Building Bridges​: Arts, Culture and Identity Grantees

Individual Grantees

Fine & Performing Arts Center, Moraine Valley Community College, Palos Hills, IL

Mosaics will explore the breadth of American culture through the lens of Muslim artists living and practicing in the United States, with a focus on personal narrative. This project envisions a mosaic of stories to celebrate the diversity of Muslims in America. The Fine and Performing Arts Center will engage the Moraine Valley Community College campus and surrounding communities in multidisciplinary performances and interdisciplinary activities in order to transform their perceptions of Islam.

Hancher Auditorium, TheUniversity of Iowa, Iowa City, IA

Embracing Complexity: Contemporary Islamic Expressions will take a multidisciplinary approach to building understanding of contemporary Islamic cultures. Performing and visual artists will be in residence over the course of two years and work with partners both on and off campus through performances, classes, exhibits and discussions. The project will also explore the experiences of Muslims in Eastern Iowa through sharing of local stories.

Moss Arts Center, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

SALAAM: Exploring Muslim Cultures (Salaam means "Peace") will engage communities in southwest Virginia with a diversity of Muslim cultures through an exploration of stories, images, sounds and perspectives. The Moss Arts Center at Virginia Tech—a global land-grant university, driven by the motto Ut Prosim (“That I May Serve”) and committed to cultural exchange—joins a network of campus and community partners to integrate arts, dialogue, service-learning, academic inquiry and the production of new work. A multi-year process of story-sharing, performing, and visual arts will culminate in an original production created by a cohort of students and community members in collaboration with guest artists.

Williams Center for the Arts, Lafayette College, Easton,PA

Recognizing the vibrant diversity of Muslim arts, cultures, and identities throughout the world and at home in the United States, Lafayette College and Williams Center for the Arts' Performance Series will explore a variety of contemporary Muslim artistic expressions by hosting three semester-long festivals through Tapestries: Voices Within Contemporary Muslim Cultures. Each festival will feature one or two mainstage performances while further engaging communities through extended interdisciplinary activities throughout the campus. In collaborative experiences between artists and campus and local communities, the project seeks to build new audiences, deepen understanding and awareness, and cultivate broad-minded citizens of the world.

Consortium Grantee​

The Cedar Cultural Center with Augsburg College, Minneapolis, MN

Midnimo, Somali for “unity,” was launched in 2014 as a program of The Cedar and Augsburg College that features Somali artists from Minnesota and around the world in residencies that increase understanding of Muslim culture through Somali music. With five partners in three cities - The Cedar and Augsburg College; Minnesota State University, Mankato Department of Music Performance Series; and The Paramount Center for the Arts with St. Cloud State University - this consortium is forming statewide touring network to expand the program’s geographical reach, educational impact, and community building opportunities to areas of Greater Minnesota with rapidly growing Somali populations.

Department of MusicPerformance Series, Minnesota State University, Mankato, MN

As part of a consortium led by The Cedar, Minnesota State University, Mankato Department of Music Performance Series will present and host multiple residencies over two and a half years featuring acclaimed Somali artists from Minnesota and around the world. The program aims to increase understanding of Somali culture through a variety of activities and events, including new curricular designs in various academic departments who will work together across disciplines to incorporate music and artists into academic work. The Midnimo expansion into Mankato will facilitate the building of bridges between the University campus, Mankato’s rapidly growing Somali community, and the larger community.

Paramount Center for the Arts with St. Cloud State University, Saint Cloud, MN

As part of a consortium led by The Cedar and Augsburg College, Paramount Center for the Arts and St. Cloud State University will present and host multiple residencies over two and a half years featuring acclaimed Somali artists from Minnesota and around the world. The program, named Midnimo after the Somali word for “unity,” will increase understanding of Somali culture by exposing diverse audiences to the music, stories, and background of Somali artists through activities such as performances, workshops, panel discussions, and student projects. This is a timely and fitting project for our changing community.