Art With A Message: Creative Alliance Hosting Muslim Artists As Part Of Fall Program

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Six Muslim performers will come to Baltimore in hopes of changing misconceptions about their faith and culture, using art to bring people together.

Amy Yensi explains the program is in part a response to recent attacks on Muslims.

Organizers say a way to fight against Islamophobia is to show people they have more in common than
Meets the eye.

A Muslim family in Dundalk gets a hateful message on their door. It accuses them of being terrorists.

In Silver Spring, a mosque and a Muslim community center received threatening notes.

One reads: “I will pay $100 dollars to charity for every Muslim slaughtered.”

The separate incidents, send tremors of fear in our area. Now, there’s a chance to tackle anti-Muslim bias through art.

“The goal is to open dialog, open conversation so that the community can engage and learn about Muslim women, especially given our political climate and Islamophobia,” says project administrator, says Leila Rghioui.

Pakistani-born singer and musician, Arooj Aftab is one of six Muslim female artists that Baltimore’s Creative Alliance will bring to Baltimore as a part of their new Nisa/Women program.

The performers include singers, musicians and even a comedian that will share their stories and collaborate with local artists.

Every artist will be performing in this theater, but they’re also going out into the community to bring their message directly to the people, leaving the theater behind to visit city schools, universities and community centers.

“Muslim women, in the main stream and within Muslim communities can often be silenced. So the aim was to bring forth women who maybe would not be afforded a stage,” says Rghioui.

It’s an opportunity to fight fear and connect communities.

“When you create those bridges between Baltimore and everything else that’s out there, you really create a sense of individual identity and pride as to what is happening here,” says Creative Alliance Performance Director Josh Kohn.

The program will run through the end of next year. The first performance is in October.

If you’d like the Nisa program to visit your school, you can contact the Creative Alliance.

For more information about the kickoff event, headlined by Arooj Aftab and Zomes CLICK HERE.

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