Peacebuilding and the Arts

USIP's insanely bright atrium

Yesterday I was fortunate enough to attend a Conflict Prevention and Resolution Forum on Arts and Conflict at the United States Institute of Peace as well as a working group of peacebuilders and theater professionals who discussed “Toward an Infrastructure for Strengthening Work at the Nexus of Peacebuilding and the Arts.”

In the forum, I was proud to see the Chief Programming Officer at my organization give a detailed presentation on how we utilize “drama” in our work. Drama shifts cultural norms and breaks through the world of the ‘other’; symbols and metaphors enable shifts and enable us to envision choices. Current hurdle: how can these programs be integrated into policymaking?

In the working group, I got to witness the natural fit between the peacebuilders and the artists. Everyone was beyond elated to be in the same room with each other and eager to find creative ways to widen the field of peacebuilding and the arts. What came out of it was a commitment to inform, reunite, and the attempt to document as much as possible in the future.

Interested? Check out:

If you happen to be in the DC area, on November 14th Georgetown will be screening Acting Together (a documentary that arose from the collaboration of Brandeis and Theatre Without Borders) at 7:30 p.m.

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About Staciellyn Chapman

Grad student at the School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University. This blog is an attempt to condense the craziness that is my TV viewing habits (with the occasional aside into film, music, and general life).

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