I recently had the chance to speak with Ian Elsner, host of the podcast Museum Archipelago, about the work of the Arab American National Museum. Museum Archipelago is an “audio guide through the landscape of museums.” Our conversation, featured on episode 26, is now live.
One of the many great things about attending CityLab 2016 in Miami was the opportunity to speak with inspiring and talented leaders from across various professional fields. This included conversations with some great journalists, including the one I had with Megan Billings, Deputy Bureau Chief at Monocle. I’m a big fan of Monocle magazine and I enjoyed speaking with Ms. Billings about the work of the Arab American National Museum. The interview was published by Monocle’s The Urbanist podcast (episode 265).
I was digging through the AANM Flickr photostream and rediscovered a bunch of old photos of me. Having worked behind the camera for a fair amount of time, I’m still not entirely comfortable being in front of the lens. Here’s a quick photo dump of some of the more tolerable images. There’s plenty more that I wish would just disappear.
Thanks to Aaron Mondry and Metromode Media for the coverage of the Arab American National Museum’s upcoming tenth anniversary.
Dearborn, Mich. has the highest concentration of Arab Americans in the United States. The Arab American News, the largest and oldest Arab American newspaper in the country, is published there. The city’s police chief, Ronald Haddad, is Arab American.
Without question, Dearborn is the center of Arab American culture.
It’s no surprise, then, that the preeminent museum dedicated to documenting and preserving the Arab American story is located in Dearborn. The Arab American National Museum (AANM), the only Smithsonian Affiliate in Southeast Michigan, will celebrate its ten year anniversary this May. As part of the milestone, the museum will roll out a year-long series of events and renovations.
Big ups to Eastern Michigan University for featuring me in the I am TRUEMU alumni campaign. Glad to see those grad school dollars are paying off!
Brand new TRUEMU light-post banners are going up around campus. There will be 100 banners featuring 62 alumni. Each EMU alumni choose an individual power statement and photo showcasing their success and career post graduation. This next phase of the TRUEMU marketing campaign, follows faculty and student campaigns.
Late last year I had the honor of being photographed by the noted French photographer Gilles Perrin for an exhibit called Detroit Resurgent. I am humbled and honored to be included in this exhibit, which is on display at the MSU Museum through January 2014. The exhibition will travel to Detroit and will be hosted at the MSU Detroit Center from May-December 2014. Here’s more on the exhibition:
Detroit Resurgent is an exhibition that runs from September 8, 2013 through January 12, 2014 and a book that will be released by the MSU Press in April 2014. Through photographic portraits, interviews, essays and poetry it demonstrates the vitality and humanity of the people of Detroit and provides a powerful counter-narrative to the vision of Detroit as a Rust Belt wasteland.
Portraits of the Motor City, the centerpiece of Detroit Resurgent, is based upon the MSU Museum’s commission of French photographer Gilles Perrin to make a series of portraits over a three-week period in 2012 and have Nicole Ewenczyk, his wife, record interviews with each subject.
Sixty-two portraits, sixty-four people in photographs and their own words. People from all walks of life, ages, and ethnicities; these are the people whose stories of vision, hope, frustration, joy, courage, and renewal represent the greatness of Detroit past, present, and future. These people are the ones who breathe life into an often-maligned and frequently misunderstood city.
Factory workers, autoworkers to business executives, artists, entrepreneurs, developers, community activists, union organizers, community bankers, social-justice advocates, urban farmers, cultural and political leaders, doctors and community health workers, lawyers, journalists, poets, musicians, educators, religious leaders, and steelworkers: these are the people of Detroit whose expansive humanity is poignantly captured through Gilles Perrin’s sensitive portraits and Nicole Ewenczyk’s insightful interviews. These are the people moving Detroit forward, remaking Detroit for the twenty-first century. These are the people of today’s Motor City.
“Through the recession, we learned arts and culture was not the No. 1 priority for certain foundations and corporations,” said Devon Akmon, director of the Arab American National Museum. Endowment “is a way of building a more sustainable future. … It’s a bank of money we know will be there … unrestricted funds which provide a certain level of freedom and, in many ways, it’s guaranteed.”