Amplify Peace features American artists from the diaspora of predominantly Muslim countries impacted by war. Previous iterations of the tour highlighted Syria, raising awareness around the largest humanitarian crisis of our lifetime and shining a light on U.S. based charity organizations such as the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), Karam Foundation, and the Syrian American Council. The program features a dynamic, multi-genre performance by socially conscious artists along with a variety of educational packages featuring lectures, interactive workshops, and a Q&A.
The concept for Amplify Peace originated from the success of a multi-genre tour across the United States in October 2017. The initiative was spearheaded by the Syrian-American front man of the neo-soul ensemble Bassel & The Supernaturals on the heels of a successful year featuring performances at South by Southwest (SXSW), Milwaukee’s Summerfest, Chicago’s Millennium Park, and many others. The tour was produced in partnership with Sukoon Creative and SAMS, and additional artists included Syrian-American poet Omar Offendum, Libyan-American hip-hop sensation Kayem, the traditional Arabic sounds of Ronnie Malley & The Turath Ensemble, and DJ Bella Loki. Highlights from the tour included a performance at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., the Arab American National Museum in Michigan, and a feature by the Associated Press.
The Syrian Crisis
This lecture focuses on the modern history of Syria and the events that ultimately led to the largest humanitarian crisis of our lifetime. We will uncover the layers of socio-political tension that brought Syria to the brink of war, highlighting the effects of the Ottoman Era, the French Mandate, the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party, and the Arab Spring. A discussion will follow regarding the risks associated with normalizing violence and death, and the role of the United States.
Skills/Subjects: History, International Studies, Political Sciences
Beginning with a basic explanation of terms such as ‘Arab’ and ‘Muslim,’ we will dive into the common misconceptions that shape xenophobic landscapes. Examples of discrimination in the United States will lead into a deeper analysis of prejudice. Students will come away with an understanding of how to recognize negative stereotypes, along with tools to build compassion for Arabs and Muslims within their own communities at a critical time.
Skills/Subjects: Social Sciences, Cultural Studies, Religious Studies
Art & Revolution
Art is a critical form of communication and healing during times of instability. Students will learn about how prominent artists connected to the Arab Spring have activated people around social and political causes, as well as ways that humanitarian organizations are currently using art to help refugees improve their well being. Audiences will also connect directly with artists to discuss how they are utilizing the arts to ‘Amplify Peace.’ The workshop includes an activity to engage audiences in creating their own unique art centered on a cause they are passionate about.
Skills/Subjects: Art History, Critical Thinking, Writing