New York, NY/January 7, 2009—In celebration of the extraordinary range of artistic expression in the Muslim world, Asia Society, BAM, and New York University Center for Dialogues announce the launch of Muslim Voices: Arts & Ideas, an unprecedented ten–day festival and conference taking place in June 5–14 throughout New York City. More than 100 Muslim artists and speakers from as far away as Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and as near as Brooklyn, will gather for performances, films, exhibitions, talks, and other events, ranging from the traditional (calligraphy, storytelling, and Sufi chanting) to the contemporary (video installations and Arabic hip–hop). Festival presentations and programs aim to present multiple perspectives from the Muslim world. World renowned singer Youssou N’Dour opens the festival at BAM’s Howard Gilman Opera House (30 Lafayette Avenue) on Friday, June 5 at 8pm. Tickets for Muslim Voices: Arts & Ideas at BAM go on sale on January 21, 2009 at www.BAM.org or 718.636.4100. Tickets for Muslim Voices: Arts & Ideas at Asia Society go on sale on February 15, 2009 at http://tickets.asiasociety.org or (212) 517–ASIA.
In addition to the mainstage offerings and complementary education and humanities events from Asia Society, BAM, and NYU Center for Dialogues, there will be Muslim Voices: Arts & Ideas festival programs taking place at additional locations, including Austrian Cultural Forum New York, Brooklyn Museum, MoCADA (Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts), Metropolitan Museum of Art, and The New York Public Library.
Please check www.muslimvoicesfestival.org on February 3, 2009 for the full list of events associated with the festival.
For press inquiries please contact:
Fatima Kafele, BAM at 718.636.4129 x4 or fkafele at bam dot org Elaine Merguerian, Asia Society at 212.327.9313 or elainem at asiasoc dot org Andrea Stanton, NYU Center for Dialogues at 212.998.8693 or Stanton at centerfordialogues dot org
“We would like to thank the many donors who have supported this complex and worthwhile project,” said BAM’s President Karen Brooks Hopkins. She added, “We were brought together by a need to create common ground, and a shared feeling that the arts can play a unique and singular role in bringing people together.” Mustapha Tlili, NYU Center for Dialogues Director said “The divide between the United States and the Muslim world is rooted in hard political issues such as the question of Palestine, the war in Iraq, relations with Iran, and other points of contention. Arts and culture alone will not solve these issues, but our initiative—Muslim Voices: Arts & Ideas—could at least contribute to changing perceptions, foster mutual understanding and respect between the two sides, and pave the way for the solution of the hard issues.” Asia Society President Vishakha N. Desai added, “No more pressing issue faces the world today than the profound lack of understanding between Western and Islamic societies. Most non–Muslim Americans have very limited exposure to and even misconceptions about Islam, the world’s second–largest religion.”
The following programming >> will be the centerpiece of Muslim Voices: Arts & Ideas.
Asia Society is the leading global and pan-Asian organization working to strengthen relationships and promote understanding among the people, leaders, and institutions of the United States and Asia. The Society seeks to increase knowledge and enhance dialogue, encourage creative expression, and generate new ideas across the fields of policy, business, education, arts, and culture. Through the presentation of groundbreaking museum exhibitions and cultural programs, Asia Society provides a forum for both traditional and contemporary Asian artistic expressions. Founded in 1956 by John D. Rockefeller 3rd, Asia Society is a nonprofit educational institution with offices in Hong Kong, Houston, Los Angeles, Manila, Melbourne, Mumbai, New York, San Francisco, Seoul, Shanghai, and Washington, D.C. www.AsiaSociety.org
Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) is America’s oldest performing arts institution in continuous operation and is recognized internationally for innovative dance, music, and theater programming—including its renowned Next Wave Festival. BAM also features an acclaimed repertory film program, literary and visual art events, and extensive educational programs. The institution is led by President Karen Brooks Hopkins and Executive Producer Joseph V. Melillo. www.BAM.org
NYU Center for Dialogues is an institution of New York University dedicated to knocking down the walls of misunderstanding between the Islamic world, the United States, and other Western countries and replacing them with bridges of knowledge, mutual respect, and reason. Founded in the aftermath of the Sept 11, 2001 tragedy by Director Mustapha Tlili, the NYU Center for Dialogues has established a reputation on both sides of the Muslim-Western divide. Its conferences are widely discussed in international policy circles and its publications are used as educational materials in university classrooms, while its initiatives have contributed to new connections made at the institutional and individual levels. Tlili is an NYU research scholar and Senior Fellow at the university’s Remarque Institute. He is a former senior UN official, having served as director for communications policy at the UN Department of Public Information, director of the UN information center for France, and chief of the Namibia, Anti-Apartheid, Palestine, and decolonization programs in the same department. www.centerfordialogues.org
Muslim Voices: Arts & Ideas supporting partners are Austrian Cultural Forum, Brooklyn Museum, Metropolitan Museum, Museum for African Art, Museum of Contemporary African Diaspora Art (MoCADA), New York Public Library, European Union National Institutes of Culture (EUNIC).
WNET is the media partner for Muslim Voices: Arts & Ideas.
Major support for Muslim Voices: Arts & Ideas is provided by: Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, The Rockefeller Foundation’s New York City Cultural Innovation Fund, Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, The Ford Foundation, and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Additional support is provided by: Carnegie Corporation of New York, Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, The Pluralism Fund, The Reed Foundation, Asian Cultural Council, Lisina M. Hoch, Kite Foundation, Amita and Pernundu Chatterjee, New York Community Trust, New York State Council on the Arts, and the PARSA Community Foundation.
Youssou N’Dour and Muslim Voices: Arts & Ideas BAMcinématek series is part of Diverse Voices at BAM presented by TimeWarner Inc.
Back to the top.