Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture

Rating: 5 stars   15 reviews

Issues: Arts & Culture

Location: Philadelphia PA 19143 USA

Mission: Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture is dedicated to presenting and teaching the Arabic language, arts, and culture. “Al-Bustan,” Arabic for “The Garden,” offers structured exposure to the language, art, architecture, music, dance, literature, and natural environment of the Arab world. Al-Bustan strives to promote understanding and respect among youth and adults of all ethnic, religious, and socio-economic backgrounds as well as within the diverse community of Arab-Americans. Within a welcoming environment, Al-Bustan supports the Arab-American community’s pursuit and affirmation of its cultural identity, while playing a constructive civic role within broader American society.
Target demographics: foster cross-cultural exchanges across diverse socio-economic, ethnic, and religious communities, bring together internationally acclaimed artists with students in workshops and residencies, utilize multi-disciplinary approaches to encourage creative sel
Geographic areas served: Philadelphia and surrounding 5-County Area
Programs: Al-Bustan Music, Al-Bustan Camp, School-based programs, and Digitial Educational Resources
2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 03-0502955
267-809-3668
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

Through the music program at Al Bustan I am able to learn and perform with incredibly talented musicians. Participating in Al Bustan's music ensemble is an enriching experience, and I am so happy with the new friends I meet, and the new music I learn!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

being able to participate in music enrichment and educational experiences that far exceeded my expectations.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

How caring and generous the staff are with their time and commitment.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Friendly, caring, encouraging and knowledgeable.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

have an exponentially beneficial impact not only for young students, but also for adult students like me who do not have as many options to learn in such a nurturing environment, regardless of experience!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

I have worked with Al-Bustan in several capacities. I am an educator and have never experienced such an incredible community of caring, helpful and passionate group of people committed to youth education as I have at Al-Bustan. The staff, teachers, teaching-artists and counselors at Al-Bustan camp make it the unique, incredibly rich experience that it is. Families, children and communities pitch in to make the camp rich, educational and exciting. The organization's many involvements in the Philadelphia communities and schools throughout the year via art exhibits and workshop series are impressive. The caliber and quality of the teaching-artists is unmatched in my opinion. I can not imagine a more effective way to teach culture through the arts.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing how students knowledge and appreciation of Arabic language and culture comes alive through their work with the teaching-artists.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

ensure that it had all the resources and funding it needed to work on a larger scale and work reach more communities and families.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

seeing children from diverse racial/ethnic/socio-economic backgrounds come together and create art as they learn about the Arabic language and culture.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

caring, warm, experienced and passionate about their work.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Afford to bring in Arab artists and teachers from around the globe; create programs like this & replicate them in cities all over the world, where a deeper understanding of Arab culture is immensely needed; be able to work in more underpriveleged schools.

Ways to make it better...

I can not imagine it being any better than it was.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

funding.

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-8-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

I have run a camp for adults with disabilities for the past 20 years, by chance I found Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture Summer Camp while checking our listing in a local camp directory. It has been a love relationship since! Both my children have been involved with the camp - as a camper, a volunteer, and a paid counselor. My son has participated in the weekend programs - language, music, drama, and poetry. I now volunteer on the Board of Directors. The connection my children have with their father's heritage has been invaluable - particularly since his passing. I know I really need this type of support to facilitate their joy and celebration of being Egyptian. I will be forever indebted to Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture for the gifts of positive Arab role models, nurturing of self-esteem, and honoring of differences loving provided to our family.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the pride my son shows when he says, "I am Egyptian."

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the bridge to arab culture and heritage.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

positive!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

provide this brilliance to many more families and communities, developing exceptionally emotionally intelligent children.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-2-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

This is an incredible organization. Having volunteered in the Arabic summer camp, attending the arts and culture events they put on, and co-organized a highly successful Arabic music concert with them, I can honestly say that this organization creates wonderful and unique opportunities to expose people to Arabic culture and the arts in general. This organization works to expand the horizons of the people it reaches in ways that other organizations do not do. I remember the enormous praise the concert I co-organized received by those who attended it, not only shortly after the event by a year later! Given the cultural tensions in the world today, this organization is able to achieve marvels by setting aside politics and differences and bringing people together through commonly valued means of human expression, particularly art.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the joy and smiles it produces in those who participate in its activities and the knowledge and message of tolerance that it effectively imparts.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

share the wonderful work it does to regions outside of Philadelphia.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

Al-Bustan provides a way for my child to stay connected to his heritage through the arts. This unique program has meant the world to my family! By sharing amazing Arab arts and culture with the wider community, Al-Bustan also helps break down barriers by dismantling tired old stereotypes. The high quality arts instruction is fabulous, as children get to work and train with artists of the highest caliber, such as writer Naomi Shihab Nye and Simon Shaheen.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing the smile on my child's face, as he sings Arabic songs along with his camp-mates.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Experiencing Arab arts and culture in a progressive environment.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

fabulous

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

spread its model around the country!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

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