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Monday, October 19, 2009

Connecting Communities: Up and Running!

If you haven't yet ventured out to see our latest exhibit, Connecting Communities, I suggest you do so!

The exhibit deals with immigration in metro Detroit, by looking at the lives of nine local immigrants. We pair their stories with government-compiled statistical data in an effort to breakdown some misconceptions and negative stereotypes associated with immigrants.

YOU can also have your say in the debate! Visit our Social Media "Dashboard" to find out how your voice can be heard!

If you're camera-shy and/or don't use Social Media you can always comment RIGHT HERE! Think about answering these questions:

1. Do you know who, in your family, immigrated to the United States? When did they come here? Or, are you Native American Indian?
2. Do you think new immigrants should completely shed their native culture and traditions when they come to America? Why or why not?
3. Respond to this statement: America is a nation founded by immigrants and populated by immigrants and their descendents.
4. Why do you think immigration is such a hot-button issue these days?
5. How would you feel if you had to emigrate? What would you miss the most about America? What would you want to take with you?

Your contribution helps shape the exhibit and may appear in the gallery! So visit us often to hear what people have to say and share your thoughts too!

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Monday, August 24, 2009

One goes down, another goes up...

Today we took down the exhibit, A Yemeni Community: Photographs from the 1970s by Milton Rogovin. While we contract installers to hang our shows, we usually opt to take them down ourselves.

I think one of my favourite things about my job is the grunt work. I love it when I get to be away from my desk for a little while and get my hands dirty. Possibly the greatest thing is getting to peel the vinyl letters off the walls.

If you didn't make it out to the show you can still see the photos in our online exhibit here, and pictures of the gallery on our flikr page here.

The SURA Arts Academy photographs open September 12th!

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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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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

An exhibition of materials from the Arab American National Museum is on display at the Caroline Kennedy Public Library in Dearborn Heights through the end of May. The Library is located at 24590 George Street, west of Telegraph and north of Ford Road. It showcases changing exhibitions made up of materials of local interest. Our exhibit features books, CD's, ceramics and textiles that are available in the Museum's library and store. The Library is visited by 17,000 patrons per month. Its visitors include senior citizens and students from the nearby charter school, Star Academy. We are hopeful that the display will inspire many of the Library's patrons to visit the Museum.

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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Motawi Tileworks

We are currently conducting some preliminary research on Motawi Tileworks for a possible exhibition in the near future. Here is a short, interesting video from Concentrate Media that features Motawi.

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