Spruce Foundation is proud to announce that its 2017 Arts Grant will be awarded to Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture, which works to celebrate diversity and teach about Arab culture through arts programming. The $5,000 grant supports the Tabadul program, a series of after-school community dialogue sessions and in-school workshops led by teaching artists in photography, music, and poetry, all of which will be aimed at promoting cross-cultural exchange. (“Tabadul” means “exchange” in Arabic.) The workshops will engage students at Northeast High School, one of the most diverse high schools in the nation.
For fifteen years, Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture has offered diverse audiences of youth and adults exposure to the art, language, and culture of the Arab world. Their programs build peaceful and respectful paths for bridging differences, and promote cross-cultural understanding and positive social change. Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture leverages a participatory mode of learning in order to engage and include its audience members, emphasizing commonality and shared value even as it celebrates uniqueness.
In a year in which the Spruce Foundation has shifted its priorities to include peacebuilding efforts, its board is especially pleased to award the Arts Grant to a project so focused on the way in which art can be deployed for social good.
“The mission of the Tabadul program really resonates with our board,” says Eliza Erickson, President of the Spruce Foundation. “Being able to support an initiative that combines youth, cultural understanding, art and community engagement is especially meaningful and powerful this year, and the Spruce Foundation is thrilled to be able to facilitate the work of such a unique program.”
Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture will collect its grant—alongside Spruce’s other 2017 awardees, in the focus areas of Education, Health and Wellness, LGBTQ, and Peacebuilding—at the annual Spruce Gala, which is to take place on Friday, April 21 at the Center for Architecture and Design at 1218 Arch Street. Tickets are $85 and are available here.