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Friday, June 19, 2009

Recycled Wall?

Next week is the week we say goodbye to one of our own, our beloved moveable wall! This wall has seen much use since its initial construction. We have repainted and used it depending on the needs of current exhibits. Some times it was a barrier and other times a divider and our most popular use: an interactive.

For Utopian Visions, an exhibit featuring four Arab women artists, the wall was used as a space for visitors to leave comments about what utopia meant to them. Now that the exhibit is over and the artwork has been packed and shipped back to places like the Schomburg Center and M.Y. Art Prospects in New York and as far as Cairo, Egypt, the gallery space is empty and awaits another exhibit. We had a little dilemma, our future exhibit will not utilize this wall and we really are short on storage. So, we offered the wall for recycling and reuse and The Public Art Committee in Canton, MI has honored us with accepting to take this wall for storage and use in some of their future projects.

Below are some images of the huge transformation that the wall underwent throughout the exhibit's duration.

Please check the Canton Public Art Committee's activities for upcoming information on events that will feature this wall:
Also, for more information about Utopian Visions, go to the Arab American National Museum's website, under Past Exhibits, at

And please if you have similar stories, do share them with us, we would love to hear about recycling and other interactive ideas museums are using!

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Detroit Unleaded

Detroit-based, Arab American filmmaker Rola Nashef will be hosting a launch party for her film Detroit Unleaded this Friday at Exodus Night Club in Detroit. The club is located at 523 Monroe St., across from Greektown Casino, and the event will feature Dj Dijital and Dj Konspiracy of Underground Resistance. The party starts at 9pm and it will also serve as a fundraiser for the forthcoming feature film.

Listen to an interview with Nashef on WDET's Detroit Today.

Also, for a limited time only, Detroit Unleaded (the 20 minute short film) is available online at

The short film follows the life of Sami, an Arab American working the graveyard shift at his family's gas station. Upon its premier in 2007, the film garnered international recognition as an official selection to 23 film festivals, winning three awards for "Best Short Film" and "Best Actor" for Lamar Babi, and received positive audiences and film critics alike. A comedy-drama set in Detroit's eastside, the film explores race, friendship, economics and love through the lives of those running the station and the people that come through, 24/7.

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Monday, May 4, 2009

Electric Kahraba

Arab American artist and activist Joe Namy hosts an excellent, online radio show every Friday over at WNYU. Tune in to Electric Kahraba: Arabs on the Radio from noon to 2PM Eastern. Recent guests have included filmmaker Annemarie Jacir and hip hop artist Narcy (The Narcicyst). Listen to archived episodes of the show, or visit the OLIVETONES website to check out Namy's visual artwork and music.

Electric Kahraba:
Music and culture from and about the Middle East, playing a diverse mix of contemporary and traditional music of varying genres from different parts of the region.