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Local Arts Hero: Middle East Institute’s Arts & Culture Center

States, by Alaa Edris

Weekly since 2020, BCDC has showcased a Local Arts Hero that’s keeping the lights on in a challenging moment. This week we’ve chosen the Middle East Institute’s Arts & Culture Center! Many thanks to Victoria Sams ’90 for the recommendation.

Based at the Middle East Institute (MEI), a hub of study and cross-cultural exchange since 1946, the Arts & Culture Center operates and curates the MEI Art Gallery, which is housed at MEI’s Dupont Circle home and showcases the work of emergent artists from the Middle East and its diaspora. The Arts & Culture Center also produces the Creators’ Corner, a live interview series featuring leading Arab and Arab-American actors, comedians, directors, writers and other ground-breaking creators; and Tribe, a non-profit magazine documenting photography, video and new media from the Arab world.

During the pandemic, the MEI Arts & Culture Center produced art shows and other programs that still live online, before returning to hybrid and in-person programming. Check out Between the Sky and the Earth: Contemporary Art from the UAE, for example, which showcases a dozen contemporary artists who reflect the UAE’s impressively diverse arts scene in honor of the federation’s 50th anniversary.

The MEI Art Gallery is open to the public between 10AM and 5PM daily, with reservations recommended. To learn more head here!

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