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American Arab, News

Arab Museum launches Artist residency program in Dearborn


DEARBORN, Mich. (Nov. 10, 2015) – Six contemporary Arab American artists from a broad range of disciplines will participate in a new artist residency program in East Dearborn, after the Arab American National Museum (AANM) received a $50,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Knight Arts Challenge Detroit on Nov. 9. The residency program will commence once all of the money is secured to match the grant amount.

The artist residency program will enlist artists that demonstrate the multiplicity of contemporary arts production by and about Arabs and Arab Americans. Through connecting regional to national and international perspectives, project activities will enable artists to work, conduct research and present a variety of contemporary practices to diverse audiences across metro Detroit.

“Through a method of forward global thinking and by recognizing the ever-changing landscape of contemporary art, this new artist residency program brings a reenergized vision of creativity and expression by offering a platform for Arab Americans to showcase their artistic abilities,” said Devon Akmon, AANM director.


“At Knight Foundation, we believe that everyone should have access to high-quality arts experiences in their cities and neighborhoods. We are excited by what this group of Arab American artists will bring to the people of East Dearborn and Detroit,” said Victoria Rogers, vice president for arts at Knight Foundation.

AANM is in the process of assembling a local committee of accomplished artists to participate in planning and promoting project activities. Together with AANM leadership, this committee will review artist submissions in accordance with the larger trajectory of AANM programming and that of the larger arts community across Detroit.

AANM will partner with City Hall Artspace Lofts (CHAL), which is located directly across the street from the museum in Dearborn’s former City Hall complex. CHAL is owned and operated by Artspace, a national leader that transforms blighted urban space into affordable living space for artists. CHAL will provide housing and studio workspace to accommodate visiting artists.

AANM seeks artists whose practices incorporate social engagement and have strong potential to contribute to the vibrancy of the residency experience. The funding provided by the Knight Foundation will support:

·         Residency programming for visual, literary, performing and curatorial practitioners. Residency duration will vary based on each artist’s needs with a minimum four-week requirement.
·         Community engagement activities, including artist-led lectures, discussions, presentations, workshops, studio visits and outreach.
·         Growth of the AANM’s permanent collection through donated pieces and archival recordings.

Through partnerships with galleries, arts organizations and arts professionals, the program will extend voice and capacity to the growing collective of artists, makers and community members who are contributing to the creative identity of Detroit and its reputation as an international city for arts and cultural engagement.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Knight Arts Challenge funds the best ideas for engaging and enriching Detroit though arts. Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit knightfoundation.org.

The Arab American National Museum (AANM) documents, preserves and presents Arab American history, culture and contributions.

The AANM is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums; an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution; and a founding member of the Immigration and Civil Rights Network of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience.

The Museum is located at 13624 Michigan Ave., Dearborn, MI, 48126. Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday; noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Closed Monday, Tuesday; Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Admission is $8 for adults; $4 for students, seniors and children 6-12; ages 5 and under and Museum Members, free.

Visit http://www.arabamericanmuseum.org or call 313.582.2266 for further information.


About Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning Palestinian American columnist. Named "Best Ethnic American Columnist" for 2006/07 by the New America Media. He is the recipient of four Lisagor Awards from the Chicago Headline Club and the 2009 Sigma Delta Chi Award for column writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. Visit his website at www.TheDailyHookah.com. Find his podcasts on iTunes and on Vimeo.


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