The Iraqi Art Project
The Iraqi Art Project presents Iraqi and American visual art, film, bookmaking, and theater to audiences throughout Minnesota and the U.S.
Through interactive exhibits, workshops, performances, lectures, and discussions, the Iraqi Art Project brings Iraqi and American artists and audiences together in meaningful dialogue. Our art project has presented programs at more than 50 galleries and public spaces in Minnesota and across the Midwest, displaying more than 450 pieces of art from the Najaf and Karbala areas of Iraq. We welcome visiting Iraqi artists and educators to attend trainings, display their work, and build relationships with local counterparts.
Iraqi Voices Arts Collaborative
With our Iraqi Voices arts collaborative, we create accessible spaces for conversations and empower local refugees and immigrants to share their stories through art. Iraqi Voices is an ongoing mentoring program that pairs Iraqi-Minnesotans with professional artists to create original artwork about their home, experiences, and lives in Iraq and Minnesota.
Birds Sing Differently Here
In 2017, IARP’s Iraqi Voices program premiered our first theater production, “Birds Sing Differently Here.” Based on the true stories of 12 Iraqi-Minnesotan refugees and immigrants, “Birds Sing Differently Here” wove together stories of sweetness, sorrow, grief and discovery along the way. The project brought together a diverse, intergenerational group of local Iraqi community members to tell their stories onstage to Twin Cities audiences. To meet popular demand, plans for a 2019 tour to new cities and audiences across Minnesota are underway. Our cast looks forward to sharing their stories with new neighbors and friends.
Through the Iraqi Voices program, Iraqi-Minnesotans have created 14 short documentary films since 2012 that have been screened at venues and organizations like the Minneapolis Saint Paul International Film Festival, the Vail Film Festival in Colorado, the Walker Art Center, Mizna Arab Film Festival, Duluth Art Institute, Zeitgeist Arts, the University of Minnesota Immigration History Research Center, and many others. These events and discussions challenge attendees to examine their assumptions about Iraq, refugees, Arabs, Muslims, and provide opportunities for community members to engage and build relationships across cultures.
View more Iraqi Voices documentary videos below:
Books by Iraqi-Americans and Iraqis
IARP previously collaborated with The Advocates for Human Rights, the Veterans Books Project, and artist Monica Haller to make books with several local Iraqis. The books tell the stories of the Iraqi authors.