What's Happening

Coexistence in the Aftermath of Mass Violence -New Book!

book review


Forces of Art: Perspectives from a Changing WorldNew Book!

An initiative of Prince Claus Fund, European Cultural Foundation and HIVOS

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Opportunities for artists and cultural workers in January and February 2021



Open Call – MASARAT: Grants for artists and cultural initiatives

Apply by February 7, 2021!



Join: Creative Approaches to Transitional Justice Conversations Series

(in partnership with Acts of Listening LabCenter for Oral History and Digital Storytelling at Concordia University)

drawing of a tree


Songs of Resistance and Hope by Jane Wilburn Sapp

Encouraging voting on Instagram | Facebook 

In the vodcast, Jane Sapp offers specific songs to support the current demands for racial justice and explores how songs can energize the movement. #votedeis 





CAST Commitments, in Solidarity with Black Lives Matter

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Relaunch of Acting Together on the World Stage Website - Multi-media educational initiative

an actor on the stage

Platform for Arts, Culture and Conflict Transformation

Designing an infrastructure for the field

Read more.



2019-2020 Annual Report: Creativity, the Arts and Social Transformation (CAST)

title page of a report




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.



Buffer Fringe Performing Arts Festival in Nicosia, Cyprus

2020 theme - “Displacement: people, ideas and artistic practice”

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Featured News from the Field Theme:

"The Art of Getting Out the Vote in the United States"



"Creative Approaches to Climate Change"

animal sculpture 


Past News from the Field Theme:"Arts, Artists and Demands for Racial Justice"


"Navigating the Nexus of Arts and Peace" book authored by Carrie Herbert, Suyheang Kry, Raymond Hyma, Dona Park, and María Antonia Pérez

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‘White Savior’ by internationally acclaimed playwright Catherine Filloux Premieres at Pygmalion Productions 
Read the press release for details. 

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The cultural mobilization of cities and local governments in the COVID-19 crisis

Exquisite Corps (42 choreographers, 1 dance)

Special Edition: "Creative Approaches to Transitional Justice: the Contributions of Art and Culture"
The International Journal of Transitional Justice
Guest edited by Dr. Cynthia Cohen and featuring:


Past News from the Field Theme: "Creative responses to the global pandemic"

Past News from the Field Theme: "Artistic and cultural dimensions of protest movements around the globe"

Article: Let’s make a better world: policy implications of the cultural work practice of Jane Wilburn Sapp
Journal of Arts Education Policy Review
October 26, 2019
Dr. Cynthia Cohen

Video: Fate, Family and the Floundering of a Friendship

Past News from the Field Theme: "The Impact of Authoritarian Regimes on Artistic Freedom and Expression"

Songbook: Let’s Make a Better World: Stories and Songs by Jane Sapp
*Purchase Now!*
And listen to the related podcast series.

Sarah Terrazano wins Academy of American Poets Prize

Past News from the Field Theme: "Artists Respond to Climate Change"

Past News from the Field Theme: "Creative Reflections on Human Migration"


Professor Cynthia Cohen Solves the World's Problems with Creativity
The Brandeis Hoot

"Arts and Building Peace: The Basics and Envisioning the Future"
Essay by Cynthia Cohen
Peace in Progress Magazine

Interview with Lee Perlman about the
book “But Abu Ibrahim, We’re Family!”

Read more News from the Field.

Acting Together Documentary

holding hands

Watch the preview!

Find "Acting Together" screenings near you.

News - Archive

December 2011

Just Performance: Enacting Justice in the Wake of Violence
December 1 & 2
The International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life organized an innovative symposium with the Northeastern University School of Law on December 1st and 2nd, 2011, which examined the approaches through which societies seek justice in the aftermath of violent conflict and gross violations of human rights. The exploration focused on four different types of “performance” used by communities and societies to pursue justice and restore trust: public ritual, theater, truth commissions, and judicial proceedings... Read more.

Just Performance:
Symposium addresses role of theater in justice

The International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life held a two-day symposium, “Just Performance: Enacting Justice in the Wake of Violence,” to explore how societies address legacies of violence. The event took place on Dec. 1 and 2 and offered two full days of classes, panels and workshops. The focus was on Peru, Cambodia and the United States, and brought together scholars in the fields of law, transitional justice, and theater to discuss three overarching ideas: How societies best recover from widespread violence and human rights violations… Read more.

Strengthening Work at the Nexus of the Arts and Peacebuilding: Preliminary Report on Survey

The Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts at Brandeis University conducted an online survey about priorities for strengthening work at the nexus of arts and peacebuilding. Between October 25 and November 2, one hundred thirty-two people completed the survey online; about half identify themselves as artists and cultural workers, and about half as peacebuilders. By far, most respondents conceptualize work at the nexus of peacebuilding and the arts as either "a field" or "an emerging field." In prioritizing the kinds of resources that would be most helpful in strengthening work in this area, respondents ranked most highly the following: funding, technical assistance to strengthen organizations, training opportunities in conflict regions, opportunities for international exchange, and cultivation of leaders. Additional work will be done to analyze survey responses over the next 3-6 months. Read the preliminary report.

November 2011

The Transformative Power of Peacebuilding
November 10
The Common Ground Blog

"Art is not what one sees but what one can make others see.” With this quote from painter Edgard Degas, Sheldon Himmelfarb, Director at the Center of Innovation at United States Institute for Peace (USIP) opened the Conflict Prevention and Resolution Forum on art and peacebuilding. The first panelist was Cynthia Cohen, Director of the Peacebuilding and the Arts program at Brandeis University, Boston... Read more.

Conflict Prevention and Resolution Forum: Arts and Conflict

November 8
U.S. Institute of Peace, 2301 Constitution Ave, NW
Washington, DC

Featured speakers: Cynthia Cohen, Director of the Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts at Brandeis University, and Lena Slachmuijlder, Chief Programming Officer at Search for Common Ground.

The arts provide a window through which communities recovering from conflict can explore painful social wounds. How can peacebuilders better engage the arts, media and culture to their advantage?
Learn more
and Register Now.

Musical Presentation by Jane Sapp Opens the Peacebuilding and the Arts Weekend Intensive
November 1
Friday, October 21, Jane Sapp, singer-songwriter, storyteller and educator, began her presentation by sitting at the piano and playing a few simple blues chords before letting the music capture everyone in the audience. Soon, her soulful rendition of This Little Light of Mine filled Slosberg Music Hall... Read more.

October 2011

Boston Premiere of "Acting Together on the World Stage"
Evening showcases importance of performing arts in peacebuilding

October 23
Artists, peacebuilders, students and educators gathered last night in Distler Performance Hall for the Boston premiere of "Acting Together on the World Stage," a documentary about artistic groups around the world who use creativity in the performing arts to address conflict resolution... Read more.

September 2011

Acting Together on the World Stage: Moral Imagination and Resilience: Master class for leaders in Arts & Peacebuilding
September 26-29

This four-day master class is co-led by Cynthia Cohen and Dijana Milošević, at the Derry Playhouse's International Culture and Arts Network, Northern Ireland. To attend, contact elaine@derryplayhouse.co.uk.

BBC Radio Arts Extra Interview
September 28

Northern Ireland
Interview with Dr. Cynthia Cohen and Dijana Milošević about the Irish Premiere of "Acting Together on the World Stage" in Derry and Belfast and the cultural work in the region. Listen now.

April 2011

Read Exploring Ethics: Ethics Center Leadership Council Blog:
Read blogs by our ECLC members, Anna Khandros and Yuan Yao.

Peacebuilding and the Arts Think Tank: Educating Future Leaders

Dr. Cynthia Cohen: A Consortium on Peacebuilding and the Arts.

Dr. Cynthia Cohen is the woman behind this week’s events at Brandeis University on Peacebuilding and the Arts and the director of the program on Peacebuilding and the Arts at the university’s Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life.  Cynthia is also the creator of the soon-to-be-released documentary on the topic, a two-volume anthology and a tool kit to help peacebuilders engage effectively with the arts.

Watch the interview to hear Cynthia discusses what she hopes will come of the gathering.

Interview with Carrie MacLeod: Why Arts and Peacebuilding?

It’s been a terrific gathering at Brandeis University these past few days discussing strategies and values around Peacebuilding and the Arts. There’s much to synthesize! I’ll post more soon, but to start here’s a quick interview with Carrie MacLeod, faculty at University of British Columbia and at the European Graduate School. Carrie has used arts-based peacebuilding methods for years – and articulates well why the arts are such a powerful tool in creating a safe space for healing and envisioning new relationships.

Interview with Michelle LeBaron: How People REALLY Solve Problems

University of British Columbia law professor Michelle LeBaron says peacebuilding practitioners and scholars miss key opportunities to transform conflict when they ignore the wisdom of body and intuition.  LeBaron is a participant in this week’s roundtable and think tank on Peacebuilding and the Arts held at Brandeis University. Professor LeBaron’s current work Dancing at the Crossroads explores dance and movement as resources for bringing people together across historical divides.

Watch the interview with Michelle LeBaron.

Interview with Erik Ehn: The Avalanche Towards Peace

Erik Ehn is a prolific playwright and peacebuilder who offered intriguing metaphors and keen insight about Peacebuilding and the Arts at this week’s Brandeis roundtable and think tank. Among many other things, Ehn conducts annual trips to Rwanda/Uganda, taking students and professionals in the field to study the history of these countries, and to explore the ways art is participating in recovery from violence. He produces the Arts in the One World conference yearly, which engages themes of art and social change.

Watch the interview to hear Erik’s take on the inevitable emergence of arts in the practice of peacebuilding

Peacebuilding and the Arts Weekend Intensive (Program works with arts to create peace)

The artist does not have to produce his work in isolation; instead of being confined to the walls of his studio, the artist can place his work in a more global, social context. Students and community development professionals came together from April 1 to April 3 to discuss the role of art in a global context and how it can raise questions about conflict...Read More.

November 2010

Talking to Mahmood (YouTube) on November 4, 2010. Cindy Cohen and Allison Lund were interviewed by Mahmood Karimi-Hakak, Iranian theater artist, poet and educator.

October 2010

Cynthia Cohen of Brandeis University presented a keynote at the International Culture Arts Network Conference 2010, "Exchange: Collaborative Arts/Conflict Transformation." ICAN's inaugural conferences - the second is devoted to visual arts - examine and share experiences of arts and cultural work in international conflict, post-conflict and socially disadvantaged community contexts.

September 2010

"Acting Together," a new documentary film created by the Peacebuilding and the Arts Program of Brandeis' International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life in collaboration with Theatre Without Borders, was launched at a special screening at the La Mama Experimental Theatre Club in New York City on September 23, 2010, at a major international conference on theater and peacebuilding in conflict zones. Read about the launch on BrandeisNOW. More details on the Ethics Center website.