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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts Education, Cultural & Ethnic Awareness

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

Community Stories

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been participating in Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture for about a year and it is the most effective and creative cultural organization that I could imagine. The Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture organization is dedicated to bridging gaps between cultures and allowing anyone, regardless of age, gender, religious or cultural backgrounds to enjoy Arab culture whether it be through music, art, literature, science, history, etc. etc. Not so many groups are able to encompass such a broad range of participants. Their mission is a rare one and definitely very significant in this community. With this organization, I have been able to connect with my Middle Eastern heritage, something I rarely get the chance to do here. I have been able to pursue my passion of Arabic music as well with some of the best musicians I have ever worked with, while really feeling included in the Al-Bustan community. The welcoming group is so important, and they succeed in making everyone feel included regardless of religious, political or cultural affiliations, something rare in their pursuit. Their mission is one of raising awareness of culture, the arts and the sciences: a very progressive mission. The organization makes Arab culture accessible and interesting to young children, adults, students and just about anyone who has the curiosity. Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture has been doing wonderful work and continues to be one of the leading organizations in exposing Arab culture in Philadelphia and I believe, the country.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My favorite part is definitely working with the other musicians. Just a great environment to put yourself in. Just bustles of fun.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've participated in Al-Bustan's first Arabic Music Ensemble performance and had a great time! Not only was I exposed to some really great artists, I have learned to appreciate the great old songs that my parents used to listen to and still do. I enjoyed our practices and the involvement Al-Bustan has with other Arab groups in Philadelphia and wish them the best of luck with their Simon Shaheen-led Music Ensemble this semester!

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.