Communities Connecting Heritage
Avenue 50 Studio x Athar Lina Initiative
Avenue 50 Studio Teams Up With Athar Lina Initiative in Cairo in an Artistic Effort to Preserve Cultural Heritage in Underserved Communities
May 16, 2018
“Watching this mural come together is beyond words. The work of undoing patriarchy and misogyny is deep and takes creativity. The reflections of the experiences and thoughts from the artists seminar helped tie it all together. To see African, Egyptian and Chicana women represented on one wall is powerful.
These images are beautiful up close and from the street. This may be the largest mural in Egypt done by women. Truly an honor to support and we look forward to what magic we can make in Los Angeles.
Shokran beautiful people and land of Egypt and to Avenue 50 Studio Athar Lina World Learning
Stay tuned for more information as we prepare to host the Egyptian artists and coordinators in June/July.” -Allegra Padilla, Avenue 50 Studio, Program Coordinator
The Through Walls project is part of the Communities Connecting HeritageSM program, an initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, administered by World Learning http://www.worldlearning.org/ . It is implemented in Cairo in collaboration with Athar Lina Initiative, and in the US in collaboration with Avenue 50 Studio.
May 1, 2018
“Should be asleep but feeling the excitement after our first day of the artists putting colors on the wall. It was a beautiful process to witness as people in the neighborhood started to come by. A reason why this particular wall was chosen was because it is next to a soccer field where only males play. It was beautiful to see these fierce creative warriors work during the sandstorm and be in collaboration with each other and the workers who are supporting the project.
We were blessed to share a collective lunch meal with the Athar Lina staff. This is a common practice in Egyptian workplace culture. The have been such incredible people to partner with and learn context about Cairo.
“Beautiful opportunity to participate in a community exchange of Al Kahlifa. They taught us how to make Waraka Enab (wrapped vine leaves) and we taught them how to make tamales!!! Finding similarities and connecting our cultures is what this mural project is about.” -Miranda Ynez, Program Coordinator
April 29, 2018
“Our artists are out here in Egypt creating an international community mural for the next two weeks with our partner Athar Lina. This is the first day of our mural making process! We are so excited to be part of this cultural exchange.” -Miranda Ynez, Program Coordinator
April 25, 2018
Tomorrow our Avenue 50 Studio artists will embark their journey from virtual exchange to flying toward Cairo, Egypt. From April 29 through May 13, Avenue 50 will meet with Athar Lina artists in Cairo to embrace and engage in Cultures Connecting Heritage. Throughout the upcoming months leading towards their departure to Cairo, Avenue 50 and Athar Lina artists have shared their experience, their culture and art with each other in order to draft ideas for a mural in Cairo.
In Egypt, the artists will go on a guided tour of Historic Cairo, where they will be exposed to a variety of monuments and historic buildings, some of which were integral parts of the basic infrastructure of the city and its society but with modernization became outdated. As artists explore how the city operated in the past they will start to identify its remnants in contemporary culture and be able to envision how heritage is very much tied to people today even though they may not know it. Part of the tour of Historic Cairo will also focus on motifs and patterns that may inspire the artists and/or ground some of the ideas and images that were explored during the virtual exchange.
As artists approach the center and then southern neighborhoods of Historic Cairo the tour will take them to different craft workshops that are still open and running today after three or four generations. These crafts will include carpentry, woodcarving, copper work, silversmiths, lantern makers, leatherwork, tent makers and more. As artists are exposed to the variety of crafts, the visiting artists will reflect and give examples of the same or similar crafts present in their Latino heritage and how they are applied differently.
An exhibition will be held at al-Khalifa Community Center telling the story of the exchange, including the silkscreen prints that the artists on the exchange will create, photographs and drawings from the trip, the process of the design of the mural with excerpts of history, visual inspirations, and more.
Stay tuned for more updates!
Avenue 50 to Cairo: April 29 — May 13
Ramadan: May 15 — June 14
Athar Lina to Los Angeles: June 19 — July 10
February 6, 2018
In association with World Learning and the U.S. Department of State’s Cultural Programs Division in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs:
Avenue 50 Studio is proud to announce that our organization has been selected to participate in Communities Connecting Heritage (SM), an initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs that is administered by World Learning.
In partnership with Athar Lina Initiative ⎼ a participatory conservation initiative in Cairo, Egypt ⎼ Our project, “Through Walls: A Heritage Dialogue”, empowers young women and celebrates cultural heritage through visual art by creating two murals by each organization, one in Los Angeles, California, and the other in Cairo, Egypt.
We would like to congratulate our selected Los Angeles artists for this project:
Grace Haynes, Nuria Ortiz, Valentina Zapata
We would also like to give recognition to our project team members who are responsible for making this project come true:
Kathy Gallegos – Program Administrative Lead
Miranda Ynez – Program Coordinator
Allegra Padilla – Operations Coordinator
In addition, we are thrilled to be working closely on this project with Athar Lina’s team members:
Ehsan Abushadi – Program Coordinator
Aliaa elDardiry – Co-Program Coordinator
Mai El-Mostafa – Artist
Fajr Soliman – Artist
Noura Slim – Artist
August 22, 2017
Preserving tangible and intangible cultural heritage is a critical step towards reconstruction, reconciliation and rebuilding of civil society in at-risk communities. That is why Avenue 50 Studio is proud to announce our new project titled Through Walls: A Heritage Dialogue. Through this program, Avenue 50 in a cultural exchange partnership with Athar Lina Initiative, a Cairo based arts organization, will invite three Los Angeles based artists to engage with three Cairo based artists in the following activities: virtual exchange (including online conversations and planning sessions); mural making (murals will be constructed in both Los Angeles and Cairo), and; silk screening (final pieces will be exhibited at a date TBD).
Through Walls: A Heritage Dialogue is one of six new cultural heritage projects that has been selected by the U.S. Department of State and World Learning — a nonprofit organization committed to empowering people through education and global exchange programs — to receive funding as part of the inaugural Communities Connecting Heritage (CCH) exchange program.
CCH empowers youth to protect the cultural heritage of at-risk communities in the United States and around the world. CCH exchange partners will educate all participants in skills and knowledge relevant to their projects, covering topics like digital storytelling and the role of artists in communities.
The virtual exchanges will commence in early 2018, leading up to the in-person exchanges and public exhibitions that will take place in June 2018.
Avenue 50 Studio and Athar Lina are active participants in the preservation of our respective Mexican American and Egyptian cultures through the heritage of the built environment.
Avenue 50 Studio is pleased to announce that we are undergoing a final approval process to participate in a cultural international exchange project through World Learning. World Learning is an international nonprofit organization that focuses on international development, education, and exchange programs.
As a final candidate for their “Communities Connecting Heritage” project, Avenue 50 Studios will be partnering with Athar Lina Initiative, a participatory conservation initiative that aims to establish the preservation of cultural heritage located in Cairo, Egypt.
While we’re waiting for the approval, cross your fingers in hopes we get accepted and read below for more information on this incredible project:
The CCH partnership between Avenue 50 Studio and Athar Lina Initiative has one common goal: to celebrate and preserve cultural heritage through visual art that speaks to and empowers our at-risk communities by creating two murals, one in Los Angeles, California, and the other in Cairo, Egypt.
By tieing in tangible and intangible contemporary cultural heritage and ancient heritage between two cultures, we aim to find similarities between Egyptian and Latino cultures we can use to preserve, honor, and evolve our traditions through our mural project.
We aim to seek commonalities between our two cultural groups in order to build further understanding of the value of not only preserving cultural monuments and histories, but of observing commonalities between cultures that individuals may not be familiar with.
However, how does one define community and place through another’s cultural heritage? By taking into account where other communities come from, we start to see multicultural identities being formed into one another.
It’s important to note that culture is not an institution or a tool for displacement. By creating two murals that highlights two distinct cultures in two diverse cities, we will impact accessibility and inclusiveness that engages the community and contributes to the empowerment of creating dialogue around each culture.
Our murals will be created by a team of young women. This project grants them the opportunity to be involved in the shaping of public space and be the voice and leaders for the community. We take this opportunity to provide women artists with the chance of participating in the creation of public art and public space, a field and location they are often marginalized from.
Our objective is to build bridges of understanding between our two cultures by using murals as our pathway to discuss cultural preservation and history. We celebrate commonality through the forum of public art that sparks conversation in each other’s underserved communities.
Stay tuned for more information regarding our final approval process!