THE CEDAR TREE PROJECT
Also see: www.cedartreeproject.com
1001 Arab Futures: an embodied imaginarium
co-directed by Yara Boustany (Lebanon), Mette LouLou vonKohl (New York City), Andrea Shaker (Minneapolis)
curated, facilitated and performed by Sharon Mansur
supported by The McKnight Foundation Dancer Fellowship & the Minnesota State Arts Board Cultural Community Partnership grant, with community partners Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts and Art of the Rural, Dates TBD due to COVID-19
Western Sahara and Palestine: An evening of artistic resistance against occupation
with Leila Awadallah, Fatimatu Bachiri, Alexis Salem and Mai'a Williams
Art of the Rural's Public Launch, Winona, MN
The Cedar Tree Project at the Page Series
An expansion of Sharon's Dreaming Under a Cedar Tree (2017) solo performance/installation project, throughout the 2018-2019 season The Cedar Tree Project explored cultural heritage, perceptions, and identity through the lens of Arab/SWANA and Arab/SWANA American artists. Presented by St. Mary's University's Page Series, and curated by Sharon Mansur, events included performances, exhibitions, workshops and community gatherings with Sharon and visiting artists.
FADI BOUKARAM's Lebanon, USA
In 2016 Lebanese photographer Fadi BouKaram quit his job, came to the U.S., and rented an RV. He spent five months on the road visiting 47 towns with the same name as his country. He was seeking a Lebanon without war. He also discovered the heart of rural America. Fadi returned in 2018 to plant cedar trees of Lebanon as gestures of unofficial diplomacy and cross-cultural goodwill. His Cedar Tree Project residency was a stop during this second U.S. road trip. Fadi BouKaram is a Lebanese photographer, whose work has been featured in various news media such as CNN, Foreign Policy Magazine, BBC and Courrier International. He is the co-founder of the international street photography collective Observe, and has exhibited both solo and with the collective worldwide. He is also working on his first photography book.
Community Meal, Exhibition Closing at Art of the Rural's Public Launch
Street Photography Workshops at Winona City Hall
A Page in History: Cedars of Lebanon at the Winona County History Center
Fadi BouKaram Artist Talk at the Page Theatre
Lebanon, USA St. Mary's University, Exhibition Opening at the Page Theatre
Leyya Tawil, Leila Awadallah, and Sharon Mansur
Minnesota Convervatory for the Arts, Valencia Arts Center, Winona
Named for a blend of Middle Eastern spices, Za’atar was an evening of performance that featured three dynamic, female, Arab/SWANA American, contemporary performing artists: Leila Awadallah (Minneapolis, MN), Sharon Mansur (Winona, MN), and Leyya Tawil (Oakland, CA). Za’atar addressed distinct aspects of Arab/SWANA culture and identity, drawing from Palestinian, Syrian and Lebanese heritages.
Za'atar Trailer: www.youtube.com/watch?v=DOsEpNYWMmQ&feature=youtu.be
Leila Awadallah: www.ananyadancetheatre.org/bios/leila-awadallah/
Leyya Mona Tawil: www.danceelixirlive.org/leyya-mona-tawil.html
Artist Panel at Winona State University
Moderated by WSU Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies Professor Mary Jo Klinker
Artist Lecture/Demonstration and Talk at St. Mary's University
Dreaming Under a Cedar Tree 2.0
St. Mary’s University's Page Theatre
concept, direction and performance by Sharon Mansur, with contributing artists
DUCT 2.0 invited an intimate 75 person audience to go on an immersive sensorial journey, sharing art, food, and conversation with a Middle Eastern flavor. Together they reflected on Sharon’s Lebanese heritage, the complex and fluid nature of cultural identity, and the power of place in our dreams. A reimagined version of the original 2017 event at Art of the Rural's Public Launch, DUCT 2.0 integrated Mansur’s experiences during her first trip to Lebanon in 2018, and responded to the Page Theatre and outside environs as a site-specific venue.
“Sharon has given the community here a gift. It is precious. A glimpse of herself and how her cultural experience has been part of her. How sense of place and people, heart and physical being, filled with spirit and wonder—how this makes us who we are. Our dreams and stories are who we are." -Audience Member
This activity was made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.
Dreaming Under a Cedar Tree, 2017, photos by Sydney Swanson