Caravanserai: A place where cultures meet

Caravanserai: A place where cultures meet is a cultural engagement program launched by Arts Midwest on behalf of the U.S. Regional Arts Organizations with support from the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art. This groundbreaking initiative intends to open and expand the dialogue between American communities and contemporary Muslim societies using the arts as a point of entry.

Caravanserai envisions new pathways for Americans to experience the diverse artistic expressions and cultures of Muslim societies through a series of community-based performing and media-arts programs that feature art and artists from Muslim cultures. The goals of Caravanserai are to:

  • Introduce American audiences to some of the most exciting and dynamic artists from the Muslim world.
  • Enhance Americans’ knowledge of the diverse cultures present in today’s Muslim societies.
  • Advance mutual understanding among all program participants and audiences.


Caravanserai launched the 2011-12 programming season with a series of deeply contextualized performing arts and film residency tours featuring artists from Pakistan hosted by five U.S. communities (Helena, MT; West Long Branch, NJ; Oswego, NY; Littleton, NH; and Providence, RI). The 2012-13 Caravanserai season brought the music, film, and photography of Morocco to four American communities (Jamestown, ND; Grand Rapids, MN; Fayetteville, AR; and Nashville, TN). The 2013-14 season will explore Turkey through residencies by two leading musicians and a celebrated female filmmaker.

Over the course of a Caravanserai programming season, presenting organizations in these communities host:

  • Two separate week-long music residencies featuring different ensembles, which include educational workshops, community outreach events, and public performances.
  • A three-day film program supported by presentations from an international Muslim filmmaker.

Please contact Adam Perry ([email protected] or 612.238.8013) or Stephen Manuszak ([email protected] or 612.238.8016)