Platform for Arts, Culture and Conflict Transformation

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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.


Featured Themes:

One year of the pandemic: stories of artists and art

a poster with Japanese mythical character


Countering intimate partner violence during the pandemic: some innovative approaches

a performance in public space engaging


Community Arts Network launches a new website

abstract background with text over it


A Call for Translations of a Summary of a United Nations Cultural Rights Report
Apply by May 7!

ohhcr logo

New podcast series about creative peacebuilding



The Ann Snitow Prize
Nominate someone by June 15!

human portrait


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

painting of human figures 


Open Call – MASARAT: Grants for artists and cultural initiatives

Apply by February 7, 2021!




Buffer Fringe Performing Arts Festival in Nicosia, Cyprus

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

 poster with an image of walking human figures


Past Themes: 

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



"Creative Approaches to Climate Change"

animal sculpture 


Past Featured Theme: Arts, Artists and Demands for Racial Justice 



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"

Let’s Make a Better World: Stories and Songs by Jane Sapp
*Purchase Now!*

And listen to the related podcast series.

A Reflection on Ebony Axis
By Sarah Nzisabira

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

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

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

Just Vision
just vision

MASS Action (Museums As Site for Social Action)

Report of the Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights
January 4, 2018
Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (ONCHR)

As Criminalization of the Arts Intensifies in Cuba, Activists Organize
Yanelyz Nunez Leyva
Photo courtesy Yanelyz Nuñez Leyva, Hyperallergic

Theatre. Immersion. Education. (TIE)

On Ajoka: An Interview and In Memoriam
By Fawzia Afzal-Khan

Zurich, Switzerland

Introducing USDAC Outposts

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

Theatre: Spotlight on Russia

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

Pop Culture Collaborative

Film: “Disturbing the Peace”
Combatants for Peace
disturbing peace

Art Radar

Quilts from Syria and Iraq
The Advocacy Project

Displaced Artists Fund Residency Program
Vermont Studio Center

A TheTheatreTimes.com
Now Seeking Contributions

Women In Music

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

Oakland Arts Review
Call for Submissions

Monitoring and Evaluation of Participatory Theatre for Change
Search for Common Ground, UNICEF

“Yes, Art and Culture Can Change the World”
By Adam Horowitz
GOOD Magazine

Artist Protection Fund (AFP)
Apply Now


USDAC "HI-LI" Creative Community Database
Accepting project submissions

Optivism - Music & Film

24th International Festival of Student Theatre
September 28 to October 2
Besançon, France

Past Featured Theme -
Artistic Responses to Other Current Global Crises

Publishing opportunity for students and faculty

Africa Yoga Project
Photo Credit: Robin O'Neill

Read Ceremonies of Dance and Song in Native American Peacemaking by Polly Walker

Xchange Perspectives (XCP) is using a Peacebuilding and the Arts report to support their work in South Sudan.
Read more and watch the video

Archive -
News from the Field

Acting Together Documentary

holding hands

Watch the preview!

Find "Acting Together" screenings near you.

News From the Field - Archive 2017

An archived listing of news and events related to our collaborators.

2017 - Archive

  News & Events    |    Arts    |    Resources & Opportunities

  • Past Featured Theme: "Role of Arts in Times of Polarization, Nationalization, and Isolation"
  • Past Featured Theme: "Peacebuilding and Arts Initiatives in the Middle East"
  • Past Featured Theme: "Artists as First Responders in a Time of Moral Crisis"

News and Events

A Doomed Israeli-Palestinian Love Story
Book launch and signing with Iranian-Israeli author Dorit Rabinyan
November 1, 2017, 5:00-6:30 PM
Rapaporte Treasure Hall, Goldfarb Library, Brandeis University

Free and open to the public. Books will be available for purchase. Wheelchair accessible.

Join us for a riveting evening with Dorit Rabinyan, one of Israel’s most acclaimed young writers. The author will discuss and sign copies of her international bestselling, award-winning, All the Rivers, the controversial love story between an Israeli writer and a Palestinian painter.

Cosponsored by the Crown Center for Middle East Studies and by the minor in Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation (CAST); the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies; and the Hebrew Language Program.

Find more events.

Becoming the Vessel: Theater of Witness Summer Training
July 7 - 9, 2017
Friday night: 6:00-9:00pm
Saturday & Sunday: 9:00-6:00pm
Immerse yourself in the process of creating Testimonial Theater in a safe and creative community.

The International Storytelling Center & National Storytelling Festival
October 6-8, 2017
intl-storytellingJonesborough, Tennessee
The cornerstone of the International Storytelling Center is a belief in a single, immutable principle of life—storytelling. People crave, remember, and honor stories. Take a Virtual Tour or visit the Google Art Project to learn more.

Alliance for Peacebuilding 2017 Annual Conference
October 11 - 13, 2017
Washington, DC

afpRegistration is officially open for the Alliance for Peacebuilding’s 2017 Annual Conference. This year’s conference – entitled “Peace Now More Than Ever” -- will serve as a vital platform for strategy, information, and networking during a turbulent time for peace and security worldwide.

Role of Arts in Times of Polarization, Nationalization, and Isolation

Protest Art in the Era of Trump
New York Times
Six boundary-pushing artists talk about protesting current events through their work. The intention is to galvanize and educate, but reactions to the art can be as thorny as the issues the work addresses. Read more.

Venice Biennale taps art angst amid rising nationalism

artnetWith nationalism on the rise, political engagement is central to the artistic dialogue at the Venice Biennale, the world’s oldest contemporary art fair. From the main show, “Viva Arte Viva,” curated by Christine Macel, to 87 national pavilions in the Venice Giardini, Arsenale and throughout the historic city center, artists are contemplating the world around them and giving a voice to underrepresented populations. Exhibits explore topics of migration, Brexit, utopias and dystopias. Read other articles from Artsy and artnet exploring how the Venice Biennale can offer methods for understanding amongst growing nationalism.

Play: Kidnap Road
LmmLa MaMa Experimental Theatre Club
74A E 4th Street, New York, NY
April 27 - May 14, 2017

Written by Catherine Filloux
Directed by Elena Araoz

While Ingrid Betancourt, a former senator and anti-corruption activist, was running for President of Colombia in 2002, she was kidnapped by the Marxist revolutionary terrorist organization the FARC. This story is a theatrical re-imagining of those events. The Woman narrates this story, through “intrusive memory,” a symptom of PTSD. She grapples with an ever-present series of moments in her life, as the play shifts in time and place via fragmentary scenes in a variety of locations.

Catherine Filloux is a theater artist who has been writing about human rights and social justice for over twenty years. She was honored with the 2015 Planet Activist Award and 2017 Otto René Castillo Award for Political Theare for her long career as an activist artist in the theater community. Read more and reserve tickets.

Luncheon Talk: Creating Spaces of Dialogue through Public Art with German-Syrian artist Manaf Halbouni
April 4, 2017, 12:00 - 2:00pm
Faculty Club, Brandeis University

Join the Center for German and European Studies for a luncheon talk on creating public spaces of dialogue through art with award-winning, German-Syrian artist Manaf Halbouni, whose work challenges public perception and parallel narratives. Manaf Halbouni has been making waves lately with his most recent public sculpture called "the Monument." With this sculpture dedicated to the people of Syria, Manaf Halbouni creates a dialogue between the signs of war from a distant land and places it in stark contrast with the scars of Dresden that reveal the success of change, both physically, but also within the community. His other artworks have addressed similar narratives and challenge identity and narratives in public. Halbouni will explore his work in this talk and explain how he created dialogue using his art in a polarized Germany. Learn moreview the event on Facebook, and RSVP.

Lisa Reindorf: Artists Confront Climate Change
Wednesday, March 22, 2017, 3:30pm

Pollack Fine Arts Teaching Center


Image Courtesy of Brandeis'
Fine Arts Department

Contemporary artist and architect Lisa Reindorf will present the work of several artists who interpret the conflict between human-caused climate change and natural ecosystems. Sponsored by the Department of Fine Arts. Free and open to the public.

Evolve Without Boarders: A Global Gathering of Intergenerational Theatre Artists

Convened by Tricklock Theatre Company and Theatre Without Borders
March 16-18, 2017
Albuquerque, NM

evolveThe Revolutions International Theatre Festival’s mission is to connect communities by bringing a broad scope of world theatre to New Mexico, creating a cultural and artistic fusion. The exposure to world theatre and culture increases mutual understanding, inspires change, and empowers individuals to improve the overall quality of life for all people. Visit the website, view the summary, and register.

The Post-Election Role of the Arts

Three Days After the Election

Many, like Bernie Sanders, have argued that since Reagan’s 1980 election we have had 35 years of public policy that ignored rural and inner-city poor and lower-middle class people. It is estimated that now 5% of foundation dollars support rural nonprofits, which are attempting to serve 20% of the U.S. population. C. Bernard “Jack” Jackson told The Los Angeles Times in 1991, "One of the major problems in the so-called minority communities has always been the transient nature of institutions, particularly arts institutions." Dudley Cocke expressed, “What I fear we will see from so-called progressives in the wake of Trump’s election, instead of this commitment to building people-powered organizations, is a flurry of support for ‘bridge initiatives’ – for example, incentives within universities to do more community outreach. We know from experience, however, that without community-based anchor institutions as partners, higher education institutional outreach at best fails to meet the test of need; at worst, it has a disempowering effect on community members’ own sense of agency.”

What It Means To Be An Artist In The Time Of Trump
Huffington Post | November 17, 2016

As the nation collectively struggles to come to terms with what a Donald Trump presidency means, the Huffington Post calls upon artists as activists, optimists, truth-tellers and revolutionaries, to resist the normalization of hate and prejudice, to stand up for the communities that have been marginalized, and advocate for an America that serves all of its citizens. They reached out to artists to ask their opinion on the role of an artist over the coming four years.

Artist Genevieve Gaignard expresses what many minorities are feeling, saying, “I think this election is just forcing a lot of people to confront a dark reality that so many others already face on a daily basis.”

Emma Sulkowicz proclaims, “Everyone has different superpowers. For those whose superpower is helping people through their art, it’s important that they now put that superpower to use.” Read other artists’ responses and view their work. Read also "What it Means to be a Writer in the Time of Trump." Author Celeste NG says, “when you’re fighting intolerance and hatred - as we seem to be - spreading empathy is itself a form of fighting, maybe the most effective and radical and lasting kind there is.”

Read the full article.

The Trump-‘Hamilton’ controversy shows why live theater still matters
The Washtingon Post | November 20, 2016

After Donald Trump's Twitter attack against Hamilton, this opinion piece from the Washington Post reminds its readers of the latent power of theater makers. Citing the national attention garnered by the Broadway musical, this article acknowledges the medium's potential for free expression and expresses optimism about its ability to reach wide audiences.

International Community Arts Festival (CAF)
ICAFMarch 27 - April 2, 2017
Rotterdam, Netherlands
CAF is an International Community Arts Festival sharing community arts from all over the world. Once every three years, ICAF brings together the most innovative, the most controversial, the most inspiring work and those involved in it. The next edition will take place from 27 March to 2 April 2017 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The theme for the next ICAF will be MOVEMENT. Organizers urge you to send your thoughts about the theme including exciting projects that might be a good fit.

Back to the top


Role of Arts in Times of Polarization, Nationalization, and Isolation

These Emerging Artists Are More Than Ready To Defend The First Amendment
The Huffington Post

A show called “Marked Urgent” is raising money for the Committee to Protect Journalists. A show called “Marked Urgent” is raising money for the Committee to Protect Journalists.“Now, more than ever, we need to empower journalists to hold our government accountable and to provide us with the facts we need to remain informed and involved citizens,” Ground Floor Gallery in New York City wrote online. “As passionate arts professionals vested in critical thought and freedom of expression, we feel compelled to respond.”

Constructing identity, shifting borders: Chant Avedissian’s “Transfer, Transport, Transit” at Sabrina Amrani Gallery, Madrid

Chant Avedissian’s return to a gallery marks the time for the artist to talk about our present and changes in our society....The increasingly monumental migratory flows, the new political shifts and alliances, and the digitally evolved forms of social relations push our globalised society to re-sketch the notions of identity, borders and relationship.

These 11 Artists Will Transform the Art World in 2017

More than any year in recent memory, 2017 promises to be a spectacularly messy and uncertain year. Brexit, terrorism, and the immigration crisis threaten the existence of the European Union. ...2017 looks to be the year when art and artists encounter politics and cultural commentary head on. With this in mind, here’s a second prediction for the year ahead: cultural polarization will force a rereading of much art of the past and present.

Peacebuilding and Arts Initiatives in the Middle East

Book: “But Abu Ibrahim, We’re Family!”
By Dr. Lee Perlman
Book Launch: Edinburgh Festival Fringe, August 8-10, 2017

Acting Together Contributor and Research Fellow, Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research, Tel Aviv University, Dr. Lee Perlman, will launch his new book on artist-based peacebuilding performance in Israel, “But Abu Ibrahim, We’re Family!” at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August 2017. “But Abu Ibrahim, We’re Family!” is published by The Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research as part of its research series “Jewish-Arab Peace Building”, which examines Jewish-Arab peace building from the bottom-up.

The book is a series of case studies, describing collaborations between Jewish and Palestinian professional theater artists in Israel and the theater they create to reflect their realities. It depicts the ways in which the artists navigate shifting power dynamics and relations between them, while working together to overcome external social and political forces, which run counter to their work. For more information about the book and speaking engagements, please contact perlmanl@post.tau.ac.il.

“But Abu Ibrahim, We’re Family!” analyzes the socio-political and socio-cultural significance of four “joint productions” – collaborative professional theater productions by Jewish and Palestinian citizens of the State of Israel between the years 2000 and 2010. The target audiences of the book are artists, activists and researchers of the international Performance Peacebuilding community of inquiry and practice, as well as students and scholars of Middle East/Israel, theatre/performance and peace/conflict studies. View the book launch flyer. Read an interview with Lee about the book. Purchase the book.

Elef Laila V'laia

From Elef Laila V’Laila (A Thousand and One Nights), The
Arab-Hebrew Theater of Jaffa and Habima National Theater,
January 2009, Director: Norman Issa. The entire ensemble in wedding
dance in scene from How Abu Hassan Broke Wind. From bottom right
counterclockwise: Oshri Sahar, Loai Noufi, Anital El Bachar, Davit
Gavish, Gila Polizer, Shantal Cohen, Eyal Salama, George Iscander,
and Amir Hillel, in air, in center. Photo credit: Eyal Landsman. 
Permission: The Arab-Hebrew Theater of Jaffa

Film: “Disturbing the Peace”
disturbing peace film
Combatants for Peace is a bi-national movement of Palestinians and Israelis who actively participated in the cycle of violence in the region,but have since chosen the path of nonviolence in promoting peace and coexistence. Combatants for Peace incorporates methodologies from Theatre or the Oppressed in their work; their approach is captured in a powerful new film "Disturbing the Peace," about people born into conflict, sword to be enemies, who challenged their fate. The film follows everyday people who took extraordinary actions by standing for what they believe in. Read more.

Garland of Flowers
By Jonathan Fox

“Garland of Flowers” is Jonathan Fox’s recent account of working with a Playback project in Nepal, a country where he spent two formative years as a young man (referred to in his memoir Beyond Theatre.) Returning to Nepal in 2016 brought new understanding of how his long-ago experience there contributed in important ways to the formation of Playback Theatre.

Playback Theatre and Social Change: Functions, Principles and Practices
By Ben Rivers and Jiwon Chung

Based on the authors’ extensive experience in the US, India, and the Middle East, this concise article proposes a set of well-reasoned principles and guidelines that support the effective, ethical use of Playback Theatre for social change.

Quilts from Syria and Iraq

The two quilts profiled in these pages are the product of the worst humanitarian crisis since World War 2. The embroidered squares were produced by twelve women in Jordan who were exposed to the full fury of war in Iraq, Syria and Palestine before deciding to seek refuge abroad. They brought with them memories of lost friends, destroyed homes and broken lives.

This quilting project has allowed the women to describe this grim experience through embroidery, and in the process build deep friendships. The result is a powerful testament to the horror or war, but also the resilience of refugees.

The quilting initiative was launched in early 2016 when The Advocacy Project formed a partnership with the Collateral Repair Project in Amman.... Read more.

The Post-Election Role of the Arts

“The Messy Truth:” A Mini-Series by Van Jones

In the digital mini-series “The Messy Truth” Van Jones sits down with voters who supported different candidates for president in historic Gettysburg, Pennsylvania -- the site of one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. Van says, “We need to start talking TO each other, not just ABOUT each other… In America today, the establishment is on the ropes, the rebels are on the rise, and now the people are ready to talk. People aren’t just talking, they’re screaming at the top of their lungs. But we can’t seem to listen. In the midst of all the inflammation and toxicity of the election season, we’ve all lost the ability to step into someone else’s shoes and see each other as human beings.”

View the series:

Van Jones is president of Dream Corps and Rebuild the Dream, which promote innovative solutions for America's economy. He was President Barack Obama's green jobs adviser in 2009. A best-selling author, he is also founder of Green for All, a national organization working to build a green economy. “The Messy Truth” is co-produced by the independent production company Magic Labs Media and DC-based documentary filmmakers Meridian Hill Pictures.

Post-Election Declaration and Offering
KGardenerBy Kate Gardner

I. Earthquake

It’s an earthquake. Upheaval and turmoil. Underground rumblings shifting the foundation, old structures cannot stand as they were. Tensions and contradictions tightening and tightening over many years now suddenly released all at once. Revealing what we have hidden from ourselves

Take a look around. It’s not what we think. Open your eyes. Talk to strangers. We have not been here before. This is a new landscape.

II. The Grass Will Grow – Nurture It

Kenya 2008. An incendiary election unleashes a terrifying flood of fear and hate that threatens to rip the country apart. Kenyans on opposite sides of a political, economic and ethnic divide tear at each other’s throats. In two months, over a thousand are killed and half a million expelled from their homes.

But in the midst of dark swirling hatred, there are those weaving acts of humanity... Read the full declaration and offering.

Back to the top


Opportunities and Resources

Theatre: Spotlight on Russia
TheTheatreTimes.com is kicking off its new Spotlight feature on January 15, 2017 with the launch of the Spotlight on Russia series, which showcases new developments in Russian theatre both in Russia and abroad. The Spotlight on Russia includes streaming video of Kama Ginkas’s Black Monk, articles about contemporary Russian theatre, performance reviews, and exclusive interviews. TheTheatreTimes.com will be one of the largest English-language digital resources on contemporary Russian theatre in Russia and abroad. Read the press release and visit the Spotlight on Russia.

TheTheatreTimes.com launched in November 2016 and is quickly becoming the largest/leading global theatre portal, with over 140 editors around the world, covering theatre in over 75 countries.

Broadsided Press: Call for Ekphrastic Writing
Bearing Arms: Responding to Guns in American Culture

broadsidedApplication Deadline: December 27, 2017

We have, according to the constitution, the right “to keep and bear arms” in the United States. But how, in the wake of Las Vegas, Pulse, Sandy Hook, Trayvon Martin, and other abuses of firearms—by citizens and in some cases by those trained to protect and serve—do we bear that right? How do we bear it?
Broadsided put out a call to visual artists asking for submissions on this topic and work came from all over the country, in all media. Now, they are asking you to respond to this images with words.

Call for Applications: Truth & Reconciliation Residency
sfaiSanta Fe Art Institute
Deadline: February 15, 2018

From September 2018 through August 2019, Santa Fe Art Institute (SFAI) will bring together 70 artists, creative practitioners, content experts, and innovative thinkers from all over the world to explore how uncovering and acknowledging the truth can be used as a means of reconciliation. Applications are due before February 15, early applications are encouraged.

“Aesthetic Perspectives: Attributes of Excellence in Arts for Change”
A report by John Borstel, Pam Korza, Andrea Assaf; Chris Dwyer; Mark Valdez, Denise Brown, and Barbara Schaffer Bacon.

A framework to enhance understanding and evaluation of Arts for Change developed by Animating Democracy. View a ‘short take’ of the report and the full report.

Arts and Social Change in Kenya: Past and Present

Amani Peoples’ Theatre (APT)

Founded by university and college students, Amani Peoples’ Theatre (APT) works with communities and youth organizations in various counties in Kenya using participatory theatre to explore the sources of conflict. APT provides training in conflict transformation and peacebuilding, interfaith dialogue, trauma healing, youth crime prevention & rehabilitation, drama therapy, and psychodrama using multi-arts approaches. It focuses more on working to deal with conflict based on identity, ownership and access to land, political violence and identity, poverty-related issues, and historical injustices.

Arts & Abolition Foster Care Home

Arts & Abolition is a non-governmental foster care organization that provides trauma therapy and art therapy to girls who have survived sexual violence. Art therapy includes various modalities including dance, song, and visual arts/ painting. The founder and executive director explains that the art therapy provides healing through important opportunity for expression and deeper experiences of freedom.

Sponsored Arts for Education (S.A.F.E) KENYA

S.A.F.E. is a non-governmental organization that uses the performing arts and community programs to inspire and deliver social change. After the 2007/2008-post election violence in Kenya, S.A.F.E began a peace program, including a play, which was made into a film titled ni sisi (It Is Us). The film explored how political campaigns divide people along tribal lines rather than unite people in building their country.

safe kenya

Safe actors perform the Ni Sisi play, which was
made into a film. Photo credit: S.A.F.E. Kenya

EARTHwise Centre for Arts & Social Change

EARTHwise is a social enterprise providing stewardship, capacity development, whole system design, education, and vision development for ecological flourishing and actualization. As part of their education and sustainability program, EARTHwise invited Alex Mativo, founder and CEO E-LAB, an afro-futurist brand that designs jewelry and furniture from electronic waste to speak about turning e-waste into pieces of art. His work portrays how art plays a role in transforming people’s lives by reducing waste in the environment and providing a income generating product for local people.

Lenga Ugaidi Na Talanta (Fight Terrorism through Talent)

Lenga Ugaidi Na Talanta is a short-film competition organized in collaboration between a few youth organizations in Kenya. Young people showcase their creative films that feature anti-terrorism messages. Films awarded address topics including terrorism, radicalization, and violent extremism.

Read about additional arts & social transformation initiatives in Kenya on this page under News/Events and Arts, and view the full list

2018 People’s State of the Union & Story Circles
January 25 - February 4, 2018

From January 25-February 4, 2018, Citizen Artists across the country will host Story Circles in their communities, bringing neighbors together to make sense of this tumultuous year, strengthening social fabric, and creating much-needed space for truth-telling and deep listening. Over the last three years, people in more than 350 different communities signed up to host.

Why? In January of most years, the President delivers a State of the Union Address. It’s a broadcast from one to many. But democracy is a conversation, not a monologue. The People’s State of the Union is an invitation to join in hosting a national conversation in our own homes, schools, houses of worship, and community organizations. Learn more about how to host a Story Circle in your community.

In polarized times, being able to cross cultural and political divides and remain in dialogue is a worthy challenge. Who are we? What touches our hearts and minds? What do our communities need, and what do they need to hear from us? We may know our own answers, but do we know each other?

Hosting a Story Circle as part of the People's State of the Union is a simple, powerful way of bringing people together and reinforcing the deeply democratic idea that everyone’s story counts, overcoming the ignorance and fear that divide us. #PSOTU2018 is just what we need right now: an antidote to soundbites, screens, and fake news. Download the People's State of the Union Toolkit here.

Whether you're hosting a few folks in your own home, a dozen simultaneous circles in a community center, or inviting members of your organization or network to host their own circles, the Toolkit explains absolutely everything you need to know to organize, promote, and pull off your event, plus how to access online training and technical assistance.
The thousands of stories shared in Story Circles across the country will then serve as inspiration for the collaboratively composed Poetic Address to the Nation, performed and broadcast live. They’ll also live in the #PSOTU2018 Story Portal, where anyone can read and learn from them. Together, we’ll build a composite picture of the state of our union, celebrating what connects us and bringing our creativity to healing all that pulls us apart. Sign up here to co-create the fourth annual People's State of the Union.

"Arts and Building Peace: The Basics and Envisioning the Future"
icipEssay by Cynthia Cohen
Creating Peace - Issue 32, November 2017
Peace in Progress

The November 2017 issue of Peace in Progress, the digital magazine of the International Catalan Institute for Peace (ICIP), is entitled Creating Peace. The issue features an essay by Cynthia Cohen, “Arts and Building Peace: The Basics and Envisioning the Future.” Read the essay and subscribe to the magazine.

Davis Projects for Peace

The Davis Projects for Peace initiative encourages students to design grassroots projects for peace that they themselves will implement anywhere in the world during the summer of 2018. All Brandeis undergraduate students are eligible to apply for this $10,000 grant. Apply by January 15, 2018 by midnight. Interested students are highly encouraged to contact Lauren Jordahl prior to winter break to discuss their proposal.

Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 is the biggest European Union Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020) – in addition to the private investment that this money will attract. It promises more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by taking great ideas from the lab to the market. By coupling research and innovation, Horizon 2020 is helping to achieve this with its emphasis on excellent science, industrial leadership and tackling societal challenges. The goal is to ensure Europe produces world-class science, removes barriers to innovation and makes it easier for the public and private sectors to work together in delivering innovation. The Horizon2020 research program is open - including around 240 calls for projects for SSH researchers!


Published by the Ministry of Higher Education and Research of France, the goals of fund┋it include assisting the international research community in finding calls for applications in the social sciences and humanities.

For Students: 2018 Grants
Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Creative Arts
Send Letter of Interest by: December 11, 2017
Apply by: January 22, 2018

The Office of the Arts wants to help you bring your ideas to life! Every year, the Brandeis Office of the Arts gives grants to support original creative work by Brandeis students, staff, faculty and alumni for the Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Creative Arts. Proposals for works of music, theater, performance, and visual art are all welcome, and interdisciplinary proposals are especially encouraged. Send a Letter of Interest by December 11, and apply by January 22, 2018 for grants for the April 15-22, 2018 festival.

Internship Opportunity with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council

The Metropolitan Area Planning Council seeks an Arts & Culture Intern for MAPC's Arts & Culture Division. The Arts & Culture Intern will assist with research, writing, and data collection that enhances the planning and policy priorities of the Division. The ideal candidate will have knowledge of urban planning and arts and cultural policy topics, and have prior experience working with artists and/or arts and cultural organizations. The intern will have the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of research and planning projects, build new connections, and contribute to the development of exciting projects and partnerships.

The position is open until filled, and applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Interested candidates should submit a cover letter, resume, and a writing sample. Those who are interviewed will be asked to submit two (2) references. This position is for the fall of 2017 beginning in September and continuing through December, with the possibility of an extension into May of 2018. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis starting September 5, 2017.

Small Grants: Keepers of the Earth Fund
Application Deadline: August 15, 2017

cultural survivalKeepers of the Earth Fund is a small grants fund designed to support Indigenous Peoples’ advocacy and community development projects. Since 2007, the Keepers of the Earth Fund through small grants and technical assistance has supported over 350 Indigenous community-led projects in 64 countries around the world, totaling nearly $2.5 million. The Fund hopes to gain additional investors over the next three years in order to make more, longer-term investments in Indigenous values-based innovation and rights-based projects.

The Fund provides grants ranging between $500 and $10,000 that go directly to grassroots Indigenous organizations and groups to support their self-designed development projects based on local, traditional values. Projects can address a vast array of economic and cultural development strategies including cultural retention, language revitalization, food sovereignty, climate change, gender equality, battling extractive industries, Free, Prior and Informed consent, leadership and governance, and much more.

Self-Governance and Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) Initiative

Cultural Survival is pleased to announce its new Self-Governance and Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) Initiative, a funding opportunity as part of the Keepers of the Earth Fund. The primary purpose of the Self-Governance and FPIC Initiative is to empower Indigenous communities to utilize their traditional knowledge and governance structures, decision-making processes, and alliances with other communities, to develop strategic approaches to working with corporations and others encroaching on their lands and ways of life.

Historic and ongoing colonization has left Indigenous communities deeply scarred; their lands, cultures, and rights are systematically being stripped away by those looking to profit from the rich lands and territories of Indigenous Peoples. Free, Prior, Informed Consent is a principle guaranteed by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples... Read more and apply.

Call for Entries: Karama Human Rights Film Festival
Application Deadline: September 20, 2017

karama"Karama Human Rights Film Festival presents its 8th edition which is set to take place from December 5th to the 10th, 2017 in Amman, Jordan. The festival will focus on films that are at the heart of this year’s theme ‘Give Life a Chance’.

In our 8th edition, we shall give life a chance through cinema to plant the seeds of hope in our youth in times of despair and constant social and political conflict. Through our festival, we opt to offer hope that affirms our dream of a better life.

We are currently receiving submissions for the inclusion of feature films (fiction & nonfiction), documentaries (long & short), short films & animation. All films should be produced between 2014 & 2017. The deadline for receiving applications is September 20, 2017." Read guidelines and submit your film.

Pop Culture Collaborative

PopCultureColThe Pop Culture Collaborative represents an innovative hub for high impact partnerships and grants designed to help organizations and individuals leverage the reach and power of pop culture for social justice goals. By driving authentic, just narratives about people of color, immigrants, refugees and Muslims in the media – we are helping shifting how mass audiences understand the past, grasp the present, and imagine an inclusive future.

Led by 2016-2017 NCF Fellow Bridgit Antoinette Evans as Executive Director, the Pop Culture Collaborative has awarded its first set of grants and launched a new website. Artists and entertainers are central to shaping culture, and these inaugural grants are just the beginning of our collective efforts to leverage culture change as critical to policy change.

Call for Artists: Building a Peaceable Community Open Invitational
Sponsored by B4Peace
Application Deadline: September 21, 2017

B4Peace is inviting submissions of art, of all mediums, to the 2018 B4 Peace International Art Open Invitational: Building a Peaceable Community. The exhibition of selected works will be featured in a premier art gallery in the heart of New Orleans.

How do we build peace individually and as communities? Shown through Art * Design * Scupture * Video 

What does a peaceable community mean to you as an artist? How does finding individual peace lead to community peace? How can your art represent the potential of coexistence and peace within wherever you call home? 

Accepting submissions until September 21. View the rules and guidelines, and enter your art.

This invitational is part of a three-part event sponsored by B4Peace and hosted at the New Orleans Art Center. Learn more and view other events.

Role of Arts in Times of Polarization, Nationalization, and Isolation

Thinking and Friendship in Dark Times: Hannah Arendt for Now
On Being podcast, Lyndsey Stonebridge with Krista Tippett

Lyndsey Stonebridge reflects on the applicability of 20th-century writer and political theorist Hannah Arendt to today’s political environment. She proposes that thinking is not something for elites; it is the human power to keep possibility alive. Arendt’s writings explored the human essence of events that we analyze as historical and political. She famously coined the phrase “the banality of evil,” the inability to hear another voice, or inability to have a dialogue with others or with oneself, to obey orders and conform to mass opinion without a critical evaluation of the consequences of their actions and inaction. In observation of migrant and refugee issues in her time, Arendt said, “The world found nothing sacred in the abstract nakedness of being human.” Listen now.

Interview with Michaela Crimmin, founder and co-director of Culture+Conflict
performingborders Alessandra Cianetti: "Michaela, you are the founder and co-director of Culture+Conflict, ‘a not-for-profit agency focusing on art produced in, or in response to, conflict and post-conflict situations across the world’. What are the conflicts and art practices you have been focusing on lately? As curator, academic and director, how do you think the notion of border has been changing in our contemporary world?"... Read more.

Five Challenges to Artistic Freedom
By Ole Reitov

art-expNationalism and religious orthodoxy is spreading in many parts of the world – in the North as well as in the South, East and West. Controlling the minds and expressions of people is based on fear, and the tool of control is spreading more fear, leading to self-censorship, and to stereotyping of ‘the other’ whether these ‘others’ are cultural, religious, sexual or social minorities. Behind messages such as ‘protecting our culture and nation’ and ‘protecting our moral values’, lies the fear of diversity of expressions, opinions and creativity. Read more.

Peacebuilding and Arts Initiatives in the Middle East

Syrian art in Beirut: Breaking boundaries and restoring hope
By Myriam Marcuello-Lopez

Lebanon has been impacted severely by the influx of an estimated 1.5 million Syrian refugees, a quarter of its population. Among the Syrians who are trying to rebuild their lives in this country are numerous emerging and professional artists. The Beirut-based Syrian cultural organization, Ettijahat, was launched at the end of 2015 the project “Create Syria”. It aims to support artistic initiatives that develop long-term cooperation and resilient relationships between Syrians and host communities. Eyad Houssami, a Syrian artist and director of the theatre Masrah Ensemble, is one of the 11 beneficiaries of this project. I met him in Beirut in the summer of 2016… Read more and read the full paper.

family ti jean

Ettijahat - Independent Culture at Mansion, Zouqaq
Al Blatt Masrah Ensemble in rehearsal for the play
"Family Ti-Jean." Photo credit: Maroun Habib

Anadolu Kültür: A Civil Society Initiative in Turkey
Fifteen years ago, in 2002, after a period of intense conflict and the accompanying years of emergency rule of the 1990s in the predominantly Kurdish southeast region of Turkey, a group of artists, intellectuals, academicians and business people from İstanbul came together with an idea to establish an arts and culture center in the heart of the region, in Diyarbakır.

"A Vision of Aleppo": Brandeis University Design Lab
By Hauke Ziessler and Maggie Ziegel, with Cynthia Cohen and Kristin Parker

In collaboration with the Aleppo Project, Brandeis students participated in a Design Lab generating creative approaches to rebuilding trust and envisioning a future for the people of Aleppo. The Lab was conducted as part of the Fall 2016 Brandeis class Introduction to Creativity, the Arts and Social Transformation Program (CAST). Through WorkAround, an online platform that links Syrian refugees with opportunities to earn income, the executive summary of this report has been translated into Arabic and is available here.

Startup WorkAround brings jobs and dignity to Refugees

We are living in a world in which 65.6 million people have been forcibly displaced due to war, conflict and violence. As of 2016, 12 million of these people were Syrians. Wafaa Arbash, a Syrian herself, felt compelled to do something about the growing crisis. Many of her friends were stranded in limbo, not knowing if or when they may be able to return, or where they would be sent to next. They have difficulty finding jobs in host countries and are at risk of joining the conflict or being drawn into human and drug trafficking and other forms of violence. Ensuring peace, not just in areas of conflict, but also in areas of resettlement, requires new and creative approaches. WorkAround, Wafaa’s company, is providing one of these creative solutions. WorkAround, a collaboration between four women from four different parts of the world, provides online jobs for refugees. Read more about the WorkAround.


From left to right: Shadi Sheikhsaraf, Director of
Partnerships; Jennie Kelly, Director of Operations and
Finance; Wafaa Abrash, CEO & Founder; and Shai Dinnar,
Director of Marketing. Photo Credit: Halley Saul.

Stories of Missing: New dramaturgy from Cyprus across languages/divides
May 2017
By Dr. Ellada Evangelou

The opening of the checkpoints in Cyprus in 2003 marked the end of the 29-year segregation of the Turkish-speaking and Greek-speaking communities. The communities were split violently by war in 1974, as the culmination of more than 15 years of inter-communal violence… With the establishment in the early 1980s of two new theatres, the Nicosia Municipal theatre (Turkish-language in north Nicosia) and Neon Theatro –later named Satirikon Theatre- (Greek-speaking, in south Nicosia), both establishments that were reconciliation-prone, the thought of working together started to slowly take shape. Read the full article.

Art Radar
art-radarArt Radar conducts original research and interviews leading artists, curators, gallerists and other art professionals to bring our readers an unbiased and direct view into the world of Asian contemporary art.

Lullaby Project

VocalEssence is thrilled to be the first choir nationally to offer the Lullaby Project, a national program of Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute. The Lullaby Project creates musical experiences for women facing pregnancy while enduring other hardships, such as teenage pregnancy, homelessness, or incarceration.

Displaced Artists Fund Residency Program
Vermont Studio Center

The Vermont Studio Center is thrilled to announce an immediate expansion to their Displaced Artists Fund residency program. Thanks to generous support from the McComb Foundation, from 2017-2019, VSC will provide up to 20 displaced visual artists and writers with fully subsidized 4- to 6-week studio residencies. Artists and writers from the U.S. and anywhere in the world who have been directly affected by a natural disaster may apply directly to VSC for a residency. International artists and writers who have been displaced due to political turmoil or threat must be nominated by a partner organization. Learn more.


tttTheTheatreTimes.com was recently launched as a global site for theatre news. With an expanding collaborative team of Regional Managing Editors around the world, we aim to be the largest global theatre news source online. Since launching this Fall, we developed 20 thematic sections. We have 80 Regional Managing Editors around the world. So far, we published over 430 articles covering theatre in 53 countries.

Read an editorial explaining the concept behind the platform. Listen to a podcast by OnTap about TheTheatreTime.com (starting at 26 min).

TheTheatreTimes.com has an app downloadable for iPhone and Android. Follow them on Facebook and Twittersubscribe to their weekly The Sunday Theatre Times.

If you would like to contribute, suggest an idea for a section, or if you are interested in becoming a bloggers or managing editor, please contact newsroom@thetheatretimes.com.

2017 HNMCP Art Competition
Application Deadline: March 17, 2017

hmncpCreative expressions of conflict resolution - whether in photography, on canvas, or through sculpture - promote and advance conflict resolution itself. The Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program (HNMCP) builds community around conflict resolution skills and practice, and we want our space to reflect our values. HNMCP seeks to feature creative representations of conflict resolution and peacemaking throughout our space. Artwork will be displayed in our suite on the Harvard Law School campus for a minimum one year, beginning in Spring 2017. Read more and apply.

The 2017 Brenda Meehan Social Justice-in-Action Grants
Application Deadline: February 10, 2017

The Social Justice & Social Policy (SJSP) program is pleased to announce a new grant opportunity for Brandeis University undergraduate students. These grants are designed to provide support for student-organized events that bring together academic and activist perspectives on important current public policy issues, such as: healthcare, immigration, criminal justice reform, and climate change. These Brenda Meehan Social Justice-in-Action Grants will provide up to $1,500 to support events planned for the Spring 2017 semester. Applications will be accepted until February 10 and recipients will be notified soon after. Read more about the grant applications criteria and apply.

The Post-Election Role of the Arts

5 Books to Read About Artists Under Nazism: How do artists function under tyranny?

“I’ve long been interested in how people, particularly those in the arts (my people!), function under tyranny. How much do we compromise, and how much do we fight back? Sure, we all like to imagine ourselves acting courageously in a perilous situation, but would we really? What if our livelihoods were at stake — or our lives? Here’s a selection of five books that examine the many ways artists responded to the Nazi regime..." Read article.

Spectre of Treason
John Shattuck, a member of the advisory board of the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life, argues that Trump should endorse the proposed investigation of the Russian hacking scandal, in order to avoid the spectre of treason hovering over the president-elect. Read more.

Should the Art World Strike on Inauguration Day?
Will the art world in the US close down on Inauguration Day? What will that mean? #J20

“Last Saturday, I heard art critic and historian Yates McKee speak at a conference about the rumblings of an art strike that had started to circulate online... It’s a provocative idea. That would it look like for the art community to shut down? Would our absence be seen or felt?

Unlike bigger cultural communities, including those around music, cinema, and publishing, the ‘art world’ is not led by traditional corporations. It’s still dominated by galleries, museums, art schools, nonprofits, and small businesses, even if some donors and foundations are increasingly instrumentalizing them to promote various agendas...”Read article.

Call for Submissions: Writing and Art focused on the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) Action at Standing Rock
Submission Deadline: January 10, 2017
broadsidedBroadsided Press

At Broadsided Press, we believe that art and literature inspire and demonstrate the vitality and depth of our connection with the world. Art operates beyond the news cycle, connects surface information to deeper truths, and honors and what it attends.

We had to speak out—we had to make a space for you to speak out as artists and writers—on the continuing resistance at Standing Rock to the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Send us poems, short-shorts, and artwork in response to Standing Rock. Full guidelines for length etc are available on our website. With the help of guest editor Tiffany Midge, we will bring your work into broadsides for people to consider and share. Each broadside will feature the work of one visual artist and one literary artist, the combinations thereof selected and designed by the editors.

Submissions by those involved with the action (you are free to define what this means) are free.

Call for Sessions: VSA Kennedy Center's 2017 Intersections: Arts & Special Education Conference
Submission Deadline: January 15, 2017
Kennedy-centerConference: August 6-7
Austin, Texas

The Kennedy Center Office of VSA and Accessibility is seeking applications for the 2017 VSA Intersections: Arts and Special Education Conference. Through innovative, thought-provoking, and interactive sessions, the VSA Intersections Conference provides professionals in the intersecting fields of arts education and special education the opportunity to share current information in research, practice, programs, and policy, and serve as a leading catalyst for change. This conference brings together educators, administrators, researchers, teaching artists, and more to build new skills, transfer knowledge, network, and, ultimately, help to shape the best practices-improving educational experiences for students with disabilities learning in and through the arts.

As an emergent field taking its place alongside the established fields of arts, education, and disability studies, we also affirm the need for quality practice that is grounded in evidence and rigorous evaluation of the programs we support. To this end, we affirm research endeavors in three priority areas, and will prioritize session submissions that reflect these aims:

  • Research into questions of access is exploratory in nature and seeks to establish the boundaries and foundational content of our field;
  • Research into questions of efficacy utilizes rigorous methodologies to test the effectiveness of instructional practices, shaping our understanding of what works and why;
  • Research into questions of innovation relies on theoretical frameworks to develop and test new practices to improve the educational outcomes of students with disabilities in and through the arts.

Learn more and apply.

Call for USDAC LAB Project Proposals
Submission Deadline: February 8, 2017

USDACThe USDAC launched Standing for Cultural Democracy, a platform featuring ten powerful points—policies and actions to advance equity and belonging through culture. We can all push for many of these at the local level by starting conversations, building people-power, and partnering with allies in public agencies.
It doesn’t require funding to begin these conversations, but we recognize that some of these platform points may be new to your mayor, city council members, or neighbors—and we want to help get the ball rolling. So, we’re offering microgrants for pilot experiments that show how the platform can be put into action.
We’ll select up to ten projects that put one of the platform points into action; provide microgrants of $500 to support execution and documentation; and support with strategic technical assistance throughout. We’ll partner further with promising projects through the USDAC LAB to help spread possibility and bring them to scale. Learn more and apply by February 8, 2017.

Women In Music
WIMWomen In Music is an organization with a mission to advance the awareness, equality, diversity, heritage, opportunities, and cultural aspects of women in the musical arts through education, support, empowerment, and recognition. Our seminars, panels, showcases, achievement awards, and youth initiatives celebrate the female contribution to the music world, and strengthens community ties. Women In Music is also currently seeking applicants for its Music Boston Committee.

Broadsided Press

BPStreet art. Fine art. Free art. Dialogue. Serendipitous public art. A counterforce for billboards advertising fast food and cars. Founded in 2005, Broadsided publishes an original literary/artistic collaboration each month for visitors to the site to download, mull, print, and share. Broadsided is here to put literature and art on the streets. On the first of every month, a new Broadsided literary/visual collaboration ise posted on the Broadsided website for free download as a letter-sized PDF.

Broadsided Press takes its name from the traditional broadside, which is loosely defined as paper printed on one side for public distribution as a poster or announcement, and has its roots in 16th century England. It is the origin of popular press and news. "To have been broadsided" means that one has been hit from the side, most often out of the blue. Both histories are behind the name of Broadsided Press.

A unique aspect of Broadsided's structure is that it engages a wide network of "Vectors" (this could be you!) to post issues throughout their communities. Issues can be downloaded and printed by anyone with a computer and printer. See where Vectors are posting and add your town. Broadsided has Vectors posting in almost every U.S. state, in several European countries, Chile, Japan, the Philippines, and several provinces in Canada. Broadsided also presents "Special Features", which includes Broadsided Press Responses, inviting writers and artists respond to current events in the world with their best, most empathetic, most insightful, most wide-ranging selves. The Broadsided Press Groundsourced anthologies, or poems for when things seem impossible to articulate, shared directly via Tumblr via #hashtag. One recent collection is #PoemsForFerguson. Broadsides on the Bus places poetry and art on buses in two communities: Cape Cod and Moscow, Idaho.

Interested in being published in Broadsided Press? Writing is chosen through submissions emailed to Broadsided. Artists allied with Broadsided are emailed the selected writing. They then "dibs" what resonates for them and respond visually. You could be a Vector. You could get Broadsided. Learn more and view a flyer with general information about Broadsided.

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