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

book cover


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

logo with letters


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”

 poster with an image of walking human figures



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

book cover


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

human face


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


"Synergy: Women, Creativity & Peacebuilding"
by Cynthia Cohen
Revised Presentation Notes from Keynote Address 
Mount Mary University, Milwaukee, WI
November 21-22, 2013

"In November of 2013, I was honored to be invited to a two-day symposium at Mount Mary University in Milwaukee. The event, Synergies: Women, Creativity and Peacebuilding, was coordinated by Lynne Woehrle and Jordan Anderson and involved students, faculty and staff from across the Mount Mary campus. Jen Freeman of the Women’s Peacemakers Program at the Kroc Center at the University of San Diego joined me in sharing stories about our careers with students, and in offering keynotes on the symposium theme.  In addition, the film "Acting Together on the World Stage" was screened, and I led a workshop on peacebuilding and the arts for about 50 members of the Mount Mary community joined by local artists and cultural workers..." Read more of Cindy's paper, and read more about the event.

Award-Nominated Book Review by Jean Randich
truthdigJoin us in congratulating Jean Randich as a finalist for consideration in the Los Angeles Press Club's 6th Annual National Entertainment Journalism Awards for her review of the first volume of "Acting Together: Performance and the Creative Transformation of Conflict.” This award is presented to a "Critic that embodies the best qualities of depth and overall excellence on entertainment or arts critique." Read Jean's review on TruthDig.com (or the PDF version).


Learn more about the Acting Together project, including the anthology and documentaryRead another review by Jean of the second volume of the Acting Together anthology on TruthDig.com (or the PDF version). Read additional reflections and responses about the anthology and documentary.

A review of the Acting Together documentary
compathosby Shoshana Zeldner, MA '12
featured by the Compathos Foundation

ATdoc"The 'purest densest meanings are conveyed through art, through individual and collective creations driven by the desire to express and communicate unencumbered by extraneous objectives (Adams, Goldbard).' Because human beings are avid meaning-makers, the arts offer a necessary discipline for meaningful expression. Not only does art provide a communication channel that transgresses traditional boundaries but it also provides a platform for difficult conversations and invites the public expression of complex or controversial ideas..." Read more of the review. Read more about the Acting Together documentary.

“Peacebuilding and the Arts: Join the Global Conversation,” an article by Cindy Cohen in the upcoming
Olive Branch Teacher’s Guide


Seeds of Peace is a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring and equipping new generations of leaders from regions of conflict with the relationships, understanding, and skills needed to advance lasting peace. One of the elements of their Educator Programs is the Olive Branch Teacher’s Guide. Cindy Cohen contributed an article to the upcoming issue titled “Peacebuilding and the Arts: Join the Global Conversation.” View Cindy's article (2MB). The full version of the guide is also available for download (23MB). Please visit the Seeds of Peace website for versions in Arabic and Hebrew, as well as past issues of the guide, and to read more about the teacher’s guides.

PeterWallPanel on Resilience, the Arts and Social Transformation at UBC Conference
September 17-19, 2013
The University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver, Canada


'Graphic Recording' of 
presentation by Cynthia
Cohen. Created by Dr.
Aftab Erfan (larger version).

The Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of British Columbia hosted a conference featuring scholars from the University-Based Institutes for Advanced Study (UBIAS).  UBC Professor Michelle LeBaron chaired a panel on the theme of resilience, that featured former Brandeis International Fellow Dr. Kim Berman of South Africa; Acting Together contributor Dr. Mary Ann Hunter of Australia; Neuroscientist Dr. Peter Reiner of UBC; and Cindy Cohen. Listen to a podcast of the entire panel; read Cindy's remarksDr. Aftab Erfan created graphic recordings of all of the panel presentations. 


Panel presenters (left to right): Mary Ann Hunter;
Cynthia Cohen; Aftab Erfan; Michelle LeBaron; Kim Berman.

Acting Together at Community Arts Lab (CAL) Theatre Research/Festival in Utrecht
June 20-21, 2013

Over 150 international artists joined colleagues from The Netherlands in a midsummer’s weekend theatre festival hosted by Acting Together contributor and CAL director, Eugene van Erven. The festival was an extraordinarily diverse gathering of artists, scholars and students, joined by 1500 children and adults from the city of Utrecht in a final gala parade and dinner, marking the culmination of a seven-year initiative honoring the 300th anniversary of the Peace Treaty of Utrecht.


Ana Correa shares her enthusiasm about
the multilingual version of the "Acting
Together" documentary with her brother,
at the research festival in Utrecht.
The film is available at www.recastinc.org

Dijana Milošević and Roberto Varea, featured Acting Together artists, joined Cynthia Cohen in leading a workshop and screening the project’s award winning documentary. We distributed multilingual copies of the film to colleagues from Sri Lanka, the Netherlands, Bolivia, and, shown here, Ana Correa from "Grupo Cultural Yuyachkani" of Peru. Roberto Varea’s  and Cynthia Cohen’s participation in the Utrecht festival was supported, in part, by public funds from the Consulate General of The Netherlands in New York. Read Cynthia Cohen's report on the research festival.


Cynthia Cohen: First, Peace
Her strategies for defusing conflicts converge at the nexus of art and justice
By Simi Horwitz
American Theatre Magazine
ATM“The United States government spends more on a single day on the war in Afghanistan than its annual budget for the National Endowment for the Arts,” Cynthia Cohen will tell you, reciting the statistic with a certain degree of exasperation. “The issue is society’s lack of investment in creativity, versus its habit of addressing conflicts destructively. We in the arts can transform conflicts creatively for the betterment of everyone…” Read more.

PAX 250 – The Arts of Building Peace
Fall 2013 Course, Brandeis University
Instructor: Cynthia Cohen
Time: Tuesdays, 2:00 - 4:50pm
Spingold Theatre Center, Room 111


PAX 250 students with
Ulafa’a Visual Artists of Bahrain
Photo credit: Ethics Center

Through analysis of case studies, interviews with socially engaged artists, critical reflections on works of art and student projects, this course explores how cultural productions contribute to non-violent resistance, the re-humanization of former enemies, and reconciliation. It will focus on performance and visual arts. There are no prerequisites and this course is open to both graduates and undergraduates. Contact Alia Goldfarb for more information. See other courses supported by the Ethics Center.

Choosing Peace in Bahrain: Using the Arts to Unite

April 19, The Brandeis Hoot
Ten young artists from Bahrain were at Brandeis from April 14th through the 20th, and they attended a week-long training on peacebuilding and the arts, facilitated by Cynthia Cohen. Their art exhibition will be up until April 28th as a part of the Festival of the Arts. Read more of the article in the Brandeis Hoot. Read more about the visit by the Ulafa'a Artists of Bahrain.


Ulafa’a Team members with Sarah McCarty, a Brandeis student 
at their art exhibit in the Campus Center. Their exhibit is up
until April 28th as a part of the Festival of the Arts.
Photo: Courtesy of the Ulafa’a team.

Cynthia Cohen to Receive Medicine Woman Award

June 5, 6:30pm
The Cyclorama
539 Tremont St, Boston, MA
Medicine Wheel Productions will be honoring Cynthia Cohen with the Medicine Woman Award at their annual Turning the Wheel Fundraiser on June 5, 2013. Dr. Cohen will be honored along with Mark Smith, Ed Merritt, and Shani Dowd, who will also be honored with Medicine Men & Women Awards. For more details on the event or on sponsorship opportunities, please contact Michael Dowling at mdowling@mwproductions.org or call 617-268-6700.


Cynthia at Medicine Wheel Productions with 2012 recipient
Fay Chandler and the other 2013 "Medicine Woman" Shani Dowd.
Photo Credit: Dan Terris

Acting Together on the World Stage receives the
“Spirit of Place” award!

February 8, 2013
The documentary, “Acting Together on the World Stage” is receiving the “Spirit of Place” award at the 9th Orlando Latin American Film & Heritage Festival (OLA FEST,) presented by the Awakening/Art & Culture Ola Fest. The "Spirit of Place" Award is an award that was established two years ago for excellence in social realism and activism in the arts. The opening night for the OLA FEST includes Flamenco music concert and a screening of the “Acting Together on the World Stage,” followed by Q & A with Roberto Varea. More information.


Read the news from the Ethics Central: Winter/Spring 2013 issue

Rose Art Museum Exhibit a Catalyst for Peacebuilding Explorations (page 1)

From Bahrain to Brandeis and Back Again (page 3)



Ethical Inquiry: Should peacebuilders encourage oppressed people to empathize with their oppressors?

Photo: Samira, Lod Ghetto, a year after 1948,
from the series, Scanograms #1, 2010,
manipulated readymade, archival inkjet.


Photo credit: Cindy Cohen

Peacebuilding and the Arts Update: Reflections on Fall by Cindy Cohen
January 2013

It is the last weekend before the spring semester begins at Brandeis, and it looks like the semester will be a full one.  … Before I jump onto the speeding train known as spring semester, I’m taking a few moments to reflect on this past fall, which was an extraordinary period… Read more.