Cultural collaborations enhance AANM 2018 fall season

Photo courtesy of the Arab American National Museum The SURA Arts Academy Student Exhibition features students ages 10 to 16 telling stories about their lives, community and culture in photos over the last year of the AANM’s after-school program.

Photo courtesy of the Arab American National Museum
The SURA Arts Academy Student Exhibition features students ages 10 to 16 telling stories about their lives, community and culture in photos over the last year of the AANM’s after-school program.

DEARBORN — Collaboration with cultural institutions in the area and elsewhere has long been a core value at the Arab American National Museum, resulting in some of the most compelling presentations in its 13-year history. Cultural collaboration attains a new level of timeliness and impact in the AANM’s fall 2018 season.

Emerging from AANM’s annual Arab Film Festival, the Arab Film Series @ AANM, is a new collaborative effort with Cinema Lamont, a Detroit-based non-profit that fosters cross-cultural understanding through the power of world cinema.

The series, opening Sept. 20 with the new documentary “Time for Ilhan” (as in Omar, America’s first Somali American legislator), brings a wide range of new and classic films by Arab and Arab American filmmakers to metropolitan Detroit, with this season highlighting films by and about women.

ACCESS’ Campaign to Take On Hate, A Host of People, and Center for Constitutional Rights are among the 15 community partner organizations helping to power the museum’s annual 9/11 Town Hall on Sept. 14. Focused on detention and incarceration, this storytelling and dialogue event includes a performance of the acclaimed play “Letters from Detention” and a panel discussion with attorneys and activists, among others.

In partnership with its frequent creative collaborator Detroit Institute of Arts, AANM presents acclaimed Lebanese vocalist and actor Yasmine Hamdan in a pair of free events Dec. 6 to 7.

On Dec. 6, the Arab Film Series presents “Only Lovers Left Alive,” director Jim Jarmusch’s 2013 meditation on art, science, memory and love – shot partially in Detroit – starring Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton with Hamdan in a cameo role as a nightclub singer. She’ll be on hand for a post-screening talkback. On Dec. 7, Hamdan makes her Detroit premiere, live in concert in DIA’s Rivera Court, as part of AANM’s Global Fridays performance series.

“The Yasmine Hamdan events are an excellent example of how collaborations occur,” said Ryah Aqel, curator of education and public programming at AANM. “As seasoned presenters, we and our DIA colleagues all recognized the value in bringing Yasmine to town, to serve the music and film audiences at both institutions.    “Her presence will enhance viewers’ experience with the film – which is set in Detroit and Morocco – and expand upon her cameo role in it by introducing this acclaimed Lebanese vocalist to southeast Michigan.”

“Collaborating with AANM to present Yasmin Hamdan in concert will provide Detroit audiences a rare opportunity to experience this singular and powerful artist,” said Rudy Lauerman, DIA’s music program coordinator. “Performing in Rivera Court may also be the only venue that could compare to the atmosphere of her scene-stealing appearance in Only Lovers Left Alive.”

In addition to the energizing effects these collaborations have for those who work on them and audiences who witness them, the sharing of ideas and resources helps keep ticket prices low and free events free.

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