Interfaith Arts Collaborative

"Reconciliations" Part of the Interfaith Center at CWRU.

Building Bridges Mural Program and The Rumi Foundation have recently joined efforts to create The Interfaith Arts Collaborative. The Interfaith Arts Collaborative is a joint effort to support visual and performing artists who are exploring the relationships between art and spirituality. The purpose of the Interfaith Arts collaborative is to allow the arts to be a vehicle for peace between our faith communities, by seeking to learn and understand each other’s traditions as they are expressed through the arts.

Musicians will be performing various forms of spiritual music on Sunday April 27th from 7-8:30 pm at Fairmount Presbyterian Church.  Emrah Gursoy and Ali Ozkan Demir are in Cleveland as part of a conference on Islamic Art being held at John Carroll University.  Emrah Gursoy will be performing on the Saz and Ali Ozkan Demir will be performing on the Nay while sharing Sufi traditions of Turkish music.  Metin Aytekin, and Hakan Aydin, who are also from Turkey, will be performing on the Bendir, and Saz instruments. 

From two other local traditions we have Pianist and Composer Don Chilcote, performing modern interpretations of Christian spirituals. His work is inspired by traditional hymns and spiritual praise music, but is transformed into contemporary classical jazz.

The final performer for the evening, sitar player Hasu Patel will be collaborating with visual artist Katherine Chilcote to create a new original work exploring reconciliation as it can be expressed through the interrelations of visual arts and music. Hasu is internationally renowned for her Sitar performances, recently having debuted concertos with orchestras in Austin and Detroit. Hasu Patel performed at Building Bridges’s unveiling of the Interfaith Mural at Case Western Reserve University this past November in collaboration with Katherine Chilcote. This new work will be an expression of the synesthetic energy between art and music, as they both explore the expression of reconciliation. In reflection of the collaborative work, Hasu Patel speaks of her music as “creating the story of our souls.”

Each of the musicians, dancers, and visual artists who have been engaged in the Interfaith Arts Collaborative share a common sensibility, that their work has a spiritual purpose in service of others and is a tool for interfaith understanding and dialog.

The Interfaith Arts Collaborative is hosting a performance of Sufi Music, Christian Spirituals, and Hindu meditation music, following a brief introduction on the importance of the arts in interfaith dialog. Traditional Turkish tea and dessert will be served as Artists come together for interfaith dialog.

Author Katherine Chilcote is Director of Building Bridges Mural Program and can be reached at 216.374.9339 or by email Fairmount Presbyterian Church is located at 2757 Fairmount Blvd, at Coventry Road, in Cleveland Heights, OH. To reach other sources in the article, please visit and

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Volume 1, Issue 1, Posted 1:05 PM, 04.11.2008