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Press Release: Painting Ourselves Visible – Aya Tarek 2019

Updated: Mar 20, 2020

Egyptian Muralist returns to Tampa

Art2Action and Gallery221@HCC will host Aya Tarek, and 3 days of free events to celebrate a new mural, with music, film screenings, and more!

Tampa, FL.  Art2Action, Inc. and Gallery221@HCC will host Egyptian graffiti artist, muralist and painter Aya Tarek at the Hillsborough Community College (HCC) Dale Mabry Campus this month, premiering a new mural with a three-day extravaganza of programming, November 21-23, 2019.

The project, titled “Painting Ourselves Visible,” seeks to celebrate and increase the visibility of Arab, Middle Eastern/North African (MENA), and Muslim communities in the Tampa area. Art2Action received the “Treasure Tampa” grant for this project, with a substantial $30,000 award, from the Gobioff Foundation—a Tampa Bay-based private family foundation that has made it their mission to support the arts community of Tampa, FL. Additional programming support comes from the Alternate ROOTS “Partners in Action” program and Learning Exchange.

Aya Tarek is a prolific young artist who creates large-scale murals all over the world, from Cairo to Berlin, Sao Paolo to Portland, OR. Tarek first came to Tampa in 2015-16, as a featured artist in Art2Action’s “THIS Bridge: Arab, Middle Eastern and Muslim Artists” series, in partnership with the USF Contemporary Art Museum and Graphicstudio. Tarek considers herself to be an experimental artist who practices vast creative freedom in her work.

Events include a “Block Party” featuring Arab and American Hip Hop; and an outdoor screening of an Egyptian film, titled Microphone (in Arabic, with English subtitles), which features Aya Tarek as herself—a graffiti artist in Alexandria in 2010. There will also be a panel discussion on “Creative Placemaking,” with a delicious Middle Eastern lunch; and free arts workshops for all, including visual arts with Ameena Khan, theatre with Andrea Assaf and Kholoud Sawaf, and more—all skills, levels and abilities welcome (no previous arts experience required)!

EVENT INFO: All events are free and open to the public, and will take place on the HCC Dale Mabry Campus (4001 W Tampa Bay Blvd, Tampa, FL 33614).

Thursday, November 21 – Outdoor Events

11am-2pm – “Block Party” Celebration with music and performances12-12:30pm – Official Ribbon-cutting to present the new Mural 5-8pm – Evening celebration & film screening of Microphone (Arabic, English subtitles)

Friday, November 22 – Auditorium (DLRC 106); space is limited, please RSVP.

11:30-12pm –Video Screening: “Creating Place: The Art of Equitable Community Building”12-1pm – Panel: “What is Creative Placemaking?”1-2pm – Lunch catered by Radiant Kitchens, with tours to the Mural

Saturday, November 23 – (DSTU classroom 108-112)

10am-2pm – Arts Workshops open to all community members, all levels of experience! Visual Arts, Theatre and more! Including a light lunch by Radiant Kitchens. Please RSVP.

All Tampa Bay communities are invited to join the festivities and participate. All media are cordially invited to cover the events, to help generate awareness and increase understanding about Arab, MENA and Muslim cultures, and to build bridges across communities. We also invite all organizations to share this event on their community calendars.

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