Dearborn's Arab American National Museum to celebrate 10th anniversary with expansion

The Arab American National Museum has added a new wing that will act as a performance hall and a gathering space for artists. It will also host special collaborations with local and national cultural groups and institutions.

The opening of the 4,700-square-foot annex on March 27 coincided with news that the museum is sending its exhibit, "Little Syria," to New York. "Little Syria" documents life in a once-vibrant Lower Manhattan Arab neighborhood, one of the earliest Arab American settlements in the U.S. The exhibit will be on display at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum from Oct. 1, 2016 to Jan. 9, 2017.

The Arab American National Museum opened on Michigan Avenue in Dearborn 10 years ago this May. In that time, the museum has built itself into a reputable institution with the purpose of exploring and explaining Arab American culture and history. It is the only southeast Michigan affiliate of the Smithsonian, which is helping organize the transporting of "Little Syria" to New York.

The expansion opportunity arose when two neighboring businesses on Michigan Avenue became vacant. The Annex features a moveable stage and light and sound systems for live performances.

"TEN:The Exhibition" will celebrate the museum's decade of existence with a collection of works by 10 leading Arab American artists.

Source: Arab American National Museum and East Dearborn Downtown Development Authority
Writer: Kim North Shine
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