—FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—
 
JAMAICA, New York (March 22, 2007) – Cutting edge cultural dialogue- Acclaimed British Muslim artist teams up with Arts Council England in groundbreaking US Arts and Islam tour

mohammedaliaerosolarabicMohammed’s unique fusion of aerosol art with Islamic calligraphy has taken an urban art form from street walls to galleries and spiritual art into new dimensions. His art has been reported as a “bridge of understanding” between faith communities across the world, and has been featured in international media ranging from CNN and the BBC to Al Jazeera. He has showcased his work across the UK, Dubai and Denmark and is looking forward to his first visit to the USA.
The tour is supported by Arts Council England, the national development agency for the arts in England. The Philips Academy, Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), ICNA Relief USA Programs, Young Muslims and the Muslims Students Associations of University of Illinois at Chicago and Columbia University are hosting the Arts & Islam USA Tour featuring the acclaimed “urban Islamic” artist, Mohammed Ali of AerosolArabic, who is making his first visit to the USA. The Arts and Islam team will be visiting universities, arts organisations and community bodies across Chicago, New York, New Jersey and Boston, with a view to engaging arts professionals, academics and the Muslim community.
In addition to the seminars, Mohammed Ali will be producing a series of commissioned spiritual murals, including a special mural in Bronx, New York City commemorating the tragic death of 9 Bronx children who died in a blaze.
Working with young people from all faith backgrounds, Mohammed will create wall murals reflecting the universal themes of spirituality and unity that connect people of all backgrounds and cultures.  Mohammed has already produced a series of stunning murals across the UK which can be seen at the official Arts and Islam website http://www.artsandislam.com/murals.
With misunderstanding of the Islamic faith widespread, the tour provides an opportune time to explore the relationship between Islam and the arts and provide an insight into the work and mind of a leading British Muslim artist.
“I take the best of both worlds, my passion for aerosol-art from when I was young, and from today, my new found passion of Islam”, said Mohammed Ali.
Hassan Mahamdallie and Abid Hussain from Arts Council England will be leading a series of seminars as part of the USA visit.  “The Art & Islam seminars have been positively received across England, the interest shown in the USA is a testimony to the success of the initiative”, says Abid Hussain, Diversity Officer at the Arts Council.
ICNA, a national grass roots organization of American Muslims along with it’s relief agency, ICNA Relief USA Programs and youth division, Young Muslims, is fully supporting this ambitious effort in New York City, and Chicago. “The goal of this tour is to elucidate Islamic themes and messages through a medium which can universally be understood and appreciated by all. Mohammad Ali’s work transcends artificial barriers such as ethnicity, nationality, class, and perceived religious differences which prevent us from understanding one another” said Azeem Khan, ICNA’s Assistant Secretary General.
The Arts and Islam program pioneered by Arts Council England, the national development agency for the arts in England has successfully toured across the United Kingdom and is now taking to the International stage. Arts and Islam provide a platform for delegates from the Arts and Muslim communities to engage in the arts debate from both the perspective of traditional Islamic teachings and contemporary Muslim arts practice.
The schedule for the Arts and Islam USA programm is as follows:
Note: Times and locations are subject to change please visit http://www.artsandislam.com/usatour for up to date info.
Chicago: April 11th – 14th
Mural – Fri April 13th 10 AM – 4 PM & Sat April 14th 10 AM – 5 PM
6224 N. California Ave, Chicago, IL, 60659
Seminar – Fri April 13th 5 PM – 8 PM
UIC Student Center East – The Rathskellar
750 South Halsted Street, Chicago, Illinois 60607
New York April 15th & 19th
Mural* – Mon April 16th 12 PM – 6 PM & Tues April 17th 11 AM – 7 PM
56 E Mt Eden Ave Bronx, NY 10452
*- This Mural is dedicated to the victims of the Bronx Fire
Seminar – Mon April 16th 7 PM – 10:30 PM
Columbia University East Campus – Heyman Center for Humanities
W 116th St & Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10027
New Jersey April 18th
Seminar – Wed April 18th 6 PM – 9 PM
Rutgers University College Ave Campus – Brower Commons
145 College Ave, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Boston/Massachusetts April 20th & 21st
Workshop – Friday April 20th 9 AM – 1 PM
Phillips Academy – Elson Art Center
180 Main Street, Andover, MA 01810
Seminar – Friday April 20th  5 PM 7 8 PM
Phillips Academy – Kemper Auditorium
180 Main Street, Andover, MA 01810
For further information visit http://www.artsandislam.com/ and http://www.aerosolarabic.com
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UK Contact: Abid Hussain
Diversity Development Officer, Arts Council England (www.artscouncil.org.uk)
Email: info@artsandislam.com
Telephone: 00 44 (0) 7832 386 644
Mohammed Ali (AerosolArabic)
Email: ali@aerosolarabic.com
Telephone: 00 44  (0)7950 501 805
Press Contact (USA): Azeem Khan
Assistant Secretary General of Media Relations
Islamic Circle of North America
E-mail: azeem@icnait.com
Office: (718) 658-1199
Cell: (516) 369-6542

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