SPA Sets Partnership to Bring Malaysian Artists to Houston

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SPA Sets Partnership to Bring Malaysian Artists to HoustonSociety for the Performing Arts (SPA), Houston's leading performing arts presenter, is announcing a partnership with Arts Midwest and the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art to bring the international program Caravanserai: A Place Where Cultures Meet to Houston during the 2014-15 season. This program began in 2010 as an effort to establish a greater understanding between American and Muslim societies. Houston is one of four cities selected to host the fourth season of Caravanserai, featuring dynamic performance artists, filmmakers and musicians from Malaysia. The other host locations include the Piney Woods Fine Arts Association in Crockett, Texas; the Rialto Center for the Arts at Georgia State University in Atlanta; and the University of Florida Performing Arts in Gainesville.

"SPA is proud to bring this critically acclaimed program to Houston and share in its innovative type of cultural exchange," remarked Jordan Drum, SPA's Director of Education and Community Engagement. "As one of the most diverse cities in the nation - with one of the most active arts communities - Houston audiences are sure to connect with and be inspired by this fascinating series of outreach events and performances."

"The name Caravanserai was carefully selected for this program," says David Fraher, president and CEO of Arts Midwest. "Historically, in the Far and Middle East, stopping places for caravans along trade routes were called caravanserais. They were safe places to sit around the fire, come together and exchange stories. The name evokes that imagery of travelers in a safe haven, in a place where cultures meet. We're delighted that SPA is providing one of those stopping places for an exciting cultural experience."

Three different artists will be featured as part of Caravanserai through a variety of public and private performances, as well as workshops and lectures, starting with the dynamic global-fusion band Diplomats of Drum in September and October 2014, followed by filmmaker and activist Pete Teo in January 2015 and ending with the U.S. premiere tour of Wayang Kulit: The Shadow Play of Kelentan in February 2015.

In addition, through partnerships with The Boniuk Institute at Rice University, Episcopal High School, the Children's Museum, Awty International School, University of Houston and more, SPA will be offering hands-on educational workshops and performances for children and adults during each of the artists' residencies in Houston.

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