Award: Incubation / $15,000
Purpose: To support an exhibition taking visitors on an enlightening journey through the profound contributions of Islamic civilizations.
To make an impact in today’s world, history-sharing organizations must find ways to bring the past to life. When that history is ancient, it can be hard to make contemporaneous connections.
So when the Turkish Cultural Center of New Jersey saw a need to share the profound contributions of Islamic civilizations to human development, they sought a method that would immerse visitors in the journey.
“This project aspires to offer an immersive experience that educates its visitors, helping them to appreciate the rich tapestry of knowledge and innovation sewn together by Muslim civilizations,” said the organization.
The innovations to be highlighted in “Legacy of Luminaries: Celebrating Islamic Civilizations’ Contributions to Human Development” will include the ingenious inventions of 12th century engineer Ismail Al-Jazari, often referred to as the “father of robotics”; the universal number system; and the Ottoman Clock Dial.
Through these innovations, which have since influenced science, mathematics, and technology throughout the world, the exhibit aims to dispel false conflicts between Islam and science, promote cross-cultural understanding, and inspire continued learning and research.
Organizers plan for the experience to be both immersive and mobile, enabling it to reach communities throughout the state.
Such a large undertaking will require expert help. That’s why TCCNJ applied for an incubation grant, which is targeted to the planning and development of public humanities projects. The grant funding will support initial efforts to determine the content and design of the exhibit, including the hiring of subject-matter experts and creation of assessment mechanisms.
“Renowned for its rich multicultural tapestry, New Jersey serves as home to numerous communities that have blossomed from extensive immigration,” said the organizer. “This project seeks to play a pivotal role in nurturing intellectual ties and fostering communication between the Muslim immigrant community and other diverse groups within the state.”