working to rebuild their communities and promote sustainable economic livelihoods following political violence and human rights violations. Catherine Filloux and Jessica Berns are both using "Acting Together" resources in their presentations, during a panel on Cambodia and in a panel on memory and reconciliation, respectively. Learn more about the program and the delegates.

A Call for a Boston Spring: Arts for an Urban Renaissance

This spring, Boston Mayor Walsh convened an arts and cultural event called “Making Greater Boston Greater.” Inspired by this convening, Libbie Shufro, Former President and CEO of the Boston Center for the Arts, and Jacqui Lindsay, Founder and President of Innovation by Design, are calling for a Boston Spring… “A high stakes moment, that calls for visionary leadership and demands real change. In a city that benefits from an abundance of resources, yet strains from the persistent and widening social disparities, we need a sea change in priorities and approach that take head on, our most difficult and most extraordinary opportunities of the 21st century… We are confident that the arts can help break new ground to tap into the entrepreneurism, wisdom and resilience that our diverse communities offer. Embedding arts and culture into the design and implementation of the city’s key social and economic initiatives creates a magnetic core of innovation….” Read more of their Op-Ed: A Call for a Boston Spring.

Peacebuilding Messaging Through Films: The 60 Second International Film Festival
May 29, 2014, 1:00 - 2:30 pm EST
U.S. Institute of Peace, Washington, DC and virtual webcast
logosThe U.S. Institute of Peace will host Abrar Hassan, creator of the 60 Second International Film Festival. The Festival is a global film competition for films that can convey a strong social message in 60 seconds. The competition started in Pakistan in 2012 and quickly attracted interest from other countries and went viral on social media globally. Today it is a unique way for young people in conflict societies to communicate their views on a single platform, through the powerful medium of short, 60-second films. At the event, Mr. Hassan will screen some of the winning films from the festival that focus on messages of peace and tolerance followed by a panel discussion with international experts on the potential for film to empower youth, mobilize societies and transform complex conflict environments. Learn more about the event and RSVP.

Leading artists create strategies for peacebuilding
Salzburg Global Seminar April 2014 Newsletter
"Not all art is positive,” warned theater and conflict academic James Thompson at the opening of Salzburg Global Seminar’s session “Conflict Transformation through Culture: Peace-Building and the Arts.” Nothing daunted, participants from countries including Armenia, Cambodia, Egypt, Ghana, India, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Rwanda and Uganda came together at Schloss Leopoldskron from April 6 to 10, to discuss what role cultural institutions and the arts can play in pre- and post-war situations, in reconciliation and forgiveness, and in post-conflict society rebuilding. Read more.

The Artist as Peacebuilder
April 14 - 25
African Centre for Peace and Security Training
Efforts at ensuring peace and security in Africa sometimes focus too much on conflict resolution and too little on prevention. Non-coercive peacebuilding has historically preoccupied artists in many traditional African cultures. Yossou N’Dour of Senegal, Wole Soyinka of Nigeria, Emmerson of Sierra Leone, Congolese sculptor Freddy Tsimba, the Amakhosi Cultural Centre in Zimbabwe and griots (storytellers, poets or praise singers) in many West African societies continue to play this role. This course brought together 25 participants from 15 countries. Attendees included artists who are or wish to be involved in peacebuilding activism as well as non-artist peacebuilders, including journalists who work with or are interested in working with artists in their peacebuilding efforts. Read more.

Behind Barbed Wire, Shakespeare Inspires a Cast
of Young Syrians

By Ben Hubbard | March 31, 2014 | New York Times
"Zaatari Refugee Camp, Jordan — On a rocky patch of earth in this sprawling city of tents and prefab trailers, the king, dressed in dirty jeans and a homemade cape, raised his wooden scepter and announced his intention to divide his kingdom....So began a recent adaptation here of “King Lear.” For the 100 children in the cast, it was their first brush with Shakespeare, although they were already deeply acquainted with tragedy. All were refugees who had fled the civil war in Syria... " Read more.

The Off/Page Project
off-page-projectThe Off/Page Project combines the analytical lens of the Center for Investigative Reporting with the groundbreaking storytelling of the literary non-profit Youth Speaks. As an unprecedented collaboration between poets and investigative journalists, the Off/Page Project is pushing the boundaries of 21st century American storytelling, and creating a nexus point for poets to report their stories. Whether the facts are found in CIR’s reporting or the primary text of Youth Speaks’ poets, the story is ours to tell. View the feature on PBS ArtBeat and read the blog.

A Peace of My Mind -
Exploring the meaning of peace, one story at a time

Founded in 2009, A Peace of My Mind is a multimedia art project that fosters public dialogue about issues related to conflict resolution, civic responsibility, and peace. With black and white portraits and oral histories, over fifty subjects describe what peace means to them, how they work toward it in their lives, and some of the obstacles they encounter. The project includes a photography exhibit, book, blog, and podcasts. Learn more.

Artist Transforms Guns To Make Music
Mexican artist Pedro Reyes received 6,700 weapons from the Mexican government, from which he sculpted instruments. He wants people to think about the availability of guns in the United States, and the impact that has in Mexico. At the University of South Florida in Tampa, he recently held a series of workshops and a performance, using theater to encourage a discussion about guns. It's called "Legislative Theater," a style of performance pioneered in Latin America in the 1960s to influence social change. In Tampa, Reyes called his project "The Amendment to the Amendment." Specifically, the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees the right to bear arms… Read more and listen to the NPR piece.

Call for Support:
Theatre of the Oppressed "Tsunami" in Ukraine

ukraine theatre dialogueThe idea for the upcoming Theatre of the Oppressed "Joker Tsunami" originated from a group of Ukrainian Human Rights activists involved in the current protests in the country. For more than two months, the people of Ukraine have been protesting in the streets. However, the protesters and the government are becoming more and more willing to use violence to solve their differences. The main conflict is not only about "EU vs. Russia" but perhaps more crucially about 45 million people (the population of Ukraine) increasingly asking themselves fundamental questions about how to live a dignified life in times of merciless economic globalization and an ever growing unaccountable and deeply corrupt political elite that systematically denies the people of Ukraine some of their most basic human rights.

map ukraine
(click for larger map)

The “Joker Tsunami” is a fully self-organized, self-financed, grassroots initiative. A total of six three-day workshops, each culminating in a final, interactive performance will be carried out in five cities of Ukraine, geographically covering the whole country (see map). It will bring together seven Theatre of the Oppressed practitioners from six countries to promote the creation of spaces for dialogue for Ukrainian citizens from different walks of life to analyze the past in the context of the present with the goal to imagine and practice their ideas for a better future.

The Tsunami organizers are inviting you to make a financial contribution to support the effort. The total budget of the initiative is 3,000 USD and includes all travel, accommodation and workshop expenses. So far, the group has raised approximately 1,500 USD amongst its organizers. If you are interested in contributing, please contact communitybasedtheatre@gmail.com.

Watch a set of YouTube videos for further information on the nature of their proposed action: video 1, video 2, and video 3. Visit the Facebook page. Thank you. Dyakuyu (Ukrainian). Spasivo (Russian).

Read a full description of the group's work and aims. 

Listen to Hector Aristizabal, who recently visited Ukraine and has deep hope that people rather than politicians can resolve their differences through dialogue and art, speaking on an Los Angeles radio show on March 4, courtesy of Uprising Radio. Aristizabal is the founder and artistic director of ImaginAction, a nonprofit theatre arts organization in Los Angeles. In the segment, he speaks about his work, his observations in Ukraine, and explains the symbolism of the term "joker" used by practioners of Theatre of the Oppressed in their approach to human rights.


Mourning ceremony on Feb. 21, 2014.  
Member of the Organizing Committee
Theatre for Dialogue/Joker Tsunami

Congolese Dancers Express Resilience to Violence
by Kem Knapp Sawyer
Yolé!Africa, an arts center in Goma, the largest city in eastern Congo. Chiku, 26, and his twin Chito are co-directors of the Busara, a dance company they formed in 2009. The group helps survivors of sexual violence and former child soldiers recover from trauma. Few places in the world have a greater need. In and around Goma rape has become a weapon of war. Chiku found a way to use movement and dance to break down barriers. He helped them to feel part of a community. “They became more open speaking to their counselors,” Chiku said. “They no longer felt shame. They became more content...” Read more.

Multi-Arts Pedagogic Safari
Inaugural Session: July 20 - August 15, 2014
2nd Session: September 21 - October 14, 2014
The Multi-Arts Pedagogic Safari is a 21-day creative training program that fuses African traditions & artistic expressions with Theatre of the Oppressed techniques and other contemporary art forms to transform vulnerable communities in East Africa. The program is hosted by the Budondo Intercultural Centre of Uganda and the Amani Peoples Theatre (APT) of Kenya, a leading training provider in participatory methodologies and application in conflict transformation, community development and healing from trauma. The registration for the first two sessions closes on May 20 and July 20, respectively. Learn more or contact apt@aptkenya.org for further details about the program.

Peacemaking and the Arts
Article by Lissa Tyler Renaud
scene4magazine, Arts & Politics Issue
January 2014
“I have seen in Asia and Europe the palpable role the arts play—not only culturally, but also socially and politically. In our globalized era, all our artists and thinkers need expanded skills to participate in world culture. In America, where we have no Ministry of Culture and no National Theatre to articulate our sensibilities and priorities... our teachers have a special obligation—and a special opportunity—to foster the intellectual and creative lives of America's students. I believe that a consistent and compelling aesthetic education is the key to enriching our nation's relations, on every level, with the rest of the world…” Read more.

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Exhibit: "The Language of Objects" 
An exhibition titled "The Language of Objects" by female students at the Academic Institute of Arab Education at Beit Berl College in Israel features works constructed from everyday objects that have been thrown away. Under the supervison of Dr. Aida Nasrallah, the students restored objects and let them speak for themselves, leaving them open to the intrepretaion of the viewers. Students used cloth, fabric, buttons, and threads to quilt their childhood memories, which also help each of students to discover that their artwork can open a window toward the person that she really wants to be. For example, one student who worked with cloth and embroidery realized that she wanted to be a designer of a new Palestinian embroidery featuring modern shapes. She plans to host a workshop for unemployed women to learn the craft in order to support themselves.  Read more and view photos.

Puppetry and Social Transformation

Tavia LaFollette | ArtUp
Originally from New York City, Tavia La Follette is a director, designer, curator and performance artist.  Tavia is the Founder and Director of ArtUp, a non-profit arts organization whose mission is to bridge a language of peace through the actions of art, and is currently the Artist in Residence at Carnegie Mellon University’s Center for Arts in Society and CREATE Lab. “As an artist, I believe it is my job to interpret and analyze cultural behavior. I do this through crossing borders, physical, psychological, and emotional. My work in puppetry and performance art has taught me the power of symbols. Symbols help me to say what I cannot say with words, they tap into our emotions. Emotions, like religion, help us recognize our values.” Read Tavia's statement on her work in puppetry and performance art, learn about her project “Sites of Passage,” view a video about ArtUp, and read Tavia’s bio.


"SUN & MOON” by Tavia LaFollette for the
Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's First Night Pageant.
Photo credit: Renee Rosensteel  

Hand Spring - Puppetry in Africa
In African puppetry, masks and figurines hold specific meaning and supernatural power in performance. Beginning in the 1940s, various educational institutions, both formal and informal, saw the value of including puppet theatre in their curricula. The Handspring Trust was re-established in 2010 to build skills in puppetry amongst impoverished children and youth as well as amongst young, emerging and professional artists. Hand Spring produced the play “Ubu and the Truth Commission,” which combines puppetry, performance by live actors, music, animation and documentary footage to depict the moral strife of the anti-apartheid era in South Africa well as the the hearings of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Learn more about Hand Spring.

The Bread and Puppet Theater
The Bread and Puppet Theater of Vermont is a world-renowned puppet theatre that has influenced artists from all over the world. “We believe in puppet theater as a wholesome and powerful language” said founder Peter Schumann, who originally founded the theatre in New York. “Besides rod-puppet and hand puppet shows for children, the concerns of the first productions were rents, rats, police, and other problems of the neighborhood. More complex theater pieces followed…” Learn more.

In the Heart of the Beast Mask and Puppet Theatre
The mission of the In the Heart of the Beast Mask and Puppet Theatre (HOBT) of Minneapolis is to bring people together for the common good through the power of puppet and mask performance. “We believe that puppetry’s power lies in the act of transformation – of bringing something inanimate to life. As we share this act of building and performing, we find that theater brings people together. It builds community…” Learn more about HOBT and the annual MayDay Festival and Parade.

Reflection on the influence of South African academic and puppeteer Dr. Aja Marneweck
David Grant,
Senior Lecturer in Drama, Queen’s University, Belfast
“Since being introduced to the accessible but richly evocative technology of life-size paper puppets by South African academic and puppeteer Dr. Aja Marneweck, I have found it an adaptable and stimulating resource  in all my applied drama work. As Aja emphasizes in her workshops, the organic nature of the material and its capacity to allow audiences to impose their own meaning on the puppets featureless but highly textured faces has proved liberating for both professional actors and participants in community workshops such as the one she led for us with the men’s group in Tiger’s Bay, North Belfast, whose members created some striking improvised images using the puppets at recent research event at Queen’s University…” For more information contact David Grant.

A scene from ‘Mojo Mickybo’ by Owen McCafferty 
(Chatterbox Productions, Belfast, May 2013) 
Photo credit: David Grant

Spiral Q of Philadelphia builds strong and equitable communities characterized by creativity, joy, can-do attitudes, and the courage to act on their convictions. “We see a responsive and engaged society that rallies consistently to overcome the challenges of discrimination and oppression. We envision a world of abundance that mobilizes its resources to nurture shared vitality…” Learn more.

Active Puppets
Visual performance is growing in popularity and impact in South Africa. Active Puppets encourages a vital artistic, social and economic area of development. Puppetry is a powerful tool for social development social change all over the world. Learn more.

Enlisting Shadow Puppets as Agents of Change in Indonesia
Wayang puppetry is a dazzling art form that has left Indonesian audiences spellbound for centuries. It transmits cultural traditions and values, and has been recognized by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. In Indonesia, UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, along with the National Family Planning Board, is using the popularity and power of wayang as a way to get people thinking about reproductive health and gender dynamics. Learn more and watch a video sample of from a performance at the Wayang Puppet Theatre.

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Creative Approaches to Sustainability and Environmental Justice

Art for Advocacy: 13 Posters for Sustainable Social Change

"As a medium for social change, posters record our struggles for peace, social justice, environmental defense, and liberation from oppression," says Elizabeth Resnick, Professor at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and curator of the collection, “Graphic Advocacy: International Posters for the Digital Age.” The posters highlight a number of environmental issues including climate change, food security, and war. View a schedule of the collection’s upcoming national exhibitions.

joe wirtheim

Poster: “Break New Ground -
Plant an Urban Farm Garden”
by Joe Wirtheim, from Victory
Garden of Tomorrow
. Image
provided courtesy of the artist.

jude landry

Poster: “Octopus Vulgaris” by
Jude Landry. Image provided
courtesy of the artist.

Wu Mali - EcoArt in Taiwan
Taiwanese artist Wu Mali has worked for twenty years to create urban and rural environmental art projects in Taiwan - often using indigenous traditions and materials - and working with communities, scientists, and institutions to clean wetlands, save soil and species, and examine the future of Taiwan. Her work has included “Art as Environment - A Cultural Action at Plum Tree Creek” and “By the River, on the River, of the River,” focused on the idea that “every environmental problem is, at heart, a cultural problem” and the integration of the cultural dimensions of rivers in conservation efforts. Read more about Wu Mali and read an interview with her in the Asia Art Archive.

Hoseob Yoon and the Green Canvas Design Studio, South Korea
Hoseob Yoon is a South Korean graphic artist who has devoted his career and his life to protecting the environment. He has served as a Distinguished Visiting Practitioner at the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life at Brandeis. Read more about Yoon’s work, visit the Green Canvas website, and view some of his environmentally-focused designs.

Beehive Design Collective


"The True Cost of Coal.” Image clip
provided courtesy of The Beehive
Collective. View full image.

Emerging out of the global justice movement of the late 1990s, the Beehive Design Collective came together as a cooperative to teach and practice the traditional craft of hand-cut stone mosaic, and has since shifted its focus to illustration projects. The Collective’s work includes illustrations about environmental justice topics. For “The True Cost of Coal” project completed in 2010, the Beehive allied with Appalachian grassroots organizers fighting mountaintop removal coal mining. The illustration reflects the complexity of the struggles for land, livelihood, and self-determination playing out in Appalachia.

The third and final image of the “Mesoamérica Resiste” graphics campaign in the Beehive’s trilogy about globalization in the Americas, focuses on resistance to mega-infrastructure projects that are literally paving the way for free trade agreements that devastate local economies and communities. It reminds us that we are in an era of extreme loss of cultural and ecological diversity and rapid climate change, depicting over 400 native species of insects, plants, and animals that give a glimpse into the incredible biodiversity of the region. View the full image and learn more about the Beehive Collective.


"Mesoamérica Resiste.” Image clip
provided courtesy of the Beehive Collective.
View full image.

The Relief Valve/Subap Exhibit, Turkish EcoArt
Turkey is in the midst of experiencing the tragic effects of environmental destruction. Even the subtle shifts in climate have had drastic effects on farmers, livestock breeders, and fishermen. “Relief Valve” brought ecoart by thirteen contemporary Turkish activist artists to an outside exhibit in Oberlin, Ohio, and provided a glimpse into how artists from another country are addressing similar environmental challenges in their own communities. It offered a forum for political, aesthetic, and ethical discourse. Read more.

Read about additional Resources & Opportunities related to Creative Approaches to Sustainability and Environmental Justice.

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casagrandeCasagrande is a Chilean artistic collective and experimental journal created by poets Julio Carrasco, José Joaquín Prieto and Cristóbal Bianchi. Casagrande “publishes” performances in public spaces, changing its format for every issue. Previous formats include a walking-through edition inside the Chilean underground, a newspaper distributed free of charge throughout all the country, a sound edition broadcast by radio, and a planned DVD to be sent to the library of the International Space Station. It also includes other performances such as “Bombing of Poems,” a performance which consisted of dropping one hundred thousand poems printed on bookmarks from an aircraft – a helicopter or plane – over cities bombed during military confrontations in the past, from Berlin to Guernica to Santiago.The bookmarks printed in two languages, written by both Chilean writers and poets native to the location of the city. The poems are released at twilight and every single bookmark is picked up by the crowd. This performance creates an alternative image of the past and is a gesture of remembrance as well as being a metaphor for the survival of cities and people. Read an article about Bombing of Poems, view a presentation by José Joaquín Prieto at the Woodberry Poetry Room at Harvard University, and view a compilation video of the Bombings.

ImaginAction - Arts and Activism for a Better World
imagine actionImaginAction Theater Inc. is a non-profit theatre arts organization founded by Hector Aristizabal based in Los Angeles with workshops and performances throughout the world. Their work has been influenced by Theatre of the Oppressed, Playback Theatre, Theatre of Witness, Psychodrama, traditional storytelling, mask-making, drumming, dance and creative ritual. ImaginAction workshops use theatre to create rituals, allowing participants to recreate themselves and the community around them.

Africa Yoga Project


Photo Credit: Robin O'Neill
Africa Yoga Project

The Africa Yoga Project educates, empowers, elevates and employs youth from Africa using the transformational practice of yoga. Their vision is to create opportunities for youth to step into their greatness, become self-sustaining and leaders in their communities. The organization began in 2007 asking whether people who are struggling to survive, who live in an unstable environment, and who have little food to eat, can utilize yoga to transform their perception of their lives and their sense of what is possible for the future. Watch a video about the project and its work in to provide healing in Kenya, teaching 300 classes a week in prisons, schools, special needs centers, HIV rehabilitation centers, schools for the deaf, and the maasai villages. Learn more, read about the project teachers, and read an article about the project on CNN, which includes another video.


Above: Maasai yoga instructor and students
with the Africa Yoga Project. Photo credit: ROBIN O'NEILL

Documentary - "Alive Inside"
Michael Rossato-Bennett directed the documentary "Alive Inside," a heartwarming look at the power of music to help those in nursing homes. He took on the documentary project to promote Music & Memory, a nonprofit organization that brings iPods with personalized music to dementia patients in nursing home care.  Visit the dynamic website and view an excerpt of the film and read an article about the project along with another video about the project.

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Resources & Opportunities

ipra25th IPRA General Conference, “Uniting for Peace: Building Sustainable Peace Through Universal Values,” 
August 10-14, 2014
Istanbul, Turkey
The International Peace Research Association (IPRA) is hosting the 25th General Conference on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of IPRA under the theme “Uniting for Peace: Building Sustainable Peace Through Universal Values.” Since the end of the Cold War, the world has been going through a series of interrelated intra-state conflicts rather than inter-state conflicts. New generation threats for peace and security and conflicts appeared immediately as intra-state conflicts with ethnic conflict, political turmoil, protests, and the search for better democracy and peace. A call for submissions of abstracts for papers, posters, or panel proposals has been issued and the deadline has been extended to February 15, 2014. Read more about the the conference, participation fees, and read the latest IPRA newsletter.

Rehearsing Change

A semester study abroad opportunity in Ecuador

The Pachaysana Institute, an Ecuadorian NGO, and the Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) have created a groundbreaking study abroad initiative in the Amazon Rainforest. Rehearsing Change is a semester-long, community-based study abroad program in the Ecuadorian Amazon. The program is academically rigorous, yet creatively structured, facilitated by leading scholars and teaching artists, and combines challenging academics, Arts for Conflict Transformation methodology and experiential/service learning, where students work and study on a daily basis with community members. Participants examine the conflicts between local and global realities, and to use dialogue and innovation to create change.


Photo Credit:
Pachaysana Institute

USFQ, an accredited institution, provides official transcripts to students for the program, which has officially been approved by top universities, including Brown, Brandeis, and American. The next program session begins in spring 2015 and is an excellent opportunity for students with academic focuses or interest in areas such as peace and conflict, performing arts, development, sustainability, and education. Read the full program description, view a slide show, visit the Rehearsing Change website, and visit Pachaysana's Facebook page. Inquiries can be directed to Pachaysana’s Executive Director Daniel Bryan, who is happy to dialogue via skype or the phone.  

Performing the World (PTW) Conference 
October 10-12, 2014 
New York City
ptwThe eighth Performing the World (PTW) conference will be held in New York City, October 10-12, 2014. As the performance movement grows worldwide — both within and across geographical, cultural and professional borders — PTW aims to make the most of the creative potential of this growing diversity. International, cross disciplinary, conversational, experiential, and practical-critical, PTW 2014 will provide an opportunity for practitioners, scholars and activists to share and showcase their work and create something new together. Read more about the conference and register. The PTW international organizing committee wants to make the conference inclusive. Please consider supporting their fundraising efforts to help provide travel for performance artists who would not otherwise be able to attend the conference.

Documentary Film
Timor-Leste - From Conflict to Conversation:
Using Forum Theatre to Secure Stability
This documentary film highlights the use of participatory forum theatre as an innovative method of channeling socio-economic and political frustrations into non-violent communications to help defuse tensions and prevent conflict in Timor-Leste. Acting Together  contributor Roberta Levitow was involved in the project in 2012 and 2013. Watch a clip of the film.

Call to Artists, Academics & Professionals:
Participation in Conflict Resolution & Dance Documentary
Bahar Karbakhsh, a graduate student of law in the field of alternative dispute resolution, is issuing a call to artists, academics and professionals across Canada and beyond who are interested in contributing to a documentary about the power of dance/movement and how they can be used for conflict resolution. Karbakhsh is seeking vibrant, thoughtful and thought provoking individuals and groups who would like to voluntarily contribute by way of interview and/or demonstration, performance. Filming will commence February 2014 and finish early summer 2014 to allow for editing. Read more and contact Bahar to express how you would like to contribute to the film.

Call for Presentations:
International Conference on "Theatre Between Tradition and Contemporaneity"
December 18 - 22, 2014
Carrara - Tuscany, Italy
igute-logo"Theatre Between Tradition and Contemporaneity" is the annual international multidisciplinary conference researching the bridge between tradition and contemporaneity in performing arts. The conference meeting is recommended to performing arts practitioners and researchers from different countries interested in the traditional methods as applied to contemporary performing arts work, searching for international networks and new collaboration partners: performing arts academics, arts educators, performers, theatre directors, dancers and choreographers, musicians, and more. Learn more about presentation formats that are welcomed and submission guidelines.

Creative Approaches to Sustainability and Environmental Justice - Resources & Opportunities

African Environmental Justice Documentary Films
The African Environmental Justice Documentary Films blog is a resource for students and researchers looking for documentary films about social and environmental justice issues in Africa. Films include “Activists Challenge African Land Grab,” “Solar farming in Africa,” “Black Gold,” and “The 4th Revolution: Energy Autonomy.” Read a related article on land grabs in Africa and learn what you can do.

Report - "ReGeneration: Young People Shaping Environmental Justice" 
ReGeneration ReportThis report by the Movement Strategy Center of Oakland includes a finding (#5 on page 32) that innovative cultural work is a distinguishing feature of youth environmental justice organizing. “Organizers are using the power of arts and culture [including media arts, performing arts and music, spiritual work, and storytelling] to engage youth in the [environmental justice] movement, to reach the hearts of community members, to inspire dialogue around divisive topics, and to build community.” Read more.

The ENRICH Project
The ENRICH Project, the Environmental Noxiousness, Racial Inequities and Community Health Project, hosted "Time to Clear the Air,” a video contest on environmental justice for Nova Scotian African and indigenous Mi’kmaq youth to propose art projects to address locally unwanted land uses (LULUs) on the environment and community health. Select participants will receive financial support for developing their arts-based project using painting, film, music, poetry, dance, spoken word or another form of artistic expression. Read about the project and “Toxic Legacies”, a poem by El Jones, Halifax Poet Laureate.

Artists on Climate Change and Global Warming Solutions
Artists on Climate Change and Global Warming Solutions is a collection of artists working on issues of global climate change and environmental justice, compiled by Climate Change Education. View more resources on media and arts for climate change solutions.

Environmental Justice Eco-Art
Environmental Justice Eco-Art aims to provide links to environmental justice eco-art which takes on issues of race, class, gender and eco-colonialism in the unequal distribution of environmental problems and benefits within the US and around the globe. This includes examples of eco-activist art, art that actually changes the environment for the better, rather than just "representing" it. Suggestions of further examples of such art are welcome. Environmental Justice Eco-Art is a subsection of Environmental Justice Cultural Studies (EJCS), which is one of five topic-focused websites hosted by CulturalPolitics.net, a site designed to offer resources for the analysis of the role of culture in shaping our political, economic, and social lives. Read more.

Paper: “Mapping the Terrain of Contemporary EcoART Practice and Collaboration" by Beth Carruthers
This document explores trends, issues and advances in EcoArt collaborations among artists, environmental groups, communities and scientists. It considers suggestions for the future of such collaborations, including how this work might be better supported, with a particular focus on Canadian works. The intention of this report is to provide an overview of collaborative practice in arts and ecology. It includes a list of defined terms, including EcoArt: "EcoART - a broad field of interdisciplinary arts practice, distinguished from Land Art and Environmental Art by its specific focus on world sensitive ideologies and methodologies. EcoART practice seeks to Restore, Protect and Preserve the world for its own sake, and to mediate human/world relations to this end. " Read more.


Environmental Justice Photo Project (EJPP) 
Through photography, the Environmental Justice Photo Project (EJPP) will attempt to help build a picture of what environmental injustice looks like in the UK... The EJPP UK is a project of ‘So We Stand’, an emerging grassroots movement of people who consciously work for empowering social change, in order to develop multi-racial politics and self-defence strategies for environmental and climate justice. EJPP is inspired by the glaring gap in our socio-political narrative on the impact of environmental harm on local communities. Read more.

The Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI)
The Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI) brings together artists, architects, scientists, landscape architects, engineers, and others in a first of its kind collaboration. The goal of the Land Art Generator Initiative is to see to the design and construction of public art installations that uniquely combine aesthetics with utility-scale clean energy generation. The works will serve to inspire and educate while they provide renewable power to thousands of homes around the world. The strategic objective of the Land Art Generator Initiative is to advance the successful implementation of sustainable design solutions by integrating art and interdisciplinary creative processes into the conception of renewable energy infrastructure. Read more.

Mierle Laderman Ukeles
Mierle Laderman Ukeles is a fascinating artist, and has been the resident artist of the New York Department of Sanitation since the 1970s....Ukeles dedicated herself to the issues of waste, sanitation, and maintenance labor as not just technological and environmental issues but also social ones that connect all of us. The webpage includes photos and a video clip from the film "No Just Garbage" about Ukeles' work, as well as a collection of photos and descriptions of past exhibitions.

Women Environmental Artists Directory
The Women Environmental Artists Directory (WEAD) focuses on women’s unique perspectives to collaborate internationally to further the field and understanding of ecological and social justice art. WEAD provides information regarding the ecoart and social justice art fields to artists, curators, writers, art and public art administrators, educators in art and ecology, cross-disciplinary professionals and others. It also facilitates international networking among artists working with ecological and social justice issues. Read more.

  Read about additional Artistic Approaches to Sustainability and Environmental Justice.

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Second Annual Global Peace Workshop
GPWJune 23-27, 2014
Muğla, Turkey
Application deadline: April 14
The second annual Global Peace Workshop will explore the role of young people in promoting peace through arts, culture and tourism. Culture is a vital instrument in building peace, helping us to understand ourselves, our values and traditions in relation to others near and far... The application deadline is April 14. Learn more and visit their Facebook page.

Gas & Electric Arts Presents
9th Annual Forum Theatre Summer Intensive
June 19 - 22, 2014 
Temple University, Philadelpha, PA
The 9th annual Forum Theatre Summer Intensive is geared towards individuals seeking skills and techniques to improve their ability to effectively engage diversity issues. Forum Theatre is a participatory theatre technique that can be applied to all kinds of work committed to social action and transformation—educational, political, creative, cultural and beyond. This training will bring out your ability to overcome societal and self-imposed limits in order to better include and interact with others. Read more.

ipraExtended Deadline -
Call For Papers:
25th IPRA General Conference
“Uniting for Peace: Building Sustainable Peace Through Universal Values,” August 10-14, 2014, Istanbul, Turkey
->Extended submission deadline: April 30, 2014
The International Peace Research Association (IPRA) is hosting the 25th General Conference on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of IPRA under the theme “Uniting for Peace: Building Sustainable Peace Through Universal Values.” In pursuit of building sustainable peace based on universal values, aiming at further contributing to the academic debate and on the occasion of the IPRA’s 50th anniversary conference will focus on issues related to post Cold War political ideology, geopolitics, geoeconomics, international and regional cooperation on intra-state and cross-border conflicts. The conference will also include a convening of several IPRA Commissions including the Art & Peace Commission. A call for submissions of abstracts for papers, posters, or panel proposals has been issued and the deadline has been extended to February 15, 2014. Read more about the call for papers, the conference, participation fees, and read the latest IPRA newsletter. Apply using the online submission tool. If you have difficulty with online application, download an application form.

The Body Hotel - Summer Taster Session
May 10, 10:00am - 4:00pm
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
The Body Hotel is a movement workshop designed for personal or professional development. It is a chance for "You time", a space to be, to move, and to discover. The aim is to find connections through creative ways, exploring new perspectives in a relaxing, safe atmosphere. Arts, education and health practitioners can also apply these ideas, activities and skills in their professional work. This workshop is open to all - no experience in movement is necessary! This is a taster session for the course, which will start in Fall 2014. The workshop is led by dance movement psychotherapist and dance practitioner Thania Acarón. Limited spaces are available and reservations are essential. For more information visit the website or contact thebodyhotel@gmail.com.

BRIDGES Intercultural Productions
BRIDGES Intercultural Productions is all about dance, music, poetry, and theater. The organization is international and has a mission is to connect people from all walks of life by uniting them in artistic expression. For the past 14 years, BRIDGES has been presenting onstage those issues that affect the human condition such as human rights, cultural identity and environmental preservation, and consistently champions the rights of women, girls, and migrant families, expressed and propagated through the power of dance, theatre, music, and workshops. The organization is working with Women Empowerment Nepal to host the Women Warrior Dance Empowerment Workshop as part of 1 Billion Rising for JusticeLearn more about BRIDGES.

A Guide to Tweeting for Peace and Social Change
Since its founding in 2006, Twitter has rapidly grown to be one of the most powerful online platforms for connecting hundreds of millions of individuals and organizations around the world. Over the past few years, Twitter has rapidly become a powerful tool for connecting social activists fostering political reform and change in many regions of the world… Read more.

TED Talk Video: "The Danger of a Single Story"
Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice, and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding... Watch the video.

New publication - Performing Peace-building: Conferences, Rituals and the Role of Ethnographic Research
by Tobias Denskus
IDSThis article explores performance and ritual theory in the context of anthropological research on peace-building institutions and knowledge discourses... The article analyses how a potentially critical and contested concept such as liberal peace-building has been absorbed by an emerging ritual economy of indoor events, policy papers and transnational actors… Download the paper

Photo & Painting Contest “Women for Conflict Reconciliation and Peace”
Society Without Violence announces a photo and painting contest titled “Women for reconciliation and peace.” Female photographers, photo journalists, artists, activists or anybody interested to raise her voice for long lasting peace are encouraged to participate in this art contest through presenting their vision of women's role in conflict resolution and peace building. The project will run in two countries: Armenia and Turkey. Learn more and download the application.

The Creative Time Summit
November 14-15, 2014
Stockholm, Sweden
The Creative Time Summit is the leading conference devoted to exploring the intersection between art and social justice. Every year, the most innovative artists, activists, critics, writers, and curators come together in New York to engage with one another and a global audience about how they are attempting to change our world in unprecedented ways. Since its inception in 2009, the Summit has engaged 4,000 live audience members and a remote Livestream audience of over 30,000. The organization is guided by three core values: art matters, artists’ voices are important in shaping society, and public spaces are places for creative and free expression. View a video about the Summit. View video highlights from the 2013 Summit as well as full recordings of the presentations . Follow Creative Time on Twitter and learn about the 2014 Summit.
creative time summit

Intensive Theater Course: 
Professional Pathways in Applied Performance

Syracuse University, The Fisher Center
May 28-June 5, 2014
This course introduces career options using performance in contexts and venues including education, the justice system, healthcare, the political arena, community development, museums, and social service agencies. Students encounter multiple performance methods-- story-based, devised, adaptations, solo, site specific, dance, and musical--and glean how such work is used with participants of all ages, ethnicities, and circumstances. The course instructor is Jan Cohen-Cruz, PhD, editor of "Public: A Journal of Imagining America." Read more.

MATDegree.net is a new website created by Emma Lacey that is dedicated to Arts education resources. Visitors can search for degree programs for teaching the arts, such as a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), or a Master’s in Education (MEd) for those who already have a teaching licensure and experience teaching. Visit the site.

La MaMa Umbria International announces:
15th Annual International Symposium for Directors/Theatre-makers: Theatre for Social Change and Community Engagement
5th Annual Playwright Retreat
la mamaSpoleto, Italy
Summer, 2014
Approaching theatre for social change from a variety of perspectives, the both programs bring together master artists who focus on the practical application of theatre practices as a means for involving communities in social and political issues.

International Symposium for Directors/Actors/Theatre-makers
Session One: June 30 – July 14, 2014
Session Two: July 16 – July 30, 2014
The symposium will be composed of professional workshops with topics such as Theatre of the Oppressed & Playback Theatre, From Personal To Collective History, and Performance For Personal and Social Change. The workshops will be taught by artists including Chen Alon (Israel), Enrico Casagrande & Daniela Nicolo (Italy), Hjalmar Jorge Joffre-Eichorn (Bolivia/Germany), Belarus Free Theatre with Natalia Kaliada, Vladimir Shcherban, Nikolia Khalezin (Belarus), Jessica Litwak (USA), Dijana Milosevic (Serbia), Roberto G. Varea (Argentina).

International Playwright Retreat
August 1 - 10, 2014
Application Deadline: May 15
(Limited spaces available. Download the application.)
Playwrights will enjoy ten days living and writing in the Umbrian countryside at La MaMa Umbria International artist residence in Italy. During the session participants will have ample time to work on new or existing material. Each day, master playwright Catherine Filloux (France/USA) will meet with the playwrights to facilitate discussions, workshops and exercises designed to help the writer with whatever challenges they are facing. Catherine Filloux, a playwright who explores how people live in a time of horrifying abuses to human rights, will explore the role of the activist playwright, while helping writers with a project they wish to write.

Summer Peacebuilding Institute (SPI)
May 5 – June 13, 2014
EMUEastern Mennonite University’s Summer Peacebuilding Institute (SPI) will be held May 5 through June 13 this year. An interactive approach is used in all courses to draw upon the rich experience of participants as well as instructors.Courses are open to people interested in integrating conflict transformation, peacebuilding, restorative justice, trauma awareness, and related fields into their own work and life. The "Acting Together" anthology is included in the required reading for the course. Registration is open for courses including Playback Theatre for Conflict Transformation and Media for Societal Transformation. Learn more, view the flyer about these courses, and apply.

Call for Papers:

UNESCO Observatory E-Journal
Volume 4 Issue 2

"Critical Approaches to Arts Based Research"
observatoryThe UNESCO Observatory is a refereed e- journal based within the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning at The University of Melbourne, Australia. The journal promotes multi- disciplinary research in the arts and arose out of a recognized need for knowledge sharing in the field. There are many instances where the arts work successfully in collaboration with formerly non-traditional partners such as the sciences and health care, and this peer-reviewed journal aims to publish examples of excellence. The journal has issued a call for papers for a special issue on arts-based research. Guest editors will include Dr. Anne Harris of Monash University and Dr. Mary Ann Hunter of the University of Tasmania. Learn more about the journal and read past issuesRead more about the call for papers and submission guidelines. The submission deadline is June 2, 2014.

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