CARAVAN exists to be a "creative demonstration of dialogue" toward addressing the increasing chasm of misunderstanding and discord that exist between the creeds and cultures of the Middle East and the West. CARAVAN's experience has shown that the Arts can serve as one of the most effective mediums for building bridges of respect, understanding, sharing and friendship.
Therefore, with the objective of using the Arts to facilitate intercultural and inter-religious peace-building, CARAVAN was started in 2009 in Cairo, Egypt, first as an interfaith arts festival, which has since grown into a movement that encourages the creeds and cultures of the East and West to journey together through the Arts.
Mission Statement: Building bridges through the Arts between the creeds and cultures of the East and West.
Program: CARAVAN develops artistic initiatives that bring together the cultures and creeds of the East and West. The flagship initiative of CARAVAN is the annual CARAVAN Exhibition/Festival of Art. The nature of this initiative is strategically “nomadic” (hence the “CARAVAN” theme) with the CARAVAN Exhibition/Festival of Art being held worldwide rather than in a consistent fixed location, allowing flexibility to respond to world events, arising invitations, opportunities and need.
A distinguishing feature of the CARAVAN Exhibition/Festival of Art is that it is usually held in either “sacred spaces” or public venues, as opposed to traditional art spaces, like galleries and museums, in order to maximize viewership from the widest possible demographic. Additionally, within “sacred spaces” there is already a contemplative nature to the atmosphere which facilitates the message of the art exhibition/festival.
The CARAVAN Exhibition/Festival of Art serves as catalyst that sparks a wide range of programs and services that are held year around, such as exhibitions, festivals, seminars, forums, lectures, panels, concerts, film screenings, artist exchanges, artist's representation, consulting, patronage, partnering, etc.
Art Focus: While CARAVAN has a primary focus on the visual arts (painting, photography, sculpture, printmaking, conceptual, installation, etc) we also encompass the full-range of creative artistic expression, including the fields of music, literature, film/drama and dance.
Inter-religious focus: CARAVAN’s primary inter-religious focus is on building bridges between faiths that have originated in the Middle East (i.e. Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Druze and Baha’i, etc). However, CARAVAN also works wherever there is conflict involving one of these religions with that of another religion that has not originated out of the Middle East (i.e. between Islam and Hinduism in India, or between Buddhism and Islam in Burma).
Intercultural focus: CARAVAN’s primary, albeit not exclusive, intercultural focus is on enhancing the relationship between the West and the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region, which includes the entire Mediterranean Basin.
Secondary focuses: In addition to encouraging friendship, deepening respect, enhancing understanding and facilitating sharing between the East and the West through the Arts, many of CARAVAN’s creative programs have two other sub-objectives: 1) to encourage the development of local contemporary arts and 2) to bring hope and assistance to individuals in need (economically, socially, physically) irrespective of creed through a charitable component.
Partners: In carrying out its mission, CARAVAN works closely with many diverse partners in the East and West, including artists, curators, grassroots non-profits/NGOs, galleries, museums, educational institutions, art fairs, faith communities/religious institutions, interfaith organizations, art auction houses, etc.
CARAVAN is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization (our full name is CARAVAN Arts, nfp)
Location: Winfield, IL, USA