Our beloved alumna, Rania Akel, environmental artist, teacher, and community activist extraordinaire, has started an amazing new project. Located in the town of Kufr Kara, and called the “Swallow’s Nest Center,” it will be a center for arts, culture and the environment, that will that will host local and international artists and groups, and be a focal point to bring people – and peoples – together to strike roots and forge relationships. Together with her partner Said Affassi, they have started an ambitious crowd-funding initiative to help enlist fellow-travelers and recruit support. Here’s how they describe it:
From their crowdfunding site:
“Ken Le-Snunit” – The Swallow’s Nest Center
We are two artists who hope to establish, together with you, The Swallow’s Nest center: a studio for workshops and seminars bringing together art, environmentalism, and multiculturalism, in collaboration with artists from Israel and from around the world. Based in Kufr Kara, The Swallow’s Nest will build bridges and foster conversations within and between the local Arab and Jewish populations, and other global communities.
Rania Akel: Born in Kufr Kara in Israel, Rania is a multidisciplinary artist, sculptor, painter, curator, and director of artist workshops in Israel and around the world. Additionally, she works as an environmental educator and has extensive experience teaching art to diverse populations, bringing together art and practices of sustainability.
Said Affassi: Born in Morocco, Said is an artist, art critic, and author of a number of titles on art and philosophy. For many years he has served as the director of the International Visual Arts Festival in Fez. He instructs a variety of art workshops.
Environmental Art for the Community
As a couple, we care deeply about art, nature, and the connections between the two. We want to share this love with the communities around us. We believe in the importance of an encounter between the artist and the local environment, for the benefit of the community. Our extensive knowledge and experience, gained over many years of community-oriented work, will allow us to foster connections that will contribute to the local populations, and link them to other communities in Israel and around the world.
The Swallow’s Nest
Located on a hilltop and overlooking a beautiful valley, The Swallow’s Nest center, built with your collaboration, will serve as the base for a range of artistic practices in the surrounding landscape, and for the creation of local, artistically minded, ecological environments. These will serve as inspiration for local and global artists visiting our residency program, in which they will take part in the magical process of community building through multicultural and environmental art practices.
The Swallow’s Nest will host art classes and workshops for children, teenagers, women, families, groups, and individuals with special needs, working with a variety of materials and techniques, and in collaboration with visiting artists, focusing on sustainability, environmental issues, and cultural encounter.
Additionally, we will initiate and hosts events for cultural exposure and exchange, discussing art, poetry, literature, and music, and featuring local initiatives.
The Swallow’s Nest will contribute to the economic development of Kufr Kara, as well as to its cultural life, for the local population and for other communities in the region.
“The First Swallow”
You are invited to be among the first swallows of this spring season, and become part of making this dream come true. We are happy to offer some gifts of things we love to do and share with other people, in appreciation of your support.
Rania and Said
To help Rania and Said make their project a reality, go to their page on the crowdfunding site, Mimoona – https://www.mimoona.co.il/Projects/4618.