Episode 26

26. Arab American National Museum with Devon Akmon


August 28th, 2017

12 mins 22 secs

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About this Episode

Image: Arab American National Museum photo by knightfoundation CC BY-SA 2.0.

Before the Arab American National Museum opened in Dearborn, MI in 2005, there wasn’t a singular museum telling the Arab American story. 

The museum defines the Arab World as 22 countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Southeast Michigan has the highest concentration of people from the Arab World in North America, and much of the social, religious, cultural, and commercial enterprises are centered in Dearborn. 

In this episode, museum director Devon Akmon describes the process of using arts and culture as a mechanism to build greater community and to share the complexities of the stories with the wider public. 

Devon also talks about how his institution relates to other museums on issues of equity and justice.

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Guest: Devon Akmon

Topics Discussed:
00:00: Intro
00:15: Devon Akmon, Director of the Arab American National Museum
00:45: Why Dearborn, MI?
02:53: Displacement in the Arab World
03:30: Using Arts to Build Community
04:04: Building the Museum
05:07: Exhibitions and Space
06:40: Feedback Mechanisms
07:35: Different Audiences
10:01: Talking to Other Museums