Since 1998, Alwan has played a leading role in promoting the diverse cultures of the Middle East in New York and the tri-state metropolitan area.  Alwan’s inaugural activities entailed screening evocative films in academic settings. These screenings evolved into a film festival that soon became the largest event of its kind outside of the Middle East. Since its founding, Alwan has continually expanded its programming, which now includes concerts, dance performances, academic book talks, poetry readings, panel discussions, theatrical performances, visual arts exhibits, as well as educational offerings in language, dance, and music. Alwan has grown into a cultural and aesthetic hub, curating up to 100 events each year.

Mission & Vision

Alwan serves its community and educates the broader public by showcasing a range of Middle Eastern cultural events, enriching the cross-cultural and artistic encounter.

CREATE Alwan is a creative space, presenting traditional culture with a contemporary flair, and commissioning new works that investigate cultural identity. We provide artists, filmmakers, writers, organizers, and activists a forum for their creative projects, and actively promote cross-cultural collaboration.

INVESTIGATE Alwan casts a critical eye on current events and trends in arts and culture related to the Middle East and the Middle Eastern diaspora.

ENGAGE Alwan engages the New York arts scene by challenging its assumptions about the Middle East. We aim to build a community around the arts that encourages participation and discussion from all its members.



Alwan is grateful for support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA), the New York State Council for the Arts (NYSCA), the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC) , the Center for Arab American Philanthropy (CAAP), the Violet Jabara Charitable Trust, the Caliban Foundation, and Royal Air Maroc as well as past support from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC). Alwan for the Arts is also grateful to Union Square Awards for its support in 2007 and 2008.

Artistic Director
Ahmed Issawi 
Executive Director
Mona Abu Rayyan
Assistant Director
Sophie Couche
Space Manager
Marwan AlHasson
Languagae and Class Coordinator
Kirsten Beck 

Executive Board Members
Anny Bakalian
Amer Bisat
Mirene Ghossein
Zineb Guessous
Ahmed Issawi

Advisory Board Members
Elissar Boujaude
Tarek Farouki
Abdeen Jabara
Hussein Khalifa,
Sherif Lotfi
Yehia Massoud
Doris Mukabaa Marksohn
Suzy Wahba


Music Program
Amir ElSaffar

Literary Program
Ahmed Issawi 

Film Program  
Ahmed Issawi
Melissa Forstrom
Prerana Reddy
Negin Sharifzadeh

Sound Engineer
Don Jacobs
In Concert Audio


16 Beaver Street, 4th Floor (between Broad Street & Broadway)
New York, NY  10004

Tel.: (646) 732-3261
Fax: (212) 967-4326

Email:  info@alwanforthearts.org


Alwan for the Arts is accessible to people with disabilities. Please call 646 732 3261 in advance, or buzz at the door to arrange a ramp.

SUBWAY: 4/5 to Bowling Green; J/Z to Broad St.; R to Whitehall St.; 1 to Rector St. or South Ferry; 2/3 to Wall St.; A/C to Fulton

BUSES: M1, M6, M9, M16, M20.  

BIKE: Hudson Rvr. Greenway, East Rvr. path, Liberty St., Broadway, Water St.

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16 Beaver Street
4th Floor
New York, NY 10004
(646) 732 3261
Email Us

Alwan for the Arts is accessible to people with disabilities. Please call 646 732 3261 in advance, or, buzz at the door to arrange a ramp.

© 2014 Alwan for the Arts

Hosting donated by:
Marefa.org, the Arabic Encyclopedia