Our working mission for the Art & Culture program at ICCNC is to celebrate Islamic cultures, support Muslim American creativity, and share these contributions with others in order to increase understanding and tolerance between peoples.
For a community-based Muslim organization, ICCNC has a substantial track record in the arts, and has reached thousands of people –Muslims and non-Muslims alike. ICCNC’s unique institution was featured in The New York Times article (“Muslim American Artists Strive to Bridge a Chasm,” December 16, 2010) about “Bay Area artists who are reimagining one of the country’s most complicated compound identities: Muslim American,” and are presenting “the whole spectrum of Muslim reality.”
Since 2012 it has held over 28 unique events under the art and culture umbrella; and it was around that time that theorganization unified disparate offerings into an ‘art and culture season’ and promoted them collectively and individually.
Between 2009 and 2012, ICCNC held over 37 unique events, most featuring Muslim artists and catering to diverse Muslim and non-Muslim communities. These included: several seasons of “Islam & Authors,” featuring over a dozen writers including Wajahat Ali, John Esposito, Sumbul Ali-Karamali, G. Willow Wilson, and Kabir and Camille Helminski. A festival called ‘Rumi, the Mystic Poet’ with over four separate poetry, theater, music and art events was held in November 2011. Two local artists exhibited art inspired by Rumi, and concerts were held. The centerpiece —an original play called ‘Rumi x 7: Tales from the Masnavi’ performed by Golden Thread Productions (and encored months later)—was a big hit with audiences of all ages, attracting many non-theater goers from the Muslim community and many diverse fans to its playful and vibrant storytelling. About 600 people came to festival events. ICCNC has commissioned Golden Thread for a new play to premiere in Spring 2014. Lectures, several group and individual art exhibitions and musical concerts were also held.
The Art & Culture program is grateful for the support it has received from individuals as well as from foundation and civic funders.
San Francisco Foundation (FAITHS and OneNation funds)
East Bay Community Foundation
Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP)
Alliance of California Traditional Arts
City of Oakland Cultural Funding Program
The Creative Work Fund, a grant of the Walter and Elise Haas Fund
Islam & Authors
Islam and Authors is a series of on-stage conversations with leading Muslim and non-Muslim scholars, novelists, playwrights, journalists, poets and other prominent writers about their latest works relating to Islam, Islamic culture, politics, theology, and history. The program is designed to introduce cutting-edge academic and literary works on Islam and Muslims to the greater Bay Area community, with works ranging from those that advance the understanding of Islam as a major world religion to works that reflect the experiences and contributions of American Muslims. The format consists of an on-stage conversation with the authors and an interactive Q-and-A session.
Some past authors include Dr. Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Dr. Abdulaziz Sachedina, Dr. Mahmood Ayoub, Dr. John Esposito, Dr. Abdullahi an-Naim, Journalist Jonathan Curiel, Playwright Wajahat Ali, and Poet Abdul Hayy Moore. The host conducts, talk with authors about the stories behind their books, plays, poems and graphic novels. Islam and Authors is the only bay Area authors program dedicated to books on Islam and Muslims. We have both Muslim and non-Muslim authors. We invite leading scholars, journalists, poets, playwrights and others to discuss their latest works. The format is an onstage conversation, followed by an audience Q-and-A and book signing.
Islam and Authors series, designed to introduce new and important books and other literary works about Islam to the Bay Area community.
The New York Times
Islam and Authors breaks through common stereotypes and presents the whole spectrum of Muslim reality.
The Berkeley Daily Planet
Flurry of Bay Area Muslim arts and activism counters stereotypes after 9/11 … In Oakland, an Islam and Authors series sprouted.
San Jose Mercury News