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Small But Mighty

26 May 2017 | Amal Team

These might be our Small Grantees, but there’s definitely nothing small about them. Our application process closed in mid-May – a few weeks earlier than we had expected – because we received so many fantastic applications.

When we first opened the grants process, we weren’t entirely sure what to expect. But a couple of months in, we’ve been inspired, motivated and learned so much about Muslim arts and culture projects up and down the UK.

Meet some of our first Small Grantees here:

Bridging Spiritual Cultures

Bridging Spiritual Cultures and All Saints Church, High Wycombe, supported by Amal, will be hosting an Art, Peace and Contemplation Day and evening viewing with iftar and music as part of Wycombe Arts Week on Saturday 27th May.

The day consists of art workshops for adults and children where the spiritual inspiration for creative design can be shared and admired. In addition, plasterwork carving, tile-making, stained glass and calligraphy workshops will be on offer.

The evening welcomes a viewing of the art created on the day, accompanied by an oud recital with Farid Karam, and Andalusian/Moroccan Sufi singing with Safa, (a UK-based community choir with additional singers from London and Paris). The evening will be flavoured with Moroccan mint tea and a buffet of delights for a light iftar (breaking of the Ramadan fast). Tickets are limited for the evening so early pre-booking is highly recommended.

Cast in Doncaster

Cast in Doncaster opened its doors in 2013 and has since played host to internationally acclaimed touring companies, coproduced work and the very best in local talent. The theatre is now enjoying its third year in operation and recent highlights include the free outdoor spectacular Clash of Drums, which attracted an audience of over 3,500 people, the world premiere of Northern Ballet’s Jane Eyre and The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and a professional in-house produced pantomime, which grows in popularity year on year.

In 2016 Cast is again partnering up with Southbank Centre London, Oldham Coliseum Theatre and Black Country Touring to bring Alchemy on Tour, the UK’s largest South Asian arts festival, back to Doncaster. Amal will support a selection of events incorporating strands of Muslim culture at this year’s Alchemy Doncaster. The programme of events includes a delicious Kashmiri cookery demonstration from Aagrah Restaurant’s Executive Chef Liaqat Ali and the stand-up debut show of award-winning British Muslim comedian Bilal Zafar. A series of poetry workshops for young South Asian women will culminate in an Open Mic Mehfil showcasing up and coming talent. Cast’s Associate Artists Target Theatre Company will present a rehearsed reading of MADE, a new play about the lives and plight of Bangladeshi factory workers making clothes for the British High Street. Mother Tongues from Farther Lands takes inspiration from communities in Doncaster and across the UK bringing fascinating, fearless and funny monologues to life, inviting communities to celebrate the stories and lives of the unsung inspirational South Asian women across the UK.

Shade 7

Founded in 2012, Shade 7 is a global, multilingual publisher, striving to make a positive contribution to the world by developing creative, interactive and high quality publications and products that make learning about religion fun.

After discovering the lack of children’s literature explaining the similarities between faiths and information about commonly seen religious head coverings, Jewish author, Medeia Cohan-Petrolino, and Muslim publisher, Hajera Memon, joined forces to realise the world’s first mainstream, interfaith, board book for infants and toddlers, specifically focused on hats of faith.

Launching this Autumn, with support from Amal, Hajera and Medeia bring Hats of Faith, a beautifully illustrated introduction to the shared custom of head covering.  Using accurate terminology, phonetic pronunciations, and bright imagery, Hats of Faith helps educate and prepare young children and their parents for our culturally diverse modern world. To accompany the book, Shade 7 will release a range of free digital teaching tools including lesson plans, activities and worksheets.

Milton Keynes Islamic Arts Heritage and Culture

Art in the Park Festival, organised by Milton Keynes Islamic Arts Heritage and Culture, returns to Campbell Park for its eighth successive year with the theme of Migration in July 2017, with the support of Amal. The celebratory multicultural festival has grown to attract over 11,000 people annually and provides a platform for local emerging talent to share a stage alongside internationally respected musicians, dancers, visual artists, chefs, storytellers, and poets. The festival bursts into life with a vibrant Parade of Colours setting off from Christ the Cornerstone Church and making its way across the city, with a conclusion at Campbell Park.

MKIAC celebrates and develops contemporary and traditional Islamic arts and artists. Its primary aims are to promote different cultures and art forms, encourage intercultural artistic collaboration, and enable wide community engagement and integration.

Meet Our 2018/2019 Partners

On 7 October 2019, we had the pleasure of hosting Amal partners from the 22 arts and culture projects we have supported since launching our programme in August 2018.

From London to Bradford

We’ve spent the Summer visiting Amal-supported projects in locations across the UK. Up next are two of our partners presenting their work in London and Bradford.

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