Jane Sapp is a nationally admired cultural worker, musician, educator, and activist whose approach to social transformation is rooted in African American musical traditions. Jane actively engages people in creative cultural processes, writing songs together, telling stories, shaping festivals, and designing museums of local culture.
In Let’s Make a Better World, Jane tells the story of her childhood, nurtured by the Black community while living in the brutal world of the Jim Crow South. She describes her participation in the Black Power movement and introduces us to mentors who shaped her path to becoming a cultural worker. She shares the songs she has written with young people and has sung with people of all ages. She tells the stories behind each song and offers suggestions for teachers and chorus leaders.
This book is an inspiration and an affirmation for cultural workers, activists, artists, and justice-seekers. At the same time, its stories, music scores, and accompanying podcast make it a practical resource for educators, chorus leaders, and others seeking to engage with the power of music, and the arts more generally, as they going with communities to make a better world. Learn more
Cynthia Cohen is director of the program in Peacebuilding and the Arts at Brandeis University, where she writes and teaches about work at the nexus of the arts, culture, justice and peace. She and Jane have been colleagues for many years, collaborating on Let’s Make a Better World, as well as A Way Out of No Way, a multi-media documentation of Jane’s life and work. She directed the Brandeis/Theatre Without Borders collaboration "Acting Together on the World Stage," co-edited the Acting Together anthologies and co-created the documentary and toolkit. She directs ReCAST, Inc, a non-profit organization partnering with Brandeis and New Village Press on the dissemination of Acting Together resources. Dr. Cohen has worked as a dialogue facilitator with communities in the Middle East, Sri Lanka, Central America and the United States. Learn more
Wen-ti Tsen (designer) is a painter and public artist. He was born in China and grew up in Europe, before coming to the U.S. to study painting at Boston Museum School. Since the mid-1970s, after living and traveling for several years in different countries, he has been engaged in making art that explores cultural connections with personal paintings and installations, large-scale public art sculptures, and working with communities to express social issues in various art forms.
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The New Tudor Foundation, the Jubilation Foundation, Jules Bernstein, Amy Merrill, Naomi Sinnreich, Elaine Reuben, Barbara Meyer, Dan Terris and the International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life, Ben Hires, Jerry Ulrich, David Briand, Emily Howe, Jenn Largaespada, Ann Morgan, Kookie Green, Edward Sapp, Robert Sapp, Hubert Sapp, and podcast guests Michael Carter, Sandra Nicolucci, Suzanne Pharr, Rose Sanders, and LaShawn Simmons.