Table of Contents

IMPACT: Imagining Together

The Distinct Power of Arts to Transform Conflict

Strategic Priorities and Plans

Values and Discourse Principles

Learning Exchanges


Multilingual Reports




Get Involved


Upcoming Events:


Read the Overview of the April Virtual Learning Exchange


Listen: Think Tank Discussion on the Emerging ACCT Field
Hosted by the International Teaching Artist Conference (ITAC)


New Report- "Imagine IMPACT: An emerging strategy to strengthen the arts, culture, and conflict transformation ecosystem"

impact report


New Partner: International Community Arts Festival (ICAF)
ICAF logo


Questions or ideas? Please contact IMPACT’s Project Manager Armine Avetisyan:




cynthia cohenCynthia Cohen Ph.D., IMPACT Project Director and Director of Programs in Peacebuilding and the Arts

Cynthia E. Cohen is Director of the Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts at the International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life at Brandeis University, and director of IMPACT – Imagining Together: Platform for Arts, Culture and Conflict Transformation. At Brandeis, she initiated an undergraduate minor in Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation. Cindy has written extensively on the aesthetic and ethical dimensions of conflict transformation, including the chapters “Engaging with the Arts to Promote Coexistence” and “Creative Approaches to Reconciliation.” She co-edited and co-authored Acting Together: Performance and the Creative Transformation of Conflict, a two-volume anthology accompanied by a documentary film and a toolkit of educational and training materials. She holds a PhD in Education from the University of New Hampshire, a Master’s in Urban Studies from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a BA in Ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University.

ArmineArmine Avetisyan, Project Manager

Armine Avetisyan is a graduate student in Conflict Resolution and Coexistence (COEX) program at the Heller School at Brandeis University. She holds another MA degree in Cultural Management from Istanbul Bilgi University (Turkey).

Armine comes from Armenia, a country with ongoing conflicts with two of its neighbors – Azerbaijan and Turkey. She was born in Gyumri in Armenia, a city located very close to Turkish border, which is one of the few sealed borders in the world right now.

Armine has been involved in nonviolence work creating bridges of communication between people, separated by the closed border, for over a decade. She has been working on creation of platforms for people from Armenia and Turkey to come together and open up the possibility for dialogue through various forms of arts and culture, namely visual arts, music, cinema, and even food.

JessicaJessica Berns, Planning Consultant

Jessica Berns serves as Planning Consultant to IMPACT. In this role she worked with the Project Director to launch the planning process, including the creation of key systems, defining key messages, and establishing a work plan. Jessica first connected with Peacebuilding and the Arts when she served as Program Director for Coexistence International at Brandeis University (2005 – 2010) and helped to convene an initiative that lead to the Acting Together project.

With two decades of international experience in peacebuilding and governance, Jessica has worked extensively with university-based programs. Her areas of expertise include strategic planning, program design and implementation, and communications. She has a special interest in civil society network and partnership development. Jessica Berns is the Founder and Principal of Jessica Berns Consulting. She creates strategies, designs programs, develops partnerships, and builds communication platforms motivated by a vision of a safer, more just, and an equal world.

emilyEmily Forsyth Queen

Emily Forsyth Queen is an independent consultant specializing in inclusive strategic planning, program design, and learning for trauma-informed conflict transformation and development. She has nearly 10 years of experience in monitoring, evaluation, research, and learning and is dedicated to sparking radically inclusive adaptation and innovation. Within donor organizations like USAID and peacebuilding organizations like the Alliance for Peacebuilding, she has driven action research on using participatory evaluation approaches grounded in systems thinking within complex environments. Now that she has graduated with two M.A. degrees from the Heller School at Brandeis University, Emily hopes to integrate her skills with work on trauma, healing, the arts, and reconciliation.

LaurenLauren Satterlee, Web and Communications Specialist

Lauren Satterlee manages research, writes content and serves as editor for the Peacebuilding and the Arts NOW e-newsletter as well as the organization's website. Lauren holds a MA in Sustainable International Development from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. Currently, Lauren also manages programs for the U.S. office of the Forest Stewardship Council, an international nonprofit organization that works to promote environmentally sound, socially beneficial, and economically prosperous management of the world's forests. Lauren has managed digital communications for other nonprofit organizations, including managing the social media presence and developing web 2.0 strategy for American Refugee Committee. She co-organized the Red Hot Art Festival  in Minneapolis, and has a strong belief in the power of the arts to give a voice to individuals and  communities, especially those that are traditionally marginalized. Lauren is also an amateur photographer. She is honored to have the opportunity to support to the work of the Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts and a remarkable global network of artists, cultural workers, and peacebuilders.