Caravanserai: Jamestown one of four cities to receive cultural programsJamestown is one of four cities in the nation next year selected to host the Caravanserai. The selection enables the community to experience Moroccan culture throughout the upcoming year.
By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun
Jamestown is one of four cities in the nation next year selected to host the Caravanserai. The selection enables the community to experience Moroccan culture throughout the upcoming year.
“It’s a really nice thing for Jamestown,” said Adam Perry, senior program director for Arts Midwest. “It’s a national-scope program with a lot interest behind it.”
Schools, churches, social organizations and arts enthusiasts will have the opportunity to take in music, movies and discussions with a variety of Moroccan artists.
Arts Midwest awarded Caravanserai artists in residence to Jamestown. It will feature three different residences of artists throughout the year, Perry said.
The goals are to introduce Jamestown and the surrounding area to renowned artists from the Muslim world, educate people here about the different cultures in the Muslim world and advance understanding among participants and audiences.
“The idea of the project is to embrace the diversity of the Muslim world,” Perry said.
At the same time, he said, it’s a two-way street. While people here get to experience the other cultures, people visiting get to take in Jamestown’s culture.
“We have good patrons in the community that allow us the opportunity to integrate artists into a variety of experiences,” said Taylor Barnes, Arts Center director.
The only event Barnes has set right now is the Majid Bekkas Gnawa Ensemble, at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 11 in the Jamestown High School Auditorium.
Majid Bekkas is critically acclaimed for his world music and jazz recordings, according to Arts Midwest.
Another program is Moroccan-American filmmaker Hakim Belabbes who will be in Jamestown in either November or March.
Belabbes will hold screenings and discussions during his stay in Jamestown, which will be determined later.
In April 2013 Jamestown will be host to the Orchestra of Fes featuring Françoise Atlan.
Director Mojamed Briouel is considered by many to be Morocco’s premiere orchestra director and Atlan is considered one of the world’s finest performers of Sephardic Jewish music, according to Arts Midwest.
Barnes said the partner groups in the community are Jamestown Public Schools, Jamestown College, Jamestown Rotary and Temple Baptist Church.
Those groups and others have the ability to book these artists during their residences here to talk with groups of people.
“We’re one of only four cities in the U.S. to have this opportunity,” Barnes said. “It makes it not only exciting but rare — a privilege.”
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at email@example.com