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 the organization 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.