The concept for the minor in Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation (CAST) was proposed by Dr. Cynthia Cohen (pictured), director of the Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts based at the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life. Cohen's initial ideas were discussed and strengthened by a group of students involved in her courses and projects. A preliminary proposal was reviewed and strengthened by many members of the faculty. The Brandeis faculty approved the minor in its current form in May 2014, and Jennifer Cleary of the Department of Theater Arts joined the advisory committee as co-chair. The first students enrolled in the fall of 2014, and the introductory course was taught for the first time in the spring of 2015.
CAST is governed by an advisory committee, and is administratively hosted by the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life. A student advisory committee was formed to assist with the launch of the minor and to bring students' perspectives to the shaping of the program.
With generous support from the following donors, the minor sponsors small grants for faculty research and creative projects, and hosts conversations and events that invite affiliated students and faculty into an interdisciplinary community of inquiry:
- Amy Merrill ’68
- Elaine Reuben ’63
- The Max and Sunny Howard Memorial Foundation, with the inspiration of Naomi Sinnreich P’13.
- We also appreciate support from Ammad Bahalim ’04, for his visionary funding of CAST 170a: Documenting the Immigrant Experience, which has focused on the stories of immigrants from Muslim majority countries.