About Tapestries

Tapestries is …

Opportunity. The program brings world-renowned artists, performers, and writers from thousands of years of tradition, history, and passion to College Hill.

Far-reaching. Tapestries programs reach across many disciplines and celebrates the beauty of many cultures.

Essential. In a world that grows smaller by the day, Tapestries foments cultural understanding like never before.

In 2017, the College became one of an exclusive group of schools celebrating Muslim cultures through a unique blend of artistic and academic programming. Tapestries: Voices Within Contemporary Muslim Cultures is made possible in part by a grant from the Association of Performing Arts Professionals, Building Bridges: Arts, Culture, and Identity, a component of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.

The objective is “to recognize the vibrant diversity of Muslim arts, cultures, and identities throughout the world and at home in the United States,” says Director of Arts and Associate Professor of Music Jennifer Kelly. “In three semesters of programming through fall 2018, Tapestries is exploring a variety of contemporary Muslim artistic expressions. With input from students, faculty, administrative staff, and community members, the project engages communities through main-stage performances in the Williams Center for the Arts and extended interdisciplinary activities throughout the campus. Tapestries seeks to build new audiences, deepen understanding and awareness, and cultivate broad-minded global citizens.”

Lafayette students have experienced the beauty of Muslim cultures from around the world, from the jazz rhythms of Senegalese legend Cheikh Lô to photographer Lalla Essaydi’s feminist response to Orientalism. They have participated in a Muslim prayer service on the Quad, thumbed pages of centuries-old calligraphy, heard the personal stories of Muslims living in New York City, and read the work of contemporary Muslim writers.