Home Local News PBS Wisconsin to host Wisconsin Muslim Project launch event on Saturday

PBS Wisconsin to host Wisconsin Muslim Project launch event on Saturday

PBS Wisconsin will host a Wisconsin Muslim Project launch event on Saturday, April 29 at at American Family Insurance Auditorium & Foyer. (Photo: Lila Aryan, courtesy of PBS Wisconsin)

The many stories of Muslim Wisconsinites make up an important part of communities and cities throughout the Badger state. PBS Wisconsin has been gathering and working on telling those stories with the Wisconsin Muslim Project launch and celebration event, which will be held Saturday, April 29, 2 p.m., at American Family Insurance Auditorium & Foyer, 6000 American Family Drive in Madison.

Saturday’s open house-style event will feature an up-close and authentic photography project and a brand-new Wisconsin Life episode, and a community panel discussion at 3:30 p.m. titled “The Muslim Experience in Wisconsin” moderated by Kaley Spiegel, and English teacher at Lake Mills High School.

The photo exhibition will provide an intimate look into the contemporary lives of 15 Muslim Wisconsinites and families.

“The hope of this project is to share the stories of Muslim Wisconsinites and through community engagement, which is the unit I lead, we were able to do his gallery with award-winning Milwaukee photographer Lila Arya, and we were able to take pictures of 15 families, individuals or groups around the state of Wisconsin just doing what they love to do,” Dulce Maria Danel, the associate director of community engagement and impact at PBS Wisconsin, tells Madison365.

“My favorite part about the gallery is that everyone kind of got to be their own creative director. The question were: How do you feel the most yourself? What do you enjoy doing? And some people were like, ‘I love working out.’ or ‘I love skiing.’  So if you will take a look at the gallery, you’re gonna see a very different range of people doing what they want to do, being Wisconsinites and sharing some of their story, which is really lovely.”

The project aims to stimulate connections between Wisconsin’s Muslim and non-Muslim populations and encourage Wisconsinites to obtain greater knowledge about, empathy for, and appreciation of one another.

“I think it’s going out there and just learning that they are your neighbors, they are Packer fans and they are just regular everyday people,” Danel says. “I think that’s what’s so lovely about this … that it is able to show all of that in there and give people both the knowledge and the ability to appreciate one another and connect with one another and share the stories of even more Wisconsinites … which is our goal at PBS Wisconsin.

Dulce Danel

“I’m enjoying just getting to know everyone through this project and having people open their homes to us. Just being able to sit with them and hear about the lives they have built. It’s pretty amazing.”

Wisconsin Life: The Wisconsin Muslim Project is part of the larger Wisconsin Muslim Project, Danel says, a collaboration between PBS Wisconsin and two other Wisconsin-based partners, the Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition and We Are Many – United Against Hate.

At Saturday’s launch, light refreshments will be provided.

“This Saturday’s event is for everyone. It will be fun because it’s all about celebrating one another and sharing our experiences,” Danel says. “I think people being able to find connections is something that we’re really excited about The Wisconsin Muslim Project.”