Islamic Center Hosts Culture-Bridging Art Fair

Friday, September 30, 2016, 10:38 am
By: 
Heather Paris

A multicultural event, featuring arts and crafts from many cultures and ethnicities, will be hosted by The Greater Lansing Islamic Center at 920 S. Harrison Road, East Lansing tomorrow. The We Are All One Art Fair will take place on Saturday, October 1, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will offer activities for all ages. Ethnic foods will be available for purchase. Artists from a myriad of disciplines will also sell their wares, ranging from glass, fiber arts and ceramics, to painting and more.

The fair is based on the premise that art and culture are capable of bridging the gap between diverse groups to build connections and foster acceptance in the community. According to spokesperson Anne Hodge, Janine Sinno Janoudi came up with the idea of the fair. Twenty years ago, Janoudi started a nonprofit organization called Family and Community Development Services, which helps Muslim refugees and low-income Muslim families.

The art fair is being held to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the nonprofit organization. Janoudi, “came up with this event to not only combat Islamophobia, but to also partner artists with refugees in order to help them through PTSD,” said Hodge. In the future, the event will be held annually.

Henna painting and artist demonstrations will take place throughout the day and patrons can choose to buy food from Native American or Middle Eastern cultures. At 1 p.m., a prayer for world peace will be given by spiritual leaders from several religious denominations, including a prayer in Ojibwe, a Michigan Native American language.

Artists participating submitted three of their art pieces in order to be considered for the fair. This past July, Drop-in Artist & Crafter Recruitment Days were held for in-person submissions. Other applicants contacted the organizers by email and attached three photos of their work. Few spots are still open for the event. To inquire about participating, contact weareallonefair@gmail.com.

Sponsors of the art fair include Arts Council of Greater Lansing, the Eli & Edythe Broad Art Museum, Family & Community Development Services, Greater Lansing Islamic Center, Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center, Michigan Institute for Contemporary Art, and Native American Arts and Crafts Council.