Moraine Valley Community College will host a series of free workshops and presentations Oct. 18 to 20 that focus on insights into Persian and Turkish music, feminism in the East, Sufi practices and philosophy, and more. Capping the events will be the Oct. 21 performance by the electroacoustic group Niyaz, featuring songs from its album, “The Fourth Light Project.”

The first panel, “Bringing Mystical Sufi Music to Modern Audiences,” will be Wednesday, Oct. 18, from 2 to 3:30 p.m., in the Library, Building L. Organizers and artists participating in the “The Fourth Light Project” show will discuss the religious ideas and history that inspired the piece, and how music and dance can provide audiences with insight into the esoteric spirituality of Sufi Islam. Panelists include Niyaz’ Azam Ali, Loga Ramin Torkian and Gabriel Ethier, as well as Dr. Amani Wazwaz, communications professor at Moraine Valley; Hana Asfar, student trustee; and Tommy Hensel, managing director of the FPAC. You can also view the simulcast online.

A one-hour workshop about feminism in the East will be held Wednesday, Oct. 18, at 6 p.m., in Building G, Room G110A. Speakers Azam Ali and Niyaz will discuss gender inequality and how the growing feminist movement in the East relates to the global feminist movement. Both will delve into how the role of women in society is mostly depicted through the lens of Western norms, creating the perception women in the East are weak and oppressed victims. They will shine light on some of the iconic women of the East in both history and present day.

Musicians of all skill levels are invited to bring their instruments to the “Persian and Turkish Musical Theory” workshop Thursday, Oct. 19, from 5 to 6 p.m., in the John and Angeline Oremus Theater inside the Fine and Performing Arts Center (FPAC.) With a focus on Persian and Turkish music theory and rhythms, participants will learn to apply these motifs to their own instruments.

A one-hour workshop on “Sufi Whirling Workshop” will be Friday, Oct. 20, at 6 p.m., in the John and Angeline Oremus Theater. The workshop will cover Sufi poetry, as well as “Sema,” the musical and ecstatic aspect of Sufism and will include a Whirling Dervish (Sufi dancer), who will discuss the practice and aim of whirling.

The final event is Niyaz’ “The Fourth Light Project” performance on Saturday, Oct. 21, in the Dorothy Menker Theater, in the FPAC. Tickets for the performance are $30; $25 for seniors. Students are free.

The main inspiration for this electroacoustic production is from the work of Rabia al-Basri, the first female Sufi mystic and poet born in the eighth century in what is now Iraq. The group’s musical and personal heritage lies in the mysticism and allure of the East, but Niyaz was formed in California, bridging the East and West. The multimedia show, which “Billboard” says, “Is an alluring combination of medieval Persian exoticism and beats that are state of the art,” combines live music and sacred dance performances with interactive technologies and advanced projection/body-mapping techniques that respond to sound and movement in real time.

This series is part of the Mosaics: Muslim Voices in America project, which focuses on highlighting the artistic and cultural diversity of Muslim artists living and working in the United States. This project is 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.

For more information, contact Hensel at or (708) 974-5492. To purchase tickets, visit the FPAC website or call the Box Office at (708) 974-5500.