The Sanctuaries | Washington, DC

Artists: 2018


Banner graphic by Ainae Nielsen


ARTISTSartists | 2018


Ahmad Abumraighi

Muslim Cohort
Sponsor: Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center

Ahmad Abumraighi is an artist and a calligrapher with a passion for the people. He hopes to integrate his interests in art and architecture with his deep belief in humankind to forge a career in humanitarian architecture.


Bakht Arif

Muslim Cohort
Sponsor: The Sanctuaries

Bakht Arif is a licensed social worker, musician, singer, and street theater artist. Bakht incorporates a trauma-informed, human rights perspective in supporting survivors of gender violence and raising awareness of domestic violence and sexual assault in the community. Bakht practices mindfulness and cultural humility when providing direct services, trainings, and support to staff and clients in the community.


Conrado Muluc

Mixed Cohort

Conrado Muluc is a self-taught multidisciplinary artist from Alexandria, VA, who is focused on using poetry, Hip Hop music, and photography for social change. He has showcased his work in various exhibits and artshows in the DMV area and is now working on his debut Hip Hop project Know The Ledge.

Instagram: @ConradoMuluc


Erin Frisby

Mixed Cohort

Erin Frisby is a multi-disciplinary musician and visual artist. She plays guitar and sings in the rock band, FuzzQueen, works as a teaching artist, and visits the ocean, the forest, and the desert as often as possible.


Josette Matoto

Mixed Cohort

Josette Matoto is a visual artist living in Washington, DC. Her work is focused on her queer identity, environmental justice, uplifting marginalized voices, and injecting humor wherever she can. She has never said no to pizza.

Instagram: @josettematoto


Lashonia Thompson-El

Mixed Cohort

Lashonia Thompson-El is the author of Through the WIRE: My Search for Redemption, a story about youth violence, trauma and incarceration from the eyes a girl growing up in the Nation's Capital. Lashonia is also the Executive Director of The WIRE: Women Involved in Reentry Efforts, a network of formerly incarcerated women who provide mentoring, and peer advocacy for women who remain incarcerated and women returning from incarceration. During the day, Lashonia serves as a Restorative Justice facilitator at the DC Office of The Attorney General, where she facilitates community conferencing with adjudicated youth and young adults.


Walker II 

Mixed Cohort

Lawrence Walker II, also known as the "Natural Dizasta," is here to awaken the soul of Hip-Hop that resides within you! He is a captivating performer who is sure to bring destruction to the ordinary state of mind, and empower ALL who listen.


Maura Dwyer

Mixed Cohort

Maura Dwyer received her BFA in Interdisciplinary Sculpture and Video from Maryland Institute College of Art. Following school, she worked with art directors in the local film industry until she decided to apply her interest in collaborative design to issue-driven projects. In addition to design work with the mural collective, Spectrum Studios, her personal practice consists of multimedia collaborations with theater companies, illustration, and teaching.


Meriam Salem

Muslim Cohort
Sponsor: Justice for Muslims Collective

Meriam Salem is a visual artist and filmmaker, who graduated from American University with a degree in development, human rights, and a minor in film and media. She believes that film is an important tool for bringing both social impact and education into a coherent catalyst for change.

Instagram: @salemsnaps


Muhammad Yahya Oda

Muslim Cohort
Sponsor: Center DC

Muhammad Yahya Oda is an artist with a background in Hip-Hop and Spoken Word Poetry. He has won three individual Poetry slam competitions, two in San Diego and one in Michigan City, Indiana, and has made some ground with the independent record label, Magnetic Flux Recordings.

Instagram: @muhammadodausa



Salsabeel Abdelhamid

Mixed Cohort

Salsabeel Abdelhamid is a Palestinian artist that explores themes of liberation and freedom, flight and alienation, heritage and culture, as well as trauma and injustice. Salsabeel's background in sociology and commitment to social justice has spearheaded their mission to make others uncomfortable and uproot ignorance and programming while sowing conversation and growing the collective consciousness through wearable protest.

Instagram: @sel-sa-beel


Sobia Ahmad

Muslim Cohort
Sponsor: IM WISE

Sobia Ahmad is an interdisciplinary artist whose work explores themes of identity and belonging through concepts of dichotomy and duality - ideas of the permissible and forbidden, revealing and concealing, public and private, purity and impurity, freedom and oppression. Often inspired by her personal experiences of being an immigrant, a Muslim, and a female in the U.S., her work is an investigation of both individual and collective experiences shaped by sociopolitical ideologies. Ahmad’s work has been included in the Sadat Art for Peace permanent collection, and has been displayed in the Washington D.C. metro area, in Los Angeles at the Craft and Folk Art Museum, and in several other cities including Chicago, Seattle, and London.


Steve Alfaro

Mixed Cohort

Steve Alfaro is an artist, activist, and designer from Los Angeles, California. He is a proud son of immigrant parents from Guatemala and creative advisor for Voto Latino.
Instagram: @SteveAlfaroLA


Tahirah Alexander Green

Mixed Cohort

Artivist and storyteller Tahirah Alexander Green is interested in crafting nuanced works that reflect the complexity of identity. Creating through a Black Queer Feminist Lens, Tahirah’s pieces frequently center experiences of Blackness, queerness, financial instability, mental health conditions, and womanhood. She is prone to dark humor and a unashamed fangirl.


VeVe Marley

Mixed Cohort

VeVe Marley is a singer/songwriter and musician, based in Washington DC, whose music, which blends elements of folk, afrobeat, R&B and hip-hop, creates dreamy, soulful vibes. Marley's music touches on themes of the black experience, spirituality, healing, love and politics. Marley is also an urban farmer and herbalist.

Instagram: @vevemarley_


Zaynub Siddiqui

Muslim Cohort
Sponsor: Muslim Community Center

Zaynub Siddiqui is a West Coast native that now resides in Maryland. A lover of art since her childhood, she strives to create pieces that are impactful to others. She is training under Haji Noor Deen in the art of Arabic Calligraphy. Zaynub has had two exhibitions in Washington, DC, and was the youngest artist to be featured in 2017 Baltimore's Artscape, the nation's largest street festival. As a teenage Muslimah in today's society, she hopes to use her talent to inspire others while exploring the sacred through art and the sacredness in art.

Instagram: @peachy.zee

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