The Center for the Arts has received a grant of $200,000 to support the Muslim Women Voices Project during its 2014-2015 season. The project, part of the Creative Campus initiative, will present theater, music and dance performances by women from nine different countries.
The award, announced Jan. 10, is from the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, a national service and advocacy group.
APAP distributes the grants (Wesleyan’s CFA is one of six organizations chosen this year), which are funded through the Building Bridges program of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.
Building Bridges supports groups creating interdisciplinary and community collaborations expanding awareness of Muslim culture.
“An essential part of Wesleyan’s mission as a residential undergraduate institution is ‘to build a diverse, energetic community of students, faculty, and staff who think critically and creatively and who value independence of mind and generosity of spirit,'” said Pamela Tatge, director of the CFA. “This project will feature extraordinary artists from around the globe and will assist us in building a more inclusive and dynamic campus community while at the same time catalyzing important dialogues within our region.”
Along with the performances, a series of events including workshops, lectures, informal talks and meals with the artists will take place. Curricular projects will include work in Religion and French Studies and two new courses, the CFA said.
An artist will be commissioned to guide Wesleyan students and Muslim community members in creating a theatrical work; the team will conduct interviews with Muslim women and weave the gathered stories into a structure that integrates documentary theater, talk show, cabaret and traditional storytelling.
For the project, the CFA has partnered with Wesleyan’s Music Department, Dance Department, Religion Department, Psychology Department Culture and Emotion Lab, French Studies, Middle Eastern Studies Certificate Program, South Asia Studies, Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies, the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, the Center for Community Partnerships, the Green Street Arts Center, the Turath House (a student program house), and the Muslim Students’ Association; and with community and national partners including the Muslim Coalition of Connecticut, the Hartford Seminary, and the Al-Rawiya Foundation.