The Roles of Arts & Culture in Addressing Islamophobia

March 10, 2017

By: ArtPlace America

ArtPlace is proud to be part of a briefing for funders on the role that Arts & Culture plays in addressing Islamophobia, Monday March 13th starting at 9:00am est in New York, which will also be shared via livestream. Check out speakers and the schedule of the conference in conjunction with the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, the Ford Foundation, John Brademas Center of New York University, New York Community Trust, the New York Foundation and Philanthropy New York. 

Islamophobia is escalating rapidly across the country, fueling fear, discrimination and hate crimes against Muslim, Arab and South Asian communities. In recent months, we have borne witness to a growing number of hostile acts including vandalism, intimidation and verbal and physical attacks on vulnerable people. This growing crisis has propelled multidisciplinary funders to seek out new ideas and strategies to be responsive to galloping need.

What role can arts and culture play in helping with this situation? 
This will be a day of learning and discussion with creative thought leaders, artists and philanthropy professionals on how arts and culture can diffuse the cultural tensions and “othering” that drive Islamophobia. What is the role of art in shifting cultural narratives? What kind of creative partnerships and collaborations can serve as an effective response to encourage pluralism and harmony in our communities? What meaningful mechanisms currently exist or can be adapted to magnify mutual wellbeing? This briefing offers a chance for funders to weigh these and other vital questions and propose concrete next steps for action.

In a recent Guardian article ‘The beauty of art can counter Islamophobia – but it won't be easy’ Jonathan Jones says ‘If there is one thing that can communicate across every border and cultural gap it is art. Where words define and definitions divide us, visual art is open, ambiguous and allows imaginations to wander in time and space. Looking at Islamic art allows non-Muslims to feel the inner beauty of beliefs and traditions we do not share, to look with “another heart / And other pulses”.’

Check out the livestream happening Monday March 13th.