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October 21–23, 2011
Brandeis University, Waltham, MA

Friday, October 21, 7:00–9:30 p.m. Slosberg Recital Hall, Brandeis University. Free and open to the public.
Saturday, October 22, 9:00am–5:00pm. Location sent upon registration. Light breakfast and lunch will be provided.
Sunday, October 23, 9:30am–2:00pm. Location sent upon registration.

Guest presenters: Jane Sapp, Hubert Sapp, Dijana Milošević, Dr. Polly Walker
Facilitator: Dr. Cynthia Cohen, Director, Peacebuilding and the Arts

Peacebuilding and the Arts: Community Cultural Development is designed for organizers, artists, cultural workers, students, educators and policy-makers in the fields of peacebuilding, the arts, and sustainable community, youth, women’s, and economic development.

The program opens on Friday evening with a multi-media presentation by Jane Sapp, a cultural organizer and musician based in Atlanta, Georgia.· She will share stories, songs and video clips from her extensive work as an organizer and documentor in urban and rural communities in the United States, articulating the principles that inform successful community cultural development practice.
Development specialists, including Heller School faculty member Kelley Ready and Hubert Sapp (founder of Oxfam· America’s· American program) will respond, addressing the links between cultural work, social justice and development.

The weekend intensive will be led by:

Jane Sapp, musician and cultural worker with deep roots in the gospel music traditions of the American south. A musician of enormous power and talent, Jane Sapp was a Civil Rights Movement leader, and has worked in schools and community centers for decades. Most recently, she worked as a cultural facilitator with the newly forming foundation the Southern Partners Fund, and also undertook documentation of activists in the rural south who were grantees of the Bert and Mary Meyer Foundation. Jane Sapp would offer an opening concert/lecture on cultural work, its meanings and examples of successful projects, focusing on urban and rural youth.

Hubert Sapp, is the former executive director of the Bert and Mary Meyer Foundation, a former director of Highlander Folk School and a tireless advocate for the empowerment of marginalized and disenfranchised communities, especially in the Southern United States. His professional roles have included counselor, ally and adviser to grantmakers, activists, educators, and principles in the civil rights era. He worked as Special Assistant to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Years later he helped to found, and then became director of Oxfam America’s US Funding Program. After graduating from Harvard University, Mr. Sapp and his wife Jane Sapp along with other community organizers and community educators developed an innovative adult education program in Alabama. The program empowered students eager to progress as local leaders but who, as graduates of segregated school systems, were deprived of the necessary background for success at college. The curriculum promoted life-long learning, encouraged regular civic engagement and taught basic educational skills, all with an emphasis on how these new leaders might democratically serve the local community’s social and economic development. Mr. Sapp served as program director for nine years and the program successfully expanded to four counties in Alabama.

Dr. Polly Walker, is a conflict transformation specialist who focuses on indigenous reconciliation rituals both in the United States and Australia. Of mixed Cherokee and settler descent herself, she has been welcomed into ceremonies and rituals led by both Aboriginal and Native American elders. She has also engaged in cultural work on the island nation of Vanuatu. Polly is co-editor of the two volume Acting Together: Performance and the Creative Transformation of Conflict (New Village Press, 2011), and holds an assistant professor position in the Peace and Justice Studies program at Juniata College in Pennsylvania.· She co-led a weekend intensive at Brandeis in April of 2011, and for many years has been an active member of Praxis, a Brisbane-based community development collaborative.

Dijana Miloševićis a co-founder and director of DAH Teatar in Belgrade, Serbia, and also a contributing author to Acting Together: Performance and the Creative Transformation of Conflict, Volume I: Resistance and Reconciliation in Regions of Violence. In addition to directing socially engaged theatre works of high aesthetic quality, Dijana has worked on issues of violence against women with the activist group Women in Black, performing stories of women from Kosovo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia and Croatia.·· She directs an international theatre school every summer, and has taught at US colleges and universities on several occasions.

Cynthia Cohen, PhD, is director of Brandeis’ program in Peacebuilding and the Arts. She has provided intellectual leadership for the Acting Together project, co-edited the two-volume anthology, co-created the documentary film and directed the production of an accompanying toolkit for practitioners and policy-makers. She has facilitated dialogues with people from the Middle East, Sri Lanka, Central America and the United States.· She founded and for ten years directed a community oral history center based in Cambridge Mass; its programs engaged members of Boston-area ethnic, religious and racial communities in gathering stories and collaborating with artists to re-present them in a variety of formats. She has published numerous articles and chapters on aesthetic and ethical dimensions of peacebuilding.

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