I'm writing you as a concerned creative Arab that is frightful of what the future holds for my people. I'm also writing you as the founder of YallaPunk festival and conference , an annual event to showcase the creative side of Arabs, Persians and MENA individuals.
This year, the event is set to take place in Philadelphia September 1-3 in Fishtown. With over 20 bands around the country and globally already showing interest, the entertainment portion will definitely be robust. We're including filmmakers, comedians, and artists as well.
In addition to entertainment, the conference portion will include speaker panels, breakout discussions, and workshops. There will be an "ally" track and a "support" track. The first track will include general education about the culture, targeting those who have never been exposed to it. The second track will include safe spaces for discussions. Topics to explore include “Arab isn’t always Muslim and Muslim isn’t always Arab”, “What does it mean to be creative and MENA? and other challenges”, “Not your novelty product: How to sincerely market your creative work nationally and internationally”, "Intro to Maqam", "House & Home: on kinship and memory" and much more.
Venues we have received a commitment from so far include Johnny Brenda's, Ulises bookstore and Icebox Project Space at the Crane Arts Building.
YallaPunk is meant to showcase the creative side of our community. There will be dancing, there will be laughter, there will be connections made that will last a lifetime. Please consider supporting YallaPunk this year.
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