Salaam: Exploring Muslim Cultures (salaam means "peace" in Arabic) is a project that is engaging communities in Southwest Virginia with the diversity of Muslim cultures through an exploration of stories, images, sounds, and perspectives.

Creating inclusion, committing to service


The project will include a range of activities to raise awareness of Muslim identities and cultures and foster a more inclusive community among individuals from diverse cultural and religious backgrounds. Public installations, story circles, and civil dialogue sessions will provide a space for sharing personal stories related to Muslim identities and culture.

Engaging Virginia Tech students

 

  • Take a Course: Islam, Art, and Social Change, coming up in Spring 2018, cultivates knowledge about Muslim identities and cultures through the arts, humanities, and social sciences. A limited number of spots are still open. Sign up during add/drop beginning November 25, 2017. Questions? Contact Carmen Gitre or Will Taggart.
  • Volunteer Through Service Learning: Help support resettled refugees in partnership with VT Engage, the Blacksburg Refugee Partnership, and Commonwealth Catholic Charities.
  • Express Yourself Through Performance: Student artists and performers of all backgrounds who are interested in spoken word/poetry, hip-hop, music, and/or the visual arts are invited to participate in a mainstage performance at the Moss Arts Center on Saturday, March 17, 2018. This performance will explore the art and music of Muslim cultures around the world and offer students an opportunity to work closely with visiting artists, including Syrian-American hip-hop artist Omar Offendum, mixed-media visual artist Saba Taj, and Egyptian musician and DJ Karim Nagi.
  • Interested? Let us know here.


Embracing Virginia Tech’s motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), service-learning opportunities will foster relationship building through local projects that benefit the community. Additional partner organizations include Legacy International, who leads training in intercultural and interreligious dialogue with members of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets.

Muslim Youth on Identity, Diversity and the Expressive Arts (MY-IDEA)


This competition provides opportunities for Muslims aged 18-29 to express their thoughts and feelings about living as a Muslim-American through their original creative work with a focus on how arts and cultural events have influenced the way they think about identity and diversity. Learn more or submit your entry.


Designed in collaboration with an extensive network of campus and community partners, this multi-year process of story-sharing, performing, and visual arts will culminate in an original production created by an ensemble of students and community members in collaboration with guest artists.​

To realize this project, the Association of Performing Arts Professionals awarded the Moss Arts Center $204,000 through its Building Bridges: Arts, Culture, and Identity program for the project and is one of only five grantees (four universities and one consortium) in the nation to receive funding to build knowledge and appreciation for arts and culture with roots in Muslim-majority societies.

 

For more information and to participate in project activities, sign up here revisit this page and/or contact project director Jon Catherwood-Ginn at rjginn@vt.edu.

This project is made possible by a grant from the Association of Performing Arts Professionals; Building Bridges: Arts, Culture, and Identity, a component of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation; and the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.

Related events:

Omar Offendum, Karim Nagi, and Saba Taj perform on Thursday, September 7, 2017, at 7:00 p.m.

omar-offendum-image
Omar Offendum, Karim Nagi, and Saba Taj perform on Thursday, September 7, 2017, at 7:00 p.m.

Niyaz presents "The Fourth Light Project," an immersive multi-media experience, at the Moss Arts Center on Friday, November 3, 2017, at 8:00 p.m.

niyaz-image
Niyaz presents "The Fourth Light Project," an immersive multi-media experience, at the Moss Arts Center on Friday, November 3, 2017, at 8:00 p.m.

The Salaam: Exploring Muslim Cultures performance at the Moss Arts Center is Saturday, March 17, 2018, at 8:00 p.m.

salaam-performance-image
The Salaam: Exploring Muslim Cultures performance at the Moss Arts Center is Saturday, March 17, 2018, at 8:00 p.m.

General Information

To explore engagement opportunities with the Moss Arts Center, contact:

Jon Catherwood-Ginn
Associate Director of Programming
540-231-0872

Meggin Hicklin
Exhibitions Program Manager
540-231-0840

Itraab Ensemble