City Lore Storytelling Cafe: Migration Stories with the Muslim Writers Collective

City Lore, in collaboration with the Muslim Writers Collective, presents the City Lore Storytelling Cafe: Migration Stories with the Muslim Writers Collective.

 

So much of the national conversation around immigration is driven by academics and policy analysts and is far removed from actual immigrants. Migration Stories aims to change the discourse around policy affecting refugee and immigrants by actually centering their stories, experiences, and expertise. Five featured Muslim storytellers will share their experiences of migration with a diverse audience made of up members from the Muslim Writers Collective NYC chapter, policymakers, immigration service organizations, academics, and general audiences. It will be followed by a conversation with the storytellers, moderated by Omar Jadwat, director of the Immigrants’ Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union.

The event marks the inaugural event in City Lore’s series City Lore Storytelling Café, where stories are told over a curated menu by City Lore friend and local chef Shash Blount. The program is created in partnership with the Muslim Writers Collective, a national grassroots storytelling movement. The Collective has eight chapters across the country and hosts regular open mics that feature hundreds of first time performers, including poets, journalists, comedians, and musicians.

Beyond Sacred: Voices of Muslim Identity

in association with City Lore

presents

Beyond Sacred: Voices of Muslim Identity

Written by Ping Chong and Sara Zatz, with Ryan Conarro
Directed by Ping Chong

in collaboration with the performers: Tiffany Yasmin Abdelghani, Ferdous Dehqan, Kadin Herring, Amir Khafagy, Maha Syed

Stage Manager, Kristina Varshavskaya

Executive Director, Ping Chong + Company, Bruce Allardice

Beyond Sacred: Voices of Muslim Identity is an interview-based theatre production by Ping Chong + Company exploring the diverse experiences of young Muslim New Yorkers. The five participants in Beyond Sacred vary in many ways, but share the common experience of coming of age in a post-9/11 New York City, at a time of increasing Islamophobia. Participants come from a range of cultural and ethnic backgrounds and include men and women that reflect a wide range of Muslim identities, including those who have converted to Islam, those who were raised Muslim, but have since left the faith, those who identify as “secular” or “culturally” Muslim, and those who are observant on a daily basis. The goal of Beyond Sacred is to illuminate daily experiences of Muslim New Yorkers, and work towards greater communication and understanding among Muslim and non-Muslim communities in NYC. The performance will be followed by a conversation and Q&A with the cast members and artistic team.

Tickets are $15 each. Please reserve your seat HERE.

Beyond Sacred: Voices of Muslim Identity is part of an ongoing series of community-specific oral history theater works known as the Undesirable Elements series. Begun in 1992 by Ping Chong + Company, each production is made in a specific community, with local participants testifying to their real lives and experiences. The script is based on interviews with the participants who then share their own true stories in the final production. Since 1992, over 50 productions have been made across the United States and abroad. Recent productions have explored themes as far ranging as the disability experience, Native American identity, the experiences of refugees in the U.S., and the experiences of survivors of sexual abuse. Ping Chong + Company has created documentaries, toolkits, training workshops, and arts education programs for communities who wish to use the arts to address social justice issues in their own work.

Beyond Sacred was commissioned by LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, where it premiered in April 2015. The premiere production was made possible by a grant from the Association of Performing Arts Presenters Building Bridges: Campus Community Engagement Grants Program, which is funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.

 

 

[ G A T E S ]: A Poetry Chapbook Launch Party & Reading

Poet Sahar Muradi launches [ G A T E S ], her new chapbook out from Black Lawrence Press, with a reading and celebration.
There will be music by Yusuf Misdaq, poetry by Sahar & friends, and some Afghan snacks. Plus poetry projections!  **Please come with a poem of yours or another to the theme of gates/thresholds/passages.**

 

These charged, elliptical poems make space for the unknown and unknowable, even as they vividly summon the tangible body of the world. Shot through with sudden glimpses of violence and beauty, Sahar Muradi’s poems refuse us comfort or closure. They offer only what is—yet, paradoxically, haunt us with the sense that we’re standing on holy ground.

—Joan Larkin, author of MY BODY: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS

 

Sahar Muradi is a writer, performer, and educator born in Afghanistan and raised in the U.S. / is author of the forthcoming chapbook [ G A T E S ] / is co-editor, with Zohra Saed, of One Story, Thirty Stories: An Anthology of Contemporary Afghan American Literature / is co-founder of the Afghan American Artists and Writers Association / has published most recently in Brooklyn Rail and Dusie / is the recipient of the 2016 Stacy Doris Memorial Prize and twice recipient of the Himan Brown Creative Writing Award in Poetry / is a Kundiman Poetry Fellow and an AAWW Open City Fellow / has an MFA in poetry from Brooklyn College, an MPA in international development from NYU, and a BA in creative writing from Hampshire College / directs the poetry programs at City Lore / and dearly believes in the bottom of the rice pot.

 

Dancing and Drumming Arabic Poetry: A Family Workshop

A hands-on family workshop exploring the rhythms and music of al-muwashah, a form of classical Arab-Andalusian poetry. Musician and scholar Taoufik Ben Amor, accompanied by master dancer and percussionist Ramzi El-Edlibi and multi-instrumentalist Zafer Tawil will introduce al-muwashah and show participants how to identify, vocalize, drum, and dance to the poetic meter and rhythms. The artists will  provide historical and cultural context, as well as technical information throughout. Everyone will have a chance to perform! Free and open to all ages. No experience with Arabic necessary.

Please RSVP here.

This program was made in partnership with independent folklorist Nicole Macotsis, who produces Tarab Together, family programming featuring Arab dance, music, and cultural traditions in Arabic.

 

 

 Taoufik Ben-Amor is Gordon Gray Jr. Senior Lecturer in Arabic Studies at Columbia University. He specializes in Arabic language and linguistics, language and identity, Arab music, and music in Sufism. His research combines his interests in music, language and identity in the Arab world through the study of lyrics. He has published extensively, including a textbook on Tunisian Arabic. Ben-Amor is also a vocalist, percussionist, and oud player.

 

 

Ramzi Edlibi (dancer, choreographer, musician) began his study of Arab dance and ballet at an early age in Lebanon with Wadia Jarrar and Abdel Halim Caracalla, historic figures in the development of Lebanese dance for the stage. He went on to perform dance with the leading vocalists and dance companies of the Arab world such as Fairuz, Sabah, Wadi Al-Safi, and Caracalla Dance Theatre. Ramzi then traveled abroad to perform and teach, learning other dance traditions along the way with 20th century dance masters, including Vladimir Duckodovsky of the Ballet Russe De Monte Carlo. Ramzi is currently Artistic Director of Dance Around the World, an Arts-in-Education program that brings dance and music to public schools.

 

Zafer Tawil is a renowned Palestinian musician who has mastered oud, violin, and qanun, among others instruments and the full range of Arab percussion.  A virtuouso in the field, Zafer has performed with Arab music greats such as Simone Shaheen, Chab Mami and Bassam Saba, as well as with Sting, and avant-garde composer/performer Elliot Sharpe among others.  He has composed music for a number of films including the Oscar-nominated film Rachel Getting Married, and has worked on many collaborative concerts involving classical Indian and Persian music, and Arabic/jazz fusion.  In addition to performing, Zafer is an experienced arts educator, giving lecture demonstrations in universities and music conservatories, as well as interactive programming for school-age children.

 

Nicole Macotsis is an independent public folklorist in Brooklyn, specializing in dance and Arab traditions; she is also a dancer. In partnership with Arab American New Yorkers, she has developed programs such as A Dabkeh Tour of Bay RidgeSo You Think You Can Dabkeh and Tarab Together: Sing and Dance bil ‘Arabi, prioritizing Arab American participants’ voices and promoting the  sustainability of Arab music and dance traditions. Her social media-based project, Tradition In Motion: DABKEH! (traditioninmotion.tumblr.com), features ethnographic interviews with dabkeh performers in NYC and Palestine, highlighting the cultural significance of this traditional Levantine dance. Nicole has a MA in Cultural Sustainability from Goucher College.

Oh Hallowed Knish

Just in time for Halloween, world’s leading knish expert Laura Silver reveals lesser-known specters of the succulent potato pie in New York City and beyond. She offers up Lower East Side history, Polish legends, and a real-life connection between knishes and All Saints’ Day. The New York Times called her book, Knish in Search of the Jewish Soul Food, “mouthwatering, whimsical and edifying.” Come revel in local lore and nosh on knishes and other dishes that pay homage to ancestors of all flavors.

More about Laura Silver: http://knish.me/author/

Poetic Voices: Re-Opening & Poets’ Tour

Poetic Voices of the Muslim World explores an art form central to the lives of Muslims around the world. The exhibition highlights poetic traditions from four major language areas—Arabic, Persian, Turkish, and Urdu—and introduces poetry from Asia, Africa, and diaspora communities in the U.S. The exhibition also includes multi-media works by the late Samina Quraeshi, who was dedicated to creating greater cultural understanding of her native Pakistan, as well as artwork created by students of teachers who participated in our summer institute on understanding Muslim cultures through the arts.

For the reopening of the Poetic Voices of the Muslim World exhibit, City Lore’s Director of Poetry Programs Sahar Muradi will lead audiences on a unique tour of the exhibit, where the displayed poems come to life in dramatic performances by poets Sara Goudarzi, Suneela Mubayi, and Adeeba Talukder reading in the original Persian, Arabic, and Urdu.

This program is co-sponsored by Kundiman, a national organization dedicated to the creation and cultivation of Asian American creative writing.

 

The Poets

Sara Goudarzi is a Brooklyn writer and editor. Her writing has appeared in National Geographic News, The Christian Science Monitor, Taos Journal of Poetry and Art, The Adirondack Review and Drunken Boat and featured in an upcoming poetry anthology. Sara is the author of several titles from Scholastic and recently completed her first novel.

 

Suneela Mubayi is a graduate student in Arabic Literature at NYU where she is completing a Phd in the area of the intersection of classical and modern Arabic poetry. She has translated poems and short stories between Arabic, English and Urdu which have been published in BanipalBeirut39, Jadaliyya and elsewhere. She wishes to try to re-establish the position of Arabic as a vehicular language of the global South, the role it played for many centuries. She also hopes one day to be able to call herself a poet.​​

 

Adeeba Shahid Talukder is a Pakistani American poet and translator. She translates Urdu and Persian poetry, and cannot help but bring elements from these worlds to her own work in English. Her chapbook, ‘What Is Not Beautiful,’ is forthcoming through Glass Poetry Press and her book “Shahr-e-jaanaan: The City of the Beloved” is a winner of the Kundiman Prize and is forthcoming through Tupelo Press. A Best of the Net finalist and a Pushcart nominee, Adeeba‘s work has appeared in Glass, Anomaly, Solstice, Washington Square Review, and PBS Frontline among other publications. Adeeba holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan and is a Poets House 2017 Emerging Poets Fellow.  [Photo by Aldo Rafael Altamirano]

 

WHOSE STREETS? Free Film Screening at City Lore

Join us on October 10th for City Lore’s Film Screening of WHOSE STREETS?

A nonfiction account of the Ferguson uprising told by the people who lived it, Whose Streets? is an

unflinching look at how the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown inspired a community to fight back-

and sparked a global movement.

Doors open: 6:00 PM

Screening: 6:30 PM

This event is FREE with RSVP: space is limited so RSVP HERE!

And visit our Facebook Page!

WHOSE STREETS? Trailer:

 

Handball Stories: Exhibition Game and Film Screening

 

From First Park in the Lower East Side to the storied seaside courts in Coney Island, this is New York’s favorite street sport!

On Saturday, October 7th, join us for an afternoon of the ultimate city game!

3:00 pm: Exhibition match by our friends and neighbors, the kings and queens of the First Park courts (across the street from City Lore)

4:00 pm: Screening of One Wall: Kings of Coney Island (at City Lore)
Watch the trailer here: https://vimeo.com/53753270

5:30pm: Handball in NYC Panel Discussion featuring:

  • Michael Inglesh and Ken Saunders — One Wall filmmakers
  • Jasmine Ray — Founder, President, and CEO of the United States Wallball Assocation
  • Flako — neighbor, friend, and one of the top five players to dominate the First Street courts in the 1960s 

Refreshments generously donated by Trader Joe’s and

Insomnia Cookies

Free and Open to the Public! Rain or Shine!

RSVP on Facebook! 

Heartland Passage Tour in Baldwinsville

On Saturday, September 23rd at 4:00 pm, Baldwinsville will host The Heartland Passage Tour – a unique performance event bringing troubadours, performers and storytellers to celebrate the Erie Canal bicentennial in a most unusual way. At this stop, join us at 4:00 pm dockside for free storytelling and music by Erie Canal songster George Ward! Then mosey over to Mohegan Manor at 58 Oswego Street, where we’ll hold the evening program. An 8:00 pm film screening of the new short documentary, Boom and Bust: America’s Journey on the Erie Canal, by Academy Award winning independent filmmaker Paul Wagner – a meditation on the economic cycles along the canal that speak to the fate of the American dream, will be followed by musical performances from Kimball, Kanning, Bolt, and McClure, and Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, famous for “Ashokan Farewell,” the theme song for Ken Burns’ Civil War series.

Tickets for film/concert: $10, purchase HERE 

RSVP on Facebook! 

About the tour: 

The tour is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and a Regional Economic Development Grant through the New York State Council on the Arts. The tour Tour is sponsored by City Lore, the Erie Canal Museum and Livingston Arts. For more information see www.citylore.org/heartland-passage-tour.

About the Sponsors:

Founded in 1986, City Lore’s mission is to foster New York City – and America’s – living cultural heritage through education and public programs. The Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse provides engaging educational experiences that champion an appreciation and understanding of the Erie Canal. The mission of Livingston Arts is to enrich the quality of life in the Livingston County and Western New York by encouraging and promoting the arts and cultural activities.

Heartland Passage Tour in Buffalo

On Friday September 22nd at 7:00 pm, Buffalo’s North Park Theatre will host The Heartland Passage Tour – a unique performance event bringing troubadours, performers and storytellers to celebrate the Erie Canal bicentennial in a most unusual way. This evening will begin a film screening of the new short documentary, Boom and Bust: America’s Journey on the Erie Canal, by Academy Award winning independent filmmaker Paul Wagner – a meditation on the economic cycles along the canal that speak to the fate of the American dream. Next there will be musical performances by Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, famous for “Ashokan Farewell,” and Kimball, Canning, Bolt and McClure, performing the music of traveling troupes along the canal in its heyday.

Tickets: $15, northparktheatre.org
RSVP on Facebook! 

About the tour:

The tour is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and a Regional Economic Development Grant through the New York State Council on the Arts. The tour Tour is sponsored by City Lore, the Erie Canal Museum and Livingston Arts.

For more information about the rest of the tour go to: www.citylore.org/heartland-passage-tour.

About the Sponsors:

Founded in 1986, City Lore’s mission is to foster New York City – and America’s – living cultural heritage through education and public programs. The Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse provides engaging educational experiences that champion an appreciation and understanding of the Erie Canal. The mission of Livingston Arts is to enrich the quality of life in the Livingston County and Western New York by encouraging and promoting the arts and cultural activities.

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