Just south of the Farm in the Zoo Off Stockton Street (N of LaSalle)
Chicago, Illinois 60614

The south end of Lincoln Park will be transformed into a Middle Eastern bazaar showcasing world-renowned instrumental and vocal music, dance, visual and culinary art from the Middle East and North Africa on Saturday, August 25th and Sunday, August 26th at Genesis at the Crossroads (GATC) 3rd Bi-Annual HAMSA-Fest. The public is invited to attend the event, held from noon to 9 p.m. just south of the Farm in the Zoo off Stockton St. (N. of LaSalle).

This popular summer festival will again engage people of all ages to not only experience a taste of the region through art and food, but also examine and challenge beliefs about personal and cultural identity. HAMSA-Fest will include a childrens tent featuring dance, drumming, storytelling, instrument-making in conjunction with the Chicago Childrens Museum and other artistic instruction, adding to the family-friendly appeal of the event. Middle Eastern wares will be sold, and local North African and Middle Eastern restaurants will present regional cuisine that attendees may purchase.

In creating Genesis at the Crossroads HAMSA-Fest, our goal was to provide an atmosphere unlike any other summer festival, where the music has a mission of bringing audiences and artists together across many barriers said Dr. Wendy Sternberg, Founder and Executive Director of GATC. Our mission is to foster appreciation, awareness and the celebration of diversity while exploring the amazing cultures of these nations.

Artists featured at the event include Pianist and Harmonica legend, Howard Levy, Persian guitarist Shahin Shahida, Afghan vocalist and instrumentalist Humayun Khan, Persian kamancheh player Farshid Soltanshahi, Israeli singer Avishai Cohen and his Nu-Trio, Lebanese vocalist Christine Atallah & the Bassalindos, Pharaohs Daughter, Deeply Rooted Dance Companys Nefertiti, The Musical, childrens singers with Paul Reisler & Kid Pan Alley and others.

The spectacular festival finale concert, a world premier, features the historic collaboration between Moroccan oud virtuoso Haj Youness and world-renowned tenor Cantor Alberto Mizrahi. For the first time in Genesis at the Crossroads history, this performance will not only debut at the HAMSA-Fest, but will also tour to the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC and Casablanca, Morocco as part of GATCs ARTSLINK Casablanca.

A highlight of the festival includes the One Peace at a Time Childrens Humanitarian Peace Quilt Exhibition on its world tour, a series of quilts created by Chicago public and private school students touring the nation prior to delivery to children in Iraq. The project fosters philanthropy at an early age and allows students to creatively express their own ideas on world peace. En route to Baghdad, these quilts will travel to the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles and then to childrens museums across the country. The idea has inspired the continuation of these workshops for an indefinite period of time all over the nation, to benefit the children of other war-torn areas in the world.

The suggested donation for festival attendees is $5 to $10. Corporate and foundation co-sponsors include The Illinois Arts Council, Nuveen Investments, The Chicago Childrens Museum, Maza Restaurant, Sofitel Chicago Water Tower, Norooz Productions, 98.7 WFMT and the WFMT Radio Network, Royal Air Maroc and The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Genesis at the Crossroads Is a 501(c)(3)not-for-profit organization dedicated to bridging cultures in conflict through the arts and creating innovative arts-education programs around the world. For more information, visit www.gatc.org or call 773-929-0224.


*The word Hamsa comes from the root word for the number five in Arabic, similar to Hamesh in Hebrew. It refers to the digits on the hand and is considered to bring good luck. The Hamsa hand is also used for protection from the envious or evil eye by Jews, Muslims and Persians. It is one of the most popular cameos for good luck and well being the world over.

Event submitted by Eventful.com on behalf of ajaniszewski.

Added by ajaniszewski on June 22, 2007

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