TCF provided a major grant to support the production of Othello in the Seraglio: The Tragedy of Sümbül the Black Eunuch, a full-length film of an original music drama produced and presented by Dr. Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol and Dünya. Sanlıkol, a TCF 2012 Fellow,reimagined Shakespeare’s Othello as the famed 17th century Ottoman eunuch, Sümbül Ağa in a unique medium (described as a “coffeehouse opera”) where he arranged 17th century Ottoman/Turkish music as well as Italian Renaissance music and composed new music inspired by these repertoires. Two of the four masked characters in the drama sing in Turkish while two of them sing in both Italian and Turkish. There also is a coffeehouse storyteller, meddah, who conveys the story to the audiences throughout the opera. The script written by Dünya’s Vice President Robert Labaree combines The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice (1603) with the original Italian novel Un Capitano Moro (A Morrish Captain) by Giovanbattista Gerald (1565) and a Turkish novel Kızlarağası’nın Piçi (The Bastard of the Chief Black Eunuch) by Reşad Ekrem Koçu (1933). Since February 2015, Dünya has presented the production 18 times throughout the American northeast.
TCF has provided a grant to support Anatolian Artisans, who will bring the work of Turkish artists to the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market, July 14-16, 2017. Ceramic artist Ibrahim Kuslu and the group Soma Artisans, a group of 30 women whose male relatives died in the devastating mining accident in 2014, will display and sell their art at the annual market. The market has become the largest folk art market in the world featuring 150 master artists from nearly 60 countries, and it was voted “Best Art Festival” by USA Today’s 10 Best Readers Choice Awards.
Makam New York's program Turkish Story Time, supported by a TCF grant, continues to present weekly programs in New York City. Turkish Story Time brings children and their caregivers together to learn about Turkish culture through reading stories in Turkish, learning songs, rhymes, and riddles, introducing instruments and advancing literacy. The program is recorded the first Saturday of every month at 4:00 pm at Book Culture on Columbus in New York City and is open to the public. The recordings, stories and materials are available on Makam New York’s website.
Cellist, composer, improviser, and photographer Anıl Eraslan (TCF Cultural Exchange Fellow – 2014) held a concert with Borghini, Chino, Birkenhauer, and Istanbul improvisers; a duo with Julia Kadel; a trio with Hayden Chisholm & John Dennis Renken; and concerts with Bielefeld, Kleve, Kulturzimmer, Mönchengladbach, and Duisburg in Germany from June 4-29. He also performed in concerts with Sumru Ağıryürüyen, AID Room, and Take the AID Train in İstanbul, Turkey from June 15-17, 2017.
Nurduran Duman (TCF Cultural Exchange Fellow – 2016) participated in Voix Vives at the 23rd Genoa International Poetry Festival on June 10-11, 2017. She had four poetry readings both in Turkish and Italian and held two discussions during the festival. She talks centered around the power of words and poetry, and solutions for world peace.
Roberley Bell (TCF Cultural Exchange Fellow – 2015) participated in “Out of Site: Contemporary Sculpture at Chesterwood”, an exhibition by 15 artists. Her sculpture “Blue landscape” will be installed on the grounds of the Chesterwood Estate in Stockbridge, MA from through October 9. Bell’s sculpture “Locus Amoenus” was also installed at Crystal Park in Holmes, NY in June.
Visual artist Özgür Demirci (TCF Cultural Exchange Fellows – 2014) created a video titled “From the Silver Screen to Soccer Field” featured at the 10th Documentarist in İstanbul, Turkey from June 17-25.
Architect, designer, and sculptor Ayşe Ören (TCF Fellow in Turkish Culture and Arts – 2015, 2017) presented her paper “Space Architecture and Long Term Outer Space Travels” at the International Space Development Conference 2017 in St. Louis, Missouri, May 25-29, 2017.
Glass sculptor Agah Baris Can Aksakal was awarded a TCF Cultural Exchange Fellowship to participate in the Creating and Using Murrine Program at the Corning Museum of Glass in New York City from August 7-12, 2017.