About alwan for the arts

Alwan for the Arts is a 501(c)3, not for profit organization dedicated to the promotion and production of Arab and Middle Eastern arts and culture.  Alwan features concerts, film screenings, book talks, poetry readings, lectures, theater and dance performances, art exhibits, and music and language classes.  Alwan is proud to be supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA), the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Network of Arab American Communities (NNAAC), the Center for Arab American Philanthropy (CAAP), the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Caliban Foundation, the Violet Jabara Charitable Trust and Royal Air Maroc and the Embassy of Egypt to the

United States in Washington D.C.  


$1000 for Best Narrative/Documentary Film Alwan Award 

$1000 for Best Video Art Production Alwan Award

$500 for Alwan Audience Award


Alwan for the Arts and 3rd i NY have launched their first Alwan 3rd i Awards competition and are currently soliciting new, short films and/or video art (produced in 2010 or later) by Arab, Middle Eastern, North African, South and Central Asia directors OR films about those regions and their diasporas by filmmakers of all backgrounds. The competition aims to present the very best in recent short films and video art that increase awareness and expose the creative vitality and socio-political realities of the Middle East, North Africa, South and Central Asia, as well as their global diasporas.  

  • Films/Videos from all genres
  • Submissions limited to films/videos that are 20 minutes or less in total running time
  • All submissions will be screened and selected by an appointed selection committee




Submissions Deadline: October 25, 2013

Notification: Early November 2013

Screening and Awards: December 12, 2013



To submit please include ALL of the following information and in formats specified here: 


– Original and English title, running time, country and year of production

– Synopsis

– Languages used/subtitles

– URL link (Vimeo, YouTube, etc) OR DVD preview copy

– Director's bio

– Cast/Crew list

– Contact email, phone #, website if available

– Film still shots (2-5 in total), resolution: 300 dpi, jpg or tiff formats

– Screening history, awards

– All possible screening formats available




Alwan 3rd i Awards Competition Submissions

Alwan for the Arts

Attn: Melissa Forstrom Al Kadhi

16 Beaver Street, 4th Floor

New York NY 10004

Tel.: 646.732.3261  more Information or email: melissa@alwanforthearts.org


 Other announcements: 


Sublime Sounds from the Comoros and Tunisia Concert Series 

Vocalists Nawal on Fri. Sept. 27 and Sonia M'Barek on Thurs. Oct. 3 at Alwan

tickets/space limited! buy your tickets now


Nawal: the Voice of Comoros


Nawal's compositions are an acoustic roots-based fusion, a reflection of the diverse character of the Comoros and beyond. Nawal sings mostly in Comorian (Shikomor) a language in the Swahili family, also with French, English and Arabic. A self-produced artist, Nawal has performed professionally for over 20 years, with concerts across Europe, North America, Africa, the Indian Ocean and the Middle East. 

+ More Information

Buy Tickets Here Now! 


Sonia M'Barek with 'Oudist Kinan Idnaw and the Alwan Arab Music Ensemble


Tunisian vocalist Sonia M'Barek sings centuries-old songs from Andalusia, as nimbly as she reframes the words of radical 20th-century poets. Showcasing the modes and rhythms that beautifully link Tunisia's classical traditions, Egyptian cabaret music, and Ottoman court pieces,  she evokes the musical variations of the Mediterranean with a sultry, supple voice, accompanied by renowned Syrian 'oudist, Kinan Idnaw, and the Alwan Ensemble.


 + More Information

Buy Tickets Here Now! 

Coming Soon: Salaam "Train to Basra" (New Album Release)  

Saturday, Oct. 26, 8pm 

Salaam, led by multi-instrumentalist and composer Dena El Saffar, is a Middle Eastern ensemble based in the Midwest. The band has delighted audiences for years with its expansive repertoire of Middle Eastern and North African music, informing the uninitiated, and evoking nostalgia in listeners who are familiar with the art form.


Part of 5-city tour, the concert at Alwan, on Saturday, October 26th, celebrates the launch of Salaam's 7th CD "Train to Basra"


 + More Information

Buy Tickets Here Now!


Around Town: Art Exhibition "The Sheltering Word"  

The Heyman Center for the Humanities, Sept. 25 – Oct. 22, 2013 


Magic Square Pinax II by Irini Gonou

Art Exhibition: The Sheltering Word

 an exhibition of works by Greek artist Irini Gonou 

Exhibition Reception and Opening 

Date: Sept 25, 2013

Time: 6:15pm 

Location: Heyman Center for the Humanities

The Sheltering Word represents an artist's quest to explore the healing and protective power of the written word as a specific cultural idiom and takes the form of a dialogue between Greek and North African cultures. The exhibition will be on view from Sept. 25 until Oct. 22, 2013 in the Heyman Center Lobby and Board Room at Columbia University.


  + More Information

Open to the Public: Monday through Friday, 10am to 5pm

Photo ID required for entry