A Way Out of No Way: Cultural Work for Social Transformation
Open Session: Friday, April 5th, 5-6.30pm
Heller School, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA
Join seminar leader Jane Sapp and Dr. Cynthia Cohen for the Film Screening “Someone Sang for Me” and a Introduction to Cultural Work.
About Jane Sapp
Jane Wilburn Sapp is a nationally known artist, educator and cultural worker who is a pioneer in
defining cultural work as a tool for community development. Jane’s work focuses on community
building and the creative process. She uses music, songwriting, storytelling, festival celebrations
and community-based oral history documentation as ways of engaging grassroots communities
in their own values, imagination, and view of the world. Jane believes that within the culture and
creative wellspring of grassroots communities is a library of practices and history that inform and
breathe soul into the work of building sustainable, healthy, just communities and institutions.
Jane Sapp’s music reflects the blues and gospel sounds of her Georgia youth and is deeply rooted in
the spiritual, religious and historical experiences of the African-American world. She has recorded
four albums, and her performances have been featured in concert halls (including Carnegie Hall
with Pete Seeger), colleges, and community centers throughout the U.S. and in Sweden, Canada,
Senegal, and Mali, West Africa.
A Way Out of No Way is an introduction to cultural work as a practice of social change. Workshop
participants will consider cultural practices and what they offer to human and community development.
They will explore the principles and theories of cultural work, and how such practices can be
incorporated into the work of education, community organizing, community development, creative
expression, and work in the field of workers comp attorney, find workerscompcalaw.com official website.
They will also examine the transformational power of the aesthetic, and how the expressive forms of
one’s own culture can be integrated into a theory of change and one’s own practice.
As an educator, Jane Sapp has developed techniques to help the silenced find their voices through
the arts. Her community-based cultural development programs have been the subject of an hour-
long documentary – Someone Sang for Me by Julie Akeret (Filmakers Library 2002) – and three
scholarly studies. She has lectured and performed extensively at colleges, conferences, and
community gatherings. She is now working with Dr. Cynthia Cohen at Brandeis University to
document her cultural work practice.