These projects are made possible in part by a grant from the Association of Performing Arts Professionals’ Building Bridges: Arts Culture and Identity, a component  of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.

Mosaics Programming

2018-2019

Meet G. Willow Wilson

April 10, 2018, 1 p.m.
April 11, 2019,
7 p.m.

The author of Ms. Marvel spoke and met with fans at Moraine Valley Community College.

 

American Griot

By Reginald Edmund and Ronnie Malley
Directed by Dr. Craig Rosen
Feb. 21-March 3
Thursday-Saturday 7:30 p.m.
Sunday 3 p.m.
John and Angeline Oremus Theater

American Griot is an original play exploring the often overlooked history of early African Muslims forced into American slavery and the influence they had on what would become the American music genre known as the blues. Told through the lens of Mamadou, an 18th century griot (African storyteller musician), the audience is taken on a musical journey to the crossroads of Africa and America revealing the shared history of Islam and the blues on both continents.

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Chicago Dance Crash

Featuring the world premiere of “Al Nafs” by Amirah Sackett

Saturday, Nov. 17, 7:30 p.m.
Dorothy Menker Theater

Founded in 2002 and led by artistic director Jessica Deahr, Crash has emerged as a critical staple of the local and national dance scene, engaging audiences and broadening the exposure of hip hop/contemporary dance. With a unique union of styles both classic and contemporary, including ballet, capoeira, breakdance, and acrobatics, CDC burst onto the scene in its first season with the new and innovative movement play concept and has grown to receive critical acclaim throughout its 16 years…recently having been awarded “The Most Inventive Show of 2017” in the United States acknowledgment by Dance Magazine.

This family-appropriate dance concert was a combination of some of Crash’s most crowd-pleasing repertory works along with some new pieces having just premiered in the past year. The works ranged from light and humorous to intense and socially minded; though all displaying the organization’s branded aesthetic of “concert format hip hop and breaking.”

The night was highlighted by the WORLD PREMIERE of “Al Nafs,” a brand new, long-form dance piece created by Muslim hip-hop choreographer Amirah Sackett.

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Caravanserai

Exploring the intersection between Arab and Mexican cultures.

Thursday, Nov. 15, 6 p.m.
Moraine Business and Conference Center

An evening of food and music that celebrated connections between Arab and Mexican cultures.

Our Caravanserai -- an inn where travelers stay during a long journey -- focused on the diaspora that occurred when Muslims, like Jews, were exiled from Spain when Christians reconquered Spain. Our supper celebrates the metamorphosis that emerged when Arabic Muslim culture intersected with Spanish and Indigenous American cultures in Mexico -- with poetry, music, and culinary delights.
Presented in partnership with the college’s Culinary Arts Program.

 

Innov Gnawa

Saturday, Oct. 20, 7:30 p.m.
Dorothy Menker Theater

Innov Gnawa is a young musical collective dedicated to exploring Morocco’s venerable gnawa music tradition in the heart of New York City. Formed in summer  2014 by Moroccan expat Samir LanGus, the group draws on the considerable talents and expertise of Hassan Ben Jaafer, a Maâlem, or master gnawa musician, originally from Fes, Morocco. For the uninitiated, gnawa music is the ritual trance music of Morocco’s black communities, originally descended from slaves and soldiers once brought to Morocco from Northern Mali and Mauritania. Often called “The Moroccan Blues,” gnawa music has a raw, hypnotic power that’s ascinated outsiders as diverse as writer/composer Paul Bowles, jazz giant Randy Weston and rock god Jimi Hendrix. The music is utterly singular, played on an array of unique instruments — from the lute-like sintir that the Maâlem uses to call the tune, to the metal qarqaba (castinets) with which the kouyos (chorus) keep time and pound out clattering, hypnotic rhythms.

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2017-2018

Qasim“Q”Basir

Qasim “Q” Basir weaves autobiographical elements into his movies. He offers dynamic post-screening discussions of his films as well as engaging keynotes that explore issues of race and Islam, drawing on his experiences growing up black and Muslim in the United States.

Pursuing Creativity with a Purpose

Wednesday, April 4, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Building L, Library

For over 100 years of film and TV, the narrative of this country and much of the world has been controlled by a small group of people, and it has shaped the way people see different cultures, faiths and communities – many times, in an imbalanced way. This is the day to hear and tell the truth about who we are, in whatever medium you choose, to create a country that is meant to be "United.”

Brown Bag Lunch Series

Thursday, April 5, Noon-1:30 p.m.
Building U, Room U111

Qasim Basir joined students for a casual, free, lunchtime conversation.

Film Screening: MOOZ-lum

Thursday, April 5, 7 p.m.
Fine and Performing Arts Center, Dorothy Menker Theater

Qasim Basir screened his 2010 film MOOZ-lum, starring Nia Long, Evan Ross and Danny Glover. He was available after the screening for a Q&A session. The coming-of-age tale about a Muslim boy going to college around the time of the September 11 attacks has received much critical acclaim. Given the current political climate, the film is once again in high demand as it speaks to the fear, hatred, and hostility toward Islam and Muslims, providing a powerful and complex story of what it means to be Muslim in America.

Street Science: A Celebration of Hip-Hop Culture
Featuring Omar Offendum
With The Reminders, Amirah Sackett,
and DJ Man-O-Wax

Saturday, March 24, 7:30 p.m.
Dorothy Menker Theater

Omar Offendum is a Syrian-American rapper/poet living in Los Angeles. Known for his unique blend of hip-hop and Arabic poetry, he’s helped raise millions of dollars for various humanitarian and relief groups.

The Reminders, a rare and remarkable musical duo, seamlessly blend soulful sounds and roots music with insightful messages and thoughtful lyrics. The group consists of Brussels-born emcee Big Samir and Queens-born emcee/vocalist Aja Black, a collective creative force that’s hard to beat.

Amirah Sackett is an internationally recognized hip-hop dancer, choreographer and teacher. Amirah believes hip-hop culture gives voice to those often unheard and is a way to uplift, inspire and bring change to those communities that need it the most.

DJ Man-O-Wax (Asad Ali Jafri) performs internationally spinning spiritual, soulful and, of course, funky music from around the world.

Asad has performed as an artist across five continents and over a dozen countries.

Soheila Azadi
Inside Out

January 10-February 7
Robert F. DeCaprio Art Gallery

Soheila Azadi is an interdisciplinary visual artist and lecturer based in Chicago and Iran. Azadi’s inspirations come from her experiences of being a woman while living under theocracy. Now residing in the U.S., Azadi is dedicated to transnational feminism with a passionate devotion to the ways in which race, religion, gender, sexuality, and ethnicity intersect. This exhibition will continue in the atrium.

The Fourth Light Project”
An Immersive Multimedia
Experience

Saturday, Oct. 21, 7:30 p.m.
John and Angeline Oremus Theater

Notable electroacoustic group Niyaz presented a multimedia show unlike any other. This ground-breaking and immersive experience combined live musical and sacred dance performance with interactive technologies and advanced projection/body-mapping techniques that respond to sound and movement in real time. At the
center of The Fourth Light Project is the work of Rabia Al Basri, the first female Sufi mystic and poet. Born in the 8th century in what is now Iraq, she served as the main source of inspiration for the production.

The group’s musical and personal heritage lies in the mysticism and allure of the East, but Niyaz was formed in California and one of their aims has long been to build a bridge between East and West – a sanctuary from a modern world of polarized ideologies.

Marium Rana
A Place to Call Home

September 25-Oct. 28
Robert F. DeCaprio Art Gallery

This painting series depicts the complexity of belonging to two different cultures and trying to make a home out of stories of places and moments one has not personally experienced. The paintings depict landscapes that do not exist in our tangible world, lost somewhere between
the past and the present. These vibrant landscapes seem as imaginary as the places that have existed before us.