Call for Nominations: Performing Artists for Cultural Diplomacy Program

Call for Nominations: Performing Arts Ensembles from Morocco, Pakistan, Tunisia, and Vietnam

Second round of Center StageSM fosters cross-cultural understanding


Music, dance, and theater ensembles from Morocco, Pakistan, Tunisia, and Vietnam are eligible. Learn more.


November 15, 2012


Adrienne Petrillo

617.951.0010 x527



Learn more about NEFA.


The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, in partnership with New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA), calls for nominations of performing arts ensembles from Morocco, Pakistan, Tunisia, and Vietnam for the second round of Center StageSM.  By bringing international performing arts ensembles to tour the U.S., Center StageSM  builds cultural awareness, develops long-lasting relationships between people, and enhances mutual understanding.   


Artist Selection Criteria:

  • Demonstrate high artistic quality and accomplishment.  
  • Have an interest in engaging with U.S. communities, including youth, through public and in-school performances, workshops, discussions, artist-to-artist exchanges, and social events.
  • Are comprised of two to nine ensemble members (artists and staff) living in one of the countries listed above.
  • Have previous touring experience but have rarely been seen in the U.S.
  • Have an ability to communicate electronically via email and/or Skype, and a working knowledge of English and/or access to translators.

Nominations of ensembles working in contemporary forms are strongly encouraged.


Click Here to Apply

November 15, 2012 (tours will take place in 2014).

More information:


Center StageSM is made possible by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, administered by the New England Foundation for the Arts in cooperation with the U.S. Regional Arts Organizations.  Additional funding for Round 1 tours in 2012 comes from the Asian Cultural Council, the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, and the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art. General management is provided by Lisa Booth Management, Inc.

2012 Otto Awards: Spotlight on Ajoka Theatre

Join us at the fourteenth annual Otto Awards on Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. as we honor political theatre artists:

 Ajoka Theatre,   Hector Aristizabal, John O'Neal,  Sistren Theatre Collective, Urban Bush Women

Spotlight on Ajoka Theatre

Founded in Pakistan in 1983 by a small group of cultural activists during a time of political and cultural repression, Ajoka (which means "contemporary" in Punjabi) produced its first play in 1984. Ajoka was the first Pakistani theatre to perform in India, and has also performed in Bangledesh and Nepal. The theatre has dealt with bold subjects, experimented with technique and blended contemporary reality with traditional form. Ajoka holds performance workshops  for community activists around the country, and in recent years has established the Ajoka Children's Theatre. Ajoka continues to produce progressive political plays under the constant threat of arrest and death from religious terrorists. Shahid Nadeem, Pakistan's foremost playwright, is Ajoka's playwright-in-residence, helping to build a strong future for their inspiring company. 

Tickets are $500, $250 or $175.

For tickets or more information please contact Diane Stiles,

executive producer at (212) 356-8412 or call the

Castillo box office at (212) 941-1234.

To purchase tickets online, please click here. 

Castillo Theatre   

543 West 42nd Street

(between 9th and 10th Avenues)

2012 Educator Programs | Seeds of Peace

2012 Summer Course: Expressive Arts; Educational Transformations


OTISFIELD, MAINE | In the Summer of 2012, Seeds of Peace will hold its second two-week summer course for educators from the Middle East, South Asia, and United States. Drawing on the power of the arts to empower youth and address conflict-related issues, the session will focus on “Expressive Arts; Educational Transformations.”

Where there is conflict, the creative arts have a vital role to play as an effective vehicle for engaging youth and building the capacities required for peace. This is especially true when the hostilities and sensitivities of an active conflict make it difficult for educators to use a broader range of curriculum to address issues between divided communities.

This summer, Seeds of Peace will bring educators and arts practitioners together to share best practices, strengthen techniques and develop new skills and resources for educating and empowering youth through the expressive arts. Educators will learn from a diverse range of visiting faculty, staff, and one another. They will have the opportunity to visit local schools, colleges, and organizations engaged with the arts and education. Over the course of two weeks, participants will work together to create action plans for independent and/or cooperative projects to be implemented in their home countries.

This initial group will form the foundation for an ongoing and growing network of educators and artists committed to using the expressive arts as a vehicle for empowerment, cross-cultural understanding, and peacebuilding. Seeds of Peace will also engage internationally-renowned personalities to act as “ambassadors” for the group by using their influence, voice and platform to heighten awareness about the power of the arts to promote and advance peace.


Seeds of Peace welcomes educators and artists to apply from South Asia (Afghanistan, India, Pakistan), the Middle East (Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Palestine) and the United States. Specifically, Seeds of Peace is looking for formal or informal educators with experience in the expressive arts—music, drama, visual arts, creative writing, and/or film making—or a desire to incorporate these tools into their work. Seeds of Peace also encourages practicing artists who want to use their work to engage youth in peacebuilding to apply. Successful applicants will show creativity, competence, and commitment to peacebuilding. Priority will be given to those who have not been to the Seeds of Peace International Camp before, though all applicants will be considered.


The session will take place over the course of two weeks, from July 23-August 7, 2012.


The session will take place at the Seeds of Peace International Camp in Otisfield, Maine, approximately 45 minutes from Portland, Maine, and three hours north of Boston, Massachusetts. Participants live in a traditional American summer camp setting located on Pleasant Lake.


Each participant is asked to contribute 375 USD, a small portion of the costs for lodging, food, activities, transportation, and airfare for international participants. American participants are expected to cover the cost of their transportation to and from Camp. There are scholarships available, and Seeds of Peace will not turn away any participant for financial reasons. Participants must cover the cost of “incidentals,” e.g. gifts or snacks.


Applications are due April 1, 2012. Seeds of Peace expects to select approximately 32 participants and will notify all applicants by May 1, 2012.

APPLICATION"  Fill out my Wufoo form!

The Gaza Monologues at the UN‏

The Gaza Mono-Logues

On November 20, 2010, twenty-six young actors representing twenty-one countries arrive in New York City to perform The Gaza Mono-Logues. 

(Italy-France-Belgium-The Netherlands-UK-Germany-Swiss-Hungary-Norway-Sweden-Greece-

Palestine-Lebanon-Tunisia-Jordan-Pakistan-Sri Lanka-Zimbabwe-Gambia-Trinidad-USA)

Directors Iman Aoun (ASHTAR Theatre, Palestine) and Shauna Kanter (VOICETheatre, NYC) will create with them a performance of these texts in all their different languages.

A public performance is hosted by La MaMa E.T.C on Sunday 28th at 8PM in The Club.

Two performances will take place in the United Nations for the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, November 29th at 12:30PM in Conference Hall 2 right after the Special Meeting, and in the evening at 6.30PM in the public lobby around the opening exhibition of UNRWA, Summer Games in Gaza.

Olivia Magnan de Bornier: 718 974 1240
Interviews available in English, French, Arabic.

NEFA Request for Proposals – Deadline: November 1, 2010 (Online Nomination Form)

Call for Nominations of Performing Arts Ensembles From Haiti, Indonesia, Mali, Pakistan, Senegal, Syria, and Turkey for U.S. Touring Program

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, in partnership with the New England Foundation for the Arts, has announced Center Stage, a pilot program involving U.S. tours by international performing arts ensembles with the aim of fostering cross-cultural understanding between citizens of the United States and other countries. The program is designed to build cultural awareness, develop long-lasting relationships between people of different countries, and enhance mutual understanding.

Performing arts ensembles of three to nine members each from Haiti, Indonesia, Mali, Pakistan, Senegal, Syria, and Turkey working in the disciplines of music, dance, and theater are eligible to apply; final selection will represent a total of ten ensembles from three to four of these countries. Throughout the 2012 calendar year, month-long tours of the U.S. will connect international artists with diverse communities in primarily small- and mid-sized American cities and towns, with a focus on youth engagement. The program will offer a range of exchange activities, including performances, school workshops, artist-to-artist exchanges, classes, and community gatherings.

Center Stage will provide each ensemble with an honorarium and will arrange and pay for travel and direct on-tour expenses.

Arts ensembles should demonstrate high artistic quality and accomplishment, have an interest in engaging with U.S. communities, and have previous touring experience but not have traveled to the U.S. or have rarely been seen in the U.S. Nominations of ensembles working in contemporary forms are strongly encouraged.

Nominations are welcome from presenters, artists, and their representatives; state and regional arts agencies; country and U.S. embassy personnel; and other knowledgeable individuals in the U.S and abroad. Artists interested in participating may submit a nomination on behalf of their own ensemble.

Visit the NEFA Web site for complete program details and the online nomination form.


Primary Subject: Arts and Culture 
Geographic Funding Area: National

Words Without Borders – an Online Magazine for International Literature: Pakistan

WWB Logo                               June 2009
In This Issue
Writing from Pakistan
Also in June
WWB on the Kindle
Get Involved
Last Month's Favorites

Don't miss the most-read articles on WWB in May 2009:

Beyond Between: Translation, Ghosts, Metaphors, by Michael Emmerich

from Corridor of Dreams, by Sogil Yan, translated by Linda Hoaglund

from Sentimental Education, by Kaho Nakayama, translated by Allison Powell

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June 2009 Image

copyright Tazeen Qayyum

Writing from Pakistan

The June Issue

This June, as the world's focus turns to events in Pakistan, our guest editor, Basharat Peer, restores some nuance to our understanding of the region with a selection of literary work that shines a light on the country's unique historical and cultural heritage. 

Guest editor Basharat Peer on current events and literary heritage 
Pakistani literature is a sum of the literatures written in its various languages: Urdu, Punjabi, Sindhi, Baluchi, and English. In the past few years, a wave of brilliant Pakistani short-story writers and novelists writing in English have earned great acclaim across the world, telling the stories of their land and people in different genres and voices. But there are writers who have inspired and paved the way for the young Pakistanis writing in English, writers whose work in Urdu, the official and most common language in Pakistan (it is also spoken widely throughout northern India and Kashmir), brought alive a Pakistan that has been invisible to those who don't read Urdu.

The First Morning 
Intizaar Hussain on the moment when two eras met and parted
Translated by Basharat Peer 
I have no definite answer to questions about why I migrated from India to Pakistan after the partition in 1947. I look back and see a crowded train rushing past lively and desolate towns and villages, under a bright sun, and in the dark of night. The train is running through the most frightening night and the passengers are quiet like statues. I strain to hear them breathe. more>>>

His Majesty 
Vali Ashraf Sabuhi evokes the Delhi of his ancestors
Translated by Nauman Naqvi 
When I was a child, until someone told me a story I couldn't sleep. One day I was down with a high fever from morning to night. My mother, Ammajan, sat by the bed massaging my head. Granny Mughlani, whose house was next door, heard the news about me, so she came over and began rubbing the soles of my feet. more>>>

The Monthly Ulloo
Muhammad Khalid Akhtar joins his uncle in the magazine "business" 
Translated by Bilal Tanweer 
If you see a small, rotund man, wearing a check suit, whose watch chain has lost all its luster, whose coat collar has a large rose in its hole, whose two innocent, nervous eyes peep from his square rimless glasses, whose face is guileless and pure like that of a suckling babe, and whose head is adorned with a Turkish cap (redder than the rose on his collar) with swaying tassels-then know immediately that this is my uncle, Abdul Baqi, BA LLB. more>>>

Pink Pigeons–Was it They Who Won? 
Fahmida Riaz remembers the dream of communism 
Translated by Muhammad Umar Memon 
An early August wind whispers through the lush green trees of Alma Ata. The tiny leaves break into applause. "What are these trees called?" I ask the interpreter. "Tuzhi," the ravishing, delicate Tatar beauty responds gently, in a distinctly American accent. Her name is Gulnaz. So beautiful, fragile-looking, adorable! more>>>

Do You Suppose it's the East Wind
Altaf Fatima returns to the landscapes of memory
Translated by Muhammad Umar Memon
The enormous weight of three hundred and sixty-five days once again slips from my hand and falls down into the dark cavern of the past. The windows in this desolate room are wide open. How improbably strange the sky looks, draped in a sheet of dense gray clouds, behind the luxuriant green trees.

The Man with Three Names 
Muhammad Asad Khan's whirlwind Pathan epic
Translated by Muhammad Umar Memon
He had three names: Majeeta, Majeed and Ma'i Dada. Those who called him Majeeta had given up the ghost during his lifetime. The few hoary old men who called him Majeed, or "Arey Maan Majeed," lingered on for a while longer. To the rest–and this included the whole town–he was at all times Ma'i Dada. His real name though, as he himself stated, was Abdul Mazid Khan Esoop Ja'i.

Elsewhere on the site, we commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre this June 4 with two powerful testaments: dissident leader Wang Dan, published here for the first time in English, recalls his prison days, and Liao Yiwu interviews Wu Wenjian, an artist who speaks about the fate of the June 4 "Thugs" in the wake of the massacre. 

New Reviews 


Amerika: The Missing Person
by Franz Kafka 
Translated from the German by Mark Harman 
Schocken Books, 2008 
Reviewed by Eugene Sampson 
Does the publication of an edition that approximates the handwritten manuscripts give us a new Kafka? more>>>


Xue Spice Street

Five Spice Street
By Can Xue
Translated from the Chinese by Karen Gernant and Chen Zeping
Yale University Press, 2009
Reviewed by Brendan Patrick Hughes 
Who is Madam X? Madam X sells peanuts at the stand with the red-painted sign. Madam X is an occultist, a collector of mirrors and corrupter of neighborhood children. Madam X is a home wrecker. Madam X is a threat to communal harmony and morality. more>>>

More from the Bookshelf. . .

Also in June… 

From the Blog

Twenty Years after Tiananmen 
by Wang Dan
4 June 2009
In an exclusive series for Words without Borders, dissident leader Wang Dan speaks out on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. In his first post, below, he describes the climate at the time of the demonstrations and compares it with the situation in China today. -Editors

Part One
I'm very grateful to Words without Borders for publishing an essay from my book Prison Memoirs. This is the first time my work has appeared in English. I'm pleased that Westerners will be able to read this essay on the anniversary of the Tiananmen student pro-democracy movement. more>>>

Also on the blog. . .

Profession of Faith by Yani Mentzas, Dispatches: Echoes of an Autobiography by Naguib Mahfouz by Geoff Wisner, and more


WWB on the Kindle

tinycoverWords without Borders is committed to bringing the best international literature to a wide audience, and we are always looking for new ways to deliver our content to our readers. We are extremely pleased to announce that Words without Borders is now available on the Kindle. Subscriptions are just $.99 per month, which includes both blog and issue content.

Of course content will always be available for free


Get Involved 

Call for Syllabi
Words without Borders would like to hear from high school teachers and university professors who are using the WWB Web site and/or anthologies in the classroom. As part of the expansion of our education initiatives we'd like to build a syllabi library for other educators to use as a reference and are looking for contributions. Please

Volunteers Needed
Words without Borders needs a skilled videographer in New York City to help us record and edit video of events and interviews with authors and translators. We would normally be recording once or twice a month, and videos are posted on, YouTube, and Facebook. This is an unpaid, volunteer position. Interested applicants should e-mail

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