The Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, an operating foundation supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, has announced grants totaling $1.6 million in support of arts-focused efforts to increase public understanding of contemporary Muslim societies.
Through DDFIA's Building Bridges Program — which previously had only awarded grants through a curatorial approach or intermediary organizations — eight nonprofit organizations in the U.S. will receive grants to plan and implement art-focused projects that create participatory, collaborative, and/or interactive experiences designed to engage target audiences. Grant recipients include Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture in Philadelphia, which will receive $120,000 to further develop its Arab Music Concert Series; America Abroad Media in Washington, D.C., which was awarded $276,997 to launch "Reflections on Muslim Culture in a Changing World," a two-year public media series; the Center for Asian American Media in San Francisco, which will receive $207,533 to implement a series of filmmaking workshops for Muslim youth; and the Children's Museum of Manhattan, which was awarded $250,000 over two years to develop a multidisciplinary initiative featuring interactive educational programs.
In addition, La Mama Experimental Theatre Club in New York City was awarded $50,000 for "The Back Room @CultureHub," a project designed to spark a dialogue between the public and emerging visual, new media, and performance artists from Iran; the Metropolitan Museum of Art will receive $300,000 over three years to develop educational programs in connection with exhibitions involving Muslim cultures; the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago was awarded $275,000 over three years to develop a project in partnership with the Inner-City Muslim Action Network that brings Muslim artists into local neighborhoods and communities; and Poets House in New York City will receive $125,000 for a two-year initiative focused on Muslim poets.
"We are delighted that this set of grants will support work that engages communities across the country through the powerful medium of the arts," said Zeyba Rahman, senior program officer for the Building Bridges Program. "Through these creative initiatives, the public will have new opportunities to build experience with and knowledge of the rich diversity in Muslim societies."