Artists of all Mediums Invited to Submit Work To Create the Culture of an America Free of Hate and Oppression
WASHINGTON, DC — Today, American Muslim Futures—a collaboration between Muslim Advocates and the Shangri La Museum of Islamic Art, Culture & Design that launched last month at The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts—announced a call for art that reflects the images, songs, words, fashions and more that we might expect to find in an America that lives up to its ideals. American Muslim and allied artists of all mediums (visual, performing, literary, fashion, etc.) are invited to submit work by July 26, 2020. Selected artists will receive $600 and their work will be featured in an official digital exhibit, which will be shared widely through traditional and new media platforms reaching people worldwide.
The exhibit will open on Sept. 2, 2020 and will feature up to 20 works in a series of virtual viewing rooms with multimedia displays and audio reflections by the individual artists. Selected artists will also be considered for future residencies with the Shangri La Museum of Islamic Art, Culture & Design in Honolulu, HI and for future programs with Muslim Advocates in Washington, DC. Submitted art will be evaluated by a panel of visionary artists and community leaders, including:
- Shirien Damra, Designer & Illustrator (Illinois)
- Diana Al-Hadid, Contemporary Visual Artist (New York)
- Aint Afraid, Movement & Artist Duo (Michigan)
- Basheer Jones, Cleveland City Councilor & Hip Hop Artist (Ohio)
- Tanzila “Taz” Ahmed, Organizer & Storyteller (California)
- Navid Najafi, Youth Educator & Hip Hop Artist (Hawaii)
“American Muslims have been surveilled, put on watchlists, targeted by hate crimes and torn from their loved ones by the Muslim Ban,” said Muslim Advocates Digital Advocacy Officer Erik W. Martínez Resly. “We reject this status quo. By creating the culture of a better America, artists can make a more just future feel both real and undeniable.”
“Today’s challenges necessitate collaboration. American Muslim Futures highlights how arts and advocacy organizations can work together to help realize a more equitable, inclusive and just country,” stated Dr. Konrad Ng, Executive Director, Shangri La Museum of Islamic Art, Culture & Design. “Our hope is that the American Muslim Futures project will capture visions of hope, unity and direction being expressed by thousands of people in this moment, and affirm the belief that America’s brightest moments are realized when artists and communities are called to dream of a better tomorrow.”
“In uncertain times, we look to our leaders for stability and guidance. When those leaders either fail or refuse to acknowledge the will of their people, it is up to the people to speak and cultivate change,” said Navid Najafi aka Illnomadic, a youth educator and hip hop artist in Honolulu, HI. “Connecting our multidisciplinary artistic voices, telling our own stories, honoring our ancestors, speaking truth unfiltered—this is what our world needs the most right now.”
“This artistic futurism is important because of the power it holds,” explained Aint Afraid, a Michigan-based movement and artist duo. “If we don’t use what we know best now to advocate, we will be regretful elders in the future. Don’t wait for change—be a part of fighting for it.”
- American Muslim Futures Digital Exhibition Criteria and Submission Form
- Muslim Advocates, Shangri La Museum, Kennedy Center Host American Muslim Futures Digital Concert
Muslim Advocates is a national civil rights organization working in the courts, in the halls of power and in communities to halt bigotry in its tracks. We ensure that American Muslims have a seat at the table with expert representation so that all Americans may live free from hate and discrimination.
Shangri La Museum of Islamic Art, Culture & Design enriches the understanding of the art and design of the Islamic cultures in new and inspiring ways through exhibitions, digital and educational initiatives, public programs and guided tours, and community partnerships. Shangri La is a program of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation through the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.