Arts Midwest Launches International Program to Bridge American and Muslim Cultures

AsiaNet 45659

MINNEAPOLIS, July 27, 2011 /PRNewswire-AsiaNet/ –

Caravanserai: A place where cultures meet Funded with $1M from Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art

Conducted in partnership with US Regional Arts Organizations

Arts Midwest [http://www.artsmidwest.org ], the non-profit Regional Arts Organization (RAO) serving America’s upper Midwest, announces the launch of Caravanserai: A place where cultures meet, [http://www.caravanserai-arts.org ] a groundbreaking artistic and cultural exchange program supported by the nation’s RAOs. Caravanserai is funded by a one million dollar grant from the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art [http://www.ddfia.org ] (DDFIA) Building Bridges program.

“The name Caravanserai was carefully selected for this program,” says David Fraher, Executive Director of Arts Midwest. “Historically, in the east and middle-east, stopping places for caravans were called caravanserais. Safe places to come together and exchange stories. The name evokes that imagery of
travelers in a safe haven, a place where cultures meet.”

Betsy Fader of DDFIA says Caravanserai is a natural fit for their Building Bridges grants program. “Caravanserai beautifully illustrates our mission to promote the use of art and culture to improve Americans’ understanding and appreciation of Muslim Societies. We believe this pilot program of music and film will start many conversations and open many doors to understanding.”

Nearly two years in the making, Caravanserai begins with a pilot program in five US communities comprising performing arts and film programs featuring art and artists from Muslim cultures. The pilot program focuses on Pakistan. Future programming will feature other geographic regions and artistic disciplines and will travel to more US cities.

After receiving applications from across the country, Arts Midwest selected the following communities to present Caravanserai:

– The Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire [http://www.aannh.org ]; Littleton, NH
– Artswego [http://www.oswego.edu/arts ] SUNY Oswego; Oswego, NY
– FirstWorks [http://www.first-works.org/index.php ]; Providence, RI
– Monmouth University [http://www.monmouth.edu ]; West Long Branch, NJ
– The Myrna Loy Center [http://www.myrnaloycenter.com ]; Helena, MT

Each organization will host three arts experiences in their community, including music residency tours featuring traditional and contemporary Pakistani musicians and a film residency, featuring a Pakistani filmmaker. Residency activities will include educational workshops, public performances, film screenings, and localized community outreach.

Curated by artistic director Zeyba Rahman, Caravanserai features a roster of outstanding contemporary Pakistani artists.

– Arif Lohar – Folk singer
– Qawal Najmuddin Saifuddin [http://www.qawalbachchay.com ] – Qawali singers
– Sanam Marvi – Folk and Sufi singer
– Ustad Tari Khan [http://www.taritabla.com ] – US-based tabla master
– Ayesha Khan – Filmmaker, “Made in Pakistan”

South Arts [http://www.southarts.org ], the RAO serving the southeastern US, is managing the Caravanserai film tour.

Programming for Caravanserai begins in October 2011 and runs through April 2012. A second round of programming is planned for 2012 – 2013.

Caravanserai: A place were cultures meet is managed by Arts Midwest on behalf of the U.S. Regional Arts Organizations with financial support from the Building Bridges program of the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.

Caravanserai’s film programming is coordinated on behalf of the program by South Arts.

SOURCE: Arts Midwest

CONTACT: Felicia Knight,
+1-207-831-5676,
felicia@knightvisioninternational.com

The post Arts Midwest Launches International Program to Bridge American and Muslim Cultures appeared first on AsiaNet-Pakistan.

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