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Mizna: An ArtsLab Case Study

Mizna is a Minnesota-based arts and humanities organization that promotes contemporary expressions of Arab American culture.

Since it was founded in 1998, Mizna has become a leader in the promotion of Arab American writers. Through its literary journal Mizna: Prose, Poetry and Art Exploring Arab America; the Twin Cities Arab Film Festival; and other readings, performances, art projects, and community events, Mizna nurtures an exceptionally talented and diverse range of local, national, and international Arab American artists. Their success can be credited to a devoted and energetic Board of Directors, a strong staff, and ArtsLab, which provided critical direction and financial support during a difficult leadership transition.

“We are about what’s happening right now in contemporary Arab American arts—coming from Arab Americans. It’s a vibrant scene, and it’s so absent from Americans’ consciousness.”
—Lana Barkawi

This case study fwas part of ArtsLab’s 2014 review of participant organizations, written by consultant and writer Sarah Lutman of Lutman & Associates with research conducted by evaluator M. Christine Dwyer of RMC Research. The full report identifies and describes the common capacities, nurtured through programs like ArtsLab, that can lead to successful, significant change within arts organizations.