United We Create Project
Building Connected Communities
Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania (YANJEP) is proud to announce we are accepting five new schools to participate in our United We Create Project. UWC is an innovative, independently evaluated, arts-centered approach to building connected school communities with a focus on strengthening understanding between Muslims and Non-Muslims. The independently assessed model improves student and teacher understanding of Muslim culture, increases empathy, and helps participants recognize bias. UWC promotes respect for other backgrounds, perspectives, and cultures. We are looking for K to 8 schools interested in joining the next cohort.
*The United We Create Project, valued at $18,500, is offered FREE to selected schools.
The popular new comic character Ms. Marvel wowed us this summer as we rooted for the newest hero, a NJ teenager and Muslim-American, Kamala Khan. Ms. Marvel showed us just one example of how fun and unique exploring Muslim cultures and storytelling can be. UWC offers students an opportunity to make connections through the arts to Muslim traditions and cultures around the world.
Four professional teaching artists bring performances, workshops, and professional learning to classrooms to explore artforms from American Muslim communities and Muslim regions around the world. Students, teachers, and families make cultural connections and learn about commonalities across different cultures and communities, while increasing positive perceptions of Muslim identities. United We Create aligns with character education, social studies, world religion, and anti-bullying curriculums.
What Can United We Create Do For Your School?
- Provide engaging art activities that encourage cultural competency, kindness and empathy, and respect among students
- Increase knowledge of Muslim cultures through programs exploring Muslim folklore, ethos, and traditions
- Help students develop positive perception of themselves and others
- Cultivate culturally responsive classrooms through hands-on professional learning opportunities
- Improve your school’s climate through arts programming that increases student engagement and social connection
- Strengthen school and home connections through family art making workshops
A third grader who participated in the United We Create visual arts workshop, Infinite Beauty: Geometric Patterns in Islamic Art, shared that the experience made him “feel so special.” Other students shared:
“[I] didn’t know how they did art in the mosques.”
“We made designs and you could be yourself.”
One teacher expressed that “the entire experience was really meaningful” for her students.
“These [programs] are very valuable to the classroom. As a social studies and history teacher, especially world history, it is key that we know different cultures and different religions.” ~ Erin Fitzpatrick , Educator
United We Create Programs
Assembly: Good Character with Queen Nur – Students hear a series of interactive stories from different grandmother characters deriving from Muslim communities around the world. (Offered In-Person, Live Streamed or Recorded)
Assembly: Music & Movement Where Muslims Live with Karim Nagi – Students experience the musical and dance traditions of Islamic communities across the globe. (Offered Live Streamed or Recorded)
In-Class Workshop: Storytelling with TAHIRA – In this workshop, students engage in hands-on storytelling exercises and create their own stories around Muslim characters who face obstacles related to how they experience the world around them. (Offered In-Person or Live Streamed) *Exclusive to United We Create Program
In-Class Workshop: Geometric Patterns with Ann Shafer – Students learn about the history, significance, and creation process of Islamic geometric designs, an artform that has been used for centuries as a vibrant way to decorate architecture, textiles, and books. *Exclusive to United We Create Program
Family Engagement Workshop with Queen Nur – This dynamic program explores the collecting and sharing of games through family generations and instructs participating families on how to create their own games. (Offered In-Person, Live Streamed or Recorded) *Exclusive to United We Create Program
Family Engagement Workshop with Karim Nagi – An interactive family workshop sharing rhythmic instruments, music, and movement from places including Egypt, Tuareg, and Palestine. (Offered Live Streamed or Recorded) *Exclusive to United We Create Program
Teacher Professional Learning with TAHIRA – Educators are provided with researched data about Muslim youth experiences of hararassment, intimidation and bullying (HIB) in schools, and offered ways educators can foster cultural competency in the classroom. (Offered In-Person or Live Streamed)
*Exclusive to United We Create Program
United We Create Teaching Artists
This program is funded by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art’s Building Bridges Program.