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Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture

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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

15 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

If you want to learn more about the arabic culture, I think Al-Bustan would be a great reference I've been to some events and it's been a great experience for me, my family and friends. Keep up the good work!

13

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been a camper at Al-bustan camp for over 5 years and have always had an amazing time. The kids are always very nice and I have made many friends. I have also learned so much about the Arab culture and have now become a great percussionist over the years. I am now looking forward to going this summer!

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been going to Al-Bustan for all 8 years. It has been a great experience. I have learned so much about the Arab culture and i have made new friends. Great Camp!!!!!

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.

9

Board Member

Rating: 5

My teenager son has participated in the summer camp organized by Albustan. Through this experience, I had a taste of the high quality cultural activity that this camp offers which include learning about middle eastern culture taught by highly qualified and dedicated instructors. This summer program included exposure to Arabic language, middle eastern art music, and historical icons. I am also very impressed with the many of the cultural events sponsored by Albustan that I have attended

4

Former staff

Rating: 5

I was a camp counselor for four summers at Al-Bustan. I really enjoyed the whole experience, from the campers to my co-workers. I worked closely with the Art and film programs. to be a part of the creativity that was brought to camp each day was amazing; it is great to see the campers, counselors and teachers engaging through this process. We could express ideas and opinions through the creative arts which always resulted in such amazing projects.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

I attended summer camp once and I had a great time and for the next two times I had a ball with the nice kids, fun games and great counselors. All winter I look forward to going the next year! The time at camp is a great memory you will never forget.

4

Board Member

Rating: 5

My children participated in summer camp and attended weekend arts and music education programs for several years. I found Al-Bustan by searching on the internet for camps that teach about Arab culture and language in an interesting and fun way, and I was hooked from the start. The teachers and staff have always been first-rate professional artists and educators, and the quality of the art and music created is exceptional. There is no other organization like this in the U.S.

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!

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

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!

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.

4

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

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.

7

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.