Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday November 2, 2011

SU to Host Two-day Symposium on Transforming Conflict Through the Arts

For more information, please contact:

Jill Leonhardt
“Engaging Conflict: Transformations through the Arts” is a two-day symposium featuring film, movement, theater, and story-telling.   The conference, which begins Friday, November 4, at 5 pm with a film screening and continues with a full day of activities on Saturday, November 5, will be held at the Warehouse Auditorium, 350 W. Fayette Street, in downtown Syracuse.  All events are free and open to the public.

Friday, November 4

Dr. Cynthia Cohen, Director of the Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts at Brandeis University’s International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life will introduce the Symposium and the film “Acting Together on a World Stage” beginning at 5 pm.  The film documents peacebuilding performance by highlighting artists, peacebuilders, and community leaders from every continent whose rituals and theatrical works speak truth to power and support communities in mourning losses and building bridges across differences. 

Saturday, November 5

9:00 am - Dr. Cohen will present “The Moral Imagination and the Permeable Membrane between Art and Society:  Findings from Acting Together on the World Stage,” a collaboration between Theatre Without Borders and Brandeis University.
11:00 am - Interactive Performance Workshop.   Syracuse University Professors Stephen Cross and Anne Beffel will lead interactive movement and meditation exercises, demonstrating varying methods for conflict transformation.
1:30 pm - “Cry for Peace: Voices from the Congo.”   Syracuse Stage Dramaturg Kyle Bass and actors from the interview- and narrative-based play will discuss the role of theater in cultural diplomacy. “Cry for Peace” aims to promote healing, unity, and reconciliation among local ethnic groups and individuals in the Congolese community, as well as promote peace in the Congo.
2:30 pm - Storycircles.   Participants will share their stories about the impact and influence of the arts on conflict transformation.
4:00 pm - Closing Remarks

The conference is sponsored by the Maxwell School’s Program for the Advancement and Research on Conflict and Collaboration, with Imagining America:  Artists in Public Life and the College of Visual and Performing Arts.  Support comes from The Mellon CNY Humanities Corridor, generously supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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The Maxwell School of Syracuse University is the premier academic institution in the United States committed to scholarship, civic leadership, and education in public and international affairs. Maxwell is home to Syracuse University’s social science departments and to numerous nationally recognized multidisciplinary graduate programs in public policy, international studies, social policy, and conflict resolution. Maxwell's graduate program in public administration -- the first of its kind in the nation -- is ranked consistently the leading graduate public affairs program in the country.