Gallery overview

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The Jerusalem Fund Gallery Showcasing the finest Palestinian and Arab visual, performing and literary arts in Washington, DC.

The Jerusalem Fund for Education and Community Development was founded in 1977 as a private non-profit organization committed to enhancing the lives of Palestinians and to communicating reliable and timely information about the Palestinian experience. : 

The Jerusalem Fund for Education and Community Development was founded in 1977 as a private non-profit organization committed to enhancing the lives of Palestinians and to communicating reliable and timely information about the Palestinian experience.

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In 1998, the Fund initiated a cultural program, designed to build bridges of understanding to Arab and Palestinian culture through the visual arts, literature, dance, music, film and other special events.

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The Gallery holds bi-monthly exhibits throughout the year which showcase the contemporary arts of Arab and Arab-American artists. It is the only Gallery in the United States with a specific emphasis on exhibiting Palestinian art.

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The Gallery has exhibited works by such notable artists as Emily Jacir, Leila Kubba, Rajie Cook, Kamal Boullata, and Tayseer Barakat, among many others.

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The power of the written word in communicating the Palestinian story is undeniable. The Gallery has hosted well-known authors, poets and playwrights such as Naomi Shihab Nye, Nathalie Handal and Betty Shamieh, whose works reflect the complexities of the Palestinian identity and experience.

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The Gallery has affirmed the significance of the traditional Palestinian ‘dabkeh’ or folkloric dance through holding dabkeh instructional classes and hosting dance troupes.

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In 2005, Palestine’s leading dance troupe, El-Funoun, performed to a sold-out audience in Washington, DC. El-Funoun’s repertoire expresses the spirit of Arab-Palestinian folklore and contemporary culture through unique combinations of traditional and stylized dance and music.

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Over the past decade and with increased access to technology and film editing software, there has been marked a rise in the numbers of Palestinian film directors creating powerful features, documentaries and short films. The Gallery holds an annual summer film series over eight weeks screening the latest films from Palestine.

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Whether the mood is expressive or reflective, joyful or somber, celebratory or spiritual, music is a universal language that impacts its hearers all over the world. In Arab and Palestinian culture, it occupies a place of prominence.

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The Gallery has helped to organize larger-scale concerts for such musical greats as Marcel Khalife as well as more intimate recitals with Syrian violinist Aban Zirikly and the Middle Eastern jazz group Shusmo.

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In addition to these regular and ongoing events, the Gallery periodically hosts special events on specific occasions.

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Iftar dinner A community event designed to introduce people to the cultural customs associated with the holy month of Ramadan and to a variety of foods in a festive atmosphere.

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The Annual Souk and Olive Harvest Celebration Held in December, this popular event draws hundreds from the community for a day-long ‘souk’ experience. Vendors sell arts and crafts from around the Middle East. The souk features live music, henna painting, coffee, sweets and the sales of Palestinian olive oil imported from Palestine.

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The Gallery partners with other Arab organizations such as Georgetown’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Commmittee, and American Near East Refugee Aid, to bring larger-scale cultural productions to the DC area.

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The Gallery has also increased its visibility through fostering connections with Washington, DC’s cultural institutions such as The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Smithsonian Associates Program.

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The Gallery strives to provide most of its cultural programming free to the public. Please consider giving generously to this important program that builds critical bridges of understanding through the arts and communicates the Palestinian story in all of its vibrancy, richness and splendid cultural heritage. Visit us online at www.thejerusalemfund.org/gallery

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