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Iraqi artists want to hear from us.
by Root Mugwort [rut SITOme] [email Root Mugwort] 2004-01-05 00:27:36 [7970]
I received this forward today from the Dreamtime Village newsgroup. I thought SITO folks might be interested. RUT From: "Erik Ehn (by way of nick)" To: Sent: Saturday, January 03, 2004 2:32 PM Subject: [RAT] iraq Exerpts from a recent forward from Roberta Levitow - Dear Members of the Arts Community, As some of you know, my son, Adam Davidson is assigned to Baghdad as a journalist for the Public Radio program, Marketplace. In that capacity, he recently met Nizar A. Rawi, a graphic designer, art critic, and president of Baghdad's Contemporary Visual Arts Society (CVAS)-a loose association of over 250 visual and performing artists. I was very moved by Nizar and Ali's sense of isolation from the global art world (their knowledge of American theatre ends with Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams). Both men fervently believe in the power of art to develop a "new vision of peace and unity for Iraq." During our conversation, Nizar and Ali listed simple ways in which individual artists and people connected to the arts can help CVAS as well as more comprehensive ways in which arts organizations can join together to help Iraqi artists on a larger scale.

WHAT THEY ARE ASKING FOR Nizar's overriding request from the United States arts community is communication, information, education, and opportunities for cultural exchange. His wish list includes requests that can be filled both on an individual and an organizational level: Individuals 1. Books, periodicals, CDs, and tapes (PAL, DVD, or VCD format only) of and about contemporary art of all genres. (See shipping address under Contact Information below.) 2. Correspondence with individual artists and people connected to the arts in all genres. 3. Money. Nizar didn't request money. My son did. He wrote me,

"CVAS could use it to set up internet access, develop their library, pay for their ongoing in-school training, buy arts materials, help fund the play they're producing next month, etc. Their need is so comprehensive that one paintbrush would be great."
Organizations If you or your organization is interested in initiating or participating in any of the following initiatives, please contact me. I will serve as point person so that I can coordinate the many responses. 1. An exhibition in the United States of CVAS artists' work after the war. 2. A joint exhibition 3. Scholarships for CVAS members to study art in the United States. 4. Visiting delegation of Iraqi artists who would come to the United States to immerse themselves in the contemporary art world by meeting artists individually and as a group, attending exhibitions, performances, and rehearsals, visiting studios, etc. CONTACT INFORMATION: To mail books, CDs and tapes - use domestic postage rates for package to: Sinclair Cornell Media Advisor CPA (USAID/IRAQ) OTI APO AE 09335 To contact CVAS directly and to begin a correspondence with an Iraqi artist: Immediately: Ali Sada - In a few weeks once his Internet connection is setup: Nizar Rawi - To contact Aviva Davidson at Dancing in the Streets regarding organizational initiatives: Aviva Davidson Executive Director and Producer Dancing in the Streets 55 Avenue of the Americas Suite 310 New York, NY 10013 Subject: Iraq Artists Tel: 212-625-3505 Fax: 212-625-3510
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