Our History

Over the last 15 years, numerous conferences, conversations, and reports have addressed the potential and the challenges of engaging art and culture in creating more just, more vibrant, and less violent communities.

Governments and intergovernmental agencies, policy think tanks, educational and cultural institutions, artists, and funders increasingly have become interested in the contributions of the arts and culture to social justice, mutual understanding, and the creative transformation of conflict. Today there is growing consensus about:

This growing consensus led into a planning process to design an infrastructure to support the arts, culture, and conflict transformation ecosystem. The planning process, which ran from September 2017 to February 2019, was supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and coordinated through the Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts at Brandeis in collaboration with the Baker Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies at Juniata College (Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, USA) and Maseno University (Kisumu, Kenya).

During the planning process, voices from over 500 people and groups in seven regions of the world shared thoughts on the strengths, needs, and challenges of the acct ecosystem.

Design Labs

In September 2018, IMPACT convened 26 people from across the arts, culture, and conflict transformation ecosystem coming from 18 countries in a multi-faceted, creative design exercise facilitated by EmcArts to imagine how structures and processes can best address complicated and complex issues facing the acct ecosystem. In December 2018, IMPACT facilitated a youth-focused design lab (pdf)* involving 35 young artists from nine countries.

Accomplishments During the Planning Process

Read more in Imagine IMPACT: An Emerging Strategy to Strengthen the Arts, Culture, and Conflict Transformation Ecosystem (pdf)*.

*PDFs included here may be requested by completing the online publication request form.