The Aga Khan Council for Central United States held the Jubilee Arts Festival on February 24 and 25 in Grapevine. Guest blogger Samina Hooda, a volunteer from the local Ismaili Muslim community, sent this summary and shared Areesh Aslam’s photos of some of the work on display.
Jubilee Arts Festival had a unique approach as it invited aspiring artists of all ages to express their talent using any of the four prompts of time, legacy, aspiration & devotion. More than 200 volunteers from the Ismaili Muslim Community helped showcase around 400 diverse creations ranging from visual art to performances and film.
“The Jubilee Arts festival in Dallas was part of series of similar festivals being held all across the nation in commemoration of the Diamond Jubilee of His Highness the Aga Khan, marking the 60th year since he became the spiritual leader of the Shia Ismaili Muslim community,” said Sumair Lakhani, the project manager of the festival.
The Aga Khan has always emphasized the value of art and culture in understanding the inherent diversity within humanity. Interestingly, one of the masterpieces of Islamic art at the Dallas Museum of Art, the carved ‘rock crystal ewer’, belongs to His Highness’s ancestors, the Fatimid’s, who established the city of Cairo and Al-Azhar university a 1000 years ago and were patrons of art.
The artwork expresses the community’s values of love and compassion, respect for diversity and their aspirations to contribute to the larger society as exemplified by their spiritual leader, the Aga Khan and his global institutional work which places an emphasis on cultural pluralism as a force for human development.