Al-Bustan is pleased to receive a grant from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. We are honored to be among 35 Philadelphia-based organizations selected for project grants in 2014.
As Paula Marincola, Executive Director of The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage remarked:
“Our 2014 grantees attest to the dynamism and variety of Philadelphia’s cultural scene and carry the promise of exciting and rewarding experiences for audiences across the region.”
Al-Bustan’s “Words Adorned: Arabic Poetry and Music Project” will premiere two new compositions by Arab-American composers Kareem Roustom and Kinan Abou-Afach, who will take inspiration from Andalusian poetry (muwashshahat). The commissioned works will explore new avenues of musical language and expression and will be performed by Al-Bustan Takht Ensemble with The Crossing, a Philadelphia-based award-winning Western choir, and a guest vocalist. A series of open rehearsals, poetry readings, and public demonstrations will lead up to the culminating concert to be held in December 2015 as part of the Bryn Mawr College Performing Arts Series. The concert will also feature well-known muwashshahat by composers Taher Guizani (Tunisia) and the Rahbani Brothers (Lebanon). The musical scores and lyric translations will be published in a booklet and an interactive website, along with an introduction to the muwashahat form and its historical context by scholar Hicham Chami. These materials will offer other Western choirs the opportunity to learn and perform compositions that merge Arab and Western music.
The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage (the Center), established in 2005, is dedicated to stimulating a vibrant cultural community in the greater Philadelphia region. The Center makes project grants in two areas, Performance and Exhibitions & Public Interpretation, as well as awarding grants to individual artists through our Pew Fellowships. The Center also makes Advancement grants, substantial awards to high-performing organizations seeking to make lasting improvements to their programming, audience engagement, and financial health. Each year, Center funding makes possible numerous performing arts events, as well as history and visual arts exhibitions and other public programs for audiences in Philadelphia and its surrounding counties. The Center is also a hub for research and knowledge-sharing on issues critical to cultural practice.