Meet Our 2018 Collaborators

“We activate artists to build power, shift culture, and heal spirits for the wellness of the people.”

The Sanctuaries is a new expression of a long lineage of artists, organizers, and visionaries who have shaped the rich culture of our nation’s capital. In 2013, twenty neighbors came together to create “sanctuaries” – sacred spaces where artists of diverse racial and religious backgrounds could build trust and take collective action. We’ve grown a lot since then. But we remain committed to the bold spirit of those early founders.

Mic Night Collaborators 2018 - Dar Al-Hijrah 6
Mic Night Collaborators 2018 - Dar Al-Hijrah 7

Lauren and Muhammad are a married couple who create music together, lead the Center DC faith community, and participated in the “Art for Social Impact” training program at The Sanctuaries. The Sanctuaries trains artists of diverse racial and religious backgrounds on how to use the arts for social change. In the process, artists earn money while advocating for the needs of their communities. Learn more at

Mic Night Collaborators 2018 - Dar Al-Hijrah 8

Erik is a spiritual leader, community organizer, and Co-Director of The Sanctuaries.

Since April 2006, Crescent Moon Nights has been an exciting voice in the community of the Washington DC Spoken Word & Arts Family providing a positive family friendly environment for expression in the name of building bridges between people of diverse backgrounds under the banner of the arts and unity.
Numerous forms of the arts have blessed our Mic from Spoken Word, Poetry, Monologues, Authors reading passages from their books, comedians, scenes from plays, and various songs featuring beautiful vocals and ill lyrics and more… Crescent Moon Nights have been the home for hundreds of artist that have Stepped up to the Mic!
Crescent Moon Night has touched the lives of thousands over the past 12 years by providing a steady platform for the community come together in a supportive environment with its monthly open mic every 1st Saturday of the month, social welfare programs to help the homeless, and a string of numerous of other events such as community picnics, entertainment showcases & Concerts, as well as endeavors in community engagement, political education and more.

Mic Night Collaborators 2018 - Dar Al-Hijrah 9

Tahir Kaiyum is the co-founder and host of the Washington DC community based, Crescent Moon Nights. Since 2006, Crescent Moon Knights has spearheaded groundbreaking community service projects focused on fostering youth and artist of all ages through the creative arts, social service projects, and entertainment. As an event planner, Tahir has organized or co-organized hundreds of events such as the Monthly Open Mic Crescent Moon Nights, The acclaimed series “Muslim Women of Spoken Word”, The Dinner, Concert, Cruise DayONE, feed the homeless programs, iftars, eid celebrations, singles events, Inaugural Galas, Book signings and more, As an artist, Tahir has performed on stages covering multiple Cities and States with his gripping and engaging style of spoken word.

“Since 2007, my work has been about encouraging children, families, and seniors to share their stories of home, heritage, and migration through the fun and exciting book arts. I believe that everybody is creative and everyone has stories to share—we just don’t explore them because we don’t have the time, don’t think we are very good at it, and we don’t think anyone cares.
And that’s why we need to PAUSE.”

People: We are inspired by everyday People because they are creative and they know a lot
Art: Everyone has Art in them and should get to explore and enjoy it
Understand: Art and Stories help us Understand the people around us and the things they love
Share: We Share our stories graciously and take graciously as we learn about each other
Explore: What will we discover as we Explore our senses and our emotions?

Studio Pause is a space in Arlington where Sushmita Mazumdar invites the community to share their art.

Mic Night Collaborators 2018 - Dar Al-Hijrah 10

Sushmita Mazumdar, artist, writer, and educator, and this is where she works and invites others to visit, learn, share their art, and celebrate the art and writing of others.