Innovative Arts

Art transforms culture; it shapes us, deepens us, and sustains us. There is, perhaps, no greater time in human history for the revival of old art forms and the innovation of new, visionary ones, offering us a re-contextualization of mainstream culture through a mosaic of different mediums. Art is a ‘captured’ reflection of our space as individuals, and communities, amidst the backdrop of a fast-moving modernity with an uncertain future.

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From music to dance, from playwriting to poetry, from painting to political performance pieces, and comedic satire—all create new ways of thinking, new modes of learning, and dynamic platforms for storytelling, captivating the human spirit and catalyzing potential. Art often honors our past by creating a record of what has come before, anchoring us for our move into the future, through envisioning that new horizon. By reestablishing context, whether by naming a history, telling a story, or making a community visible, we distinguish ourselves against the often homogenizing effects of globalization and the ongoing assault on arts’ education across educational arenas both near and far.

Arts transform dilapidated and abandoned streets and buildings, they build intercultural understanding by giving a platform to universal human experiences and the beauty of distinct cultural expressions. Art evokes emotion, it plants the seeds for new ideas and critical consciousness, and rallies communities to action in a time when apathy has become the status quo. We at NNF believe that the beauty of art is both a right and a privilege, and our work focuses on democratizing access to the art projects that inspire us each day, bringing together cultures, disciplines, generations, and faiths.

Golden Thread Fairytale Players
Marin Shakespeare Company
Mimi’s Suitcase
The Immigrant Yarn Project

ARTogether is a community-building project that uses art and creative expression to lay the foundation for a new home beyond borders.

ARTogether is a resource center for refugees of the San Francisco Bay Area. Through creative arts and art therapy we develop the capacity to heal from trauma, and the enduring skills and confidence to navigate the hardships of starting over in a new home.

Our dream is to forge long-lasting relationships between the Bay Area’s diverse refugee communities and its many talented resident artists and art educators. ARTogether aspires to be part of a progressive tradition in California that drives positive change in the United States. and across the world.


Golden Thread Fairytale Players offer a repertoire of youth-oriented educational theater performances based on stories and traditions from the Middle East.

Inspired by popular performance traditions such as Hakawati, Ru-hozi, Naghalli, Karagoz, and Commedia dell Arte, Golden Thread Fairytale Players employ epic story-telling, puppetry and circus arts techniques in creating performances that draw from enriching folk tales and important historical texts. Far from being archaic museum pieces, these dynamic and humorous shows invite audience participation and make unexpected connections to contemporary culture.

Golden Thread Fairytale Players performances appeal to all audiences—children and adults—for their highly entertaining value and important capacity to develop deeper appreciation for diverse cultural traditions. They are 30-minute performances by two actors appropriate for families and children, ages 5-15. Performances also include a post-performance Question & Answer session with the cast, as well as an informational brochure containing background on themes of the play and resources for further learning.


Since 2015, Marin Shakespeare Company’s Returned Citizens Theatre Troupe has given former Shakespeare students from our prison programs the opportunity to continue their study of theatre and acting, to form a support group, and to tell stories of importance through theatre. Under the leadership of Suraya Keating, Marin Shakespeare Company’s Shakespeare for Social Justice Director, the group shares their stories with the public in order to explore important issues that affect us all, and have a positive impact on our world.

We invite you to join us free of cost for these heartfelt, thought-provoking and inspirational performances as Returned Citizens share true stories of hope, change, and courage from their lives.


With nothing but the titular suitcase, a raincoat and a scarf, this true story centers on questions of identity, immigration, women’s rights and involuntary displacement in a humorous and heartfelt portrayal of 27 characters in four languages. A tour-de-force performed in English, Spanish, French and Persian with English subtitles, Mimi’s Suitcase is a universal coming-of-age story of resilience and humanity at once relevant, vibrant and authentic.

The show premiered in NYC in 2015 as a bestseller at United Solo Festival and went on to win the Audience Choice Award for Best Play at Kulturverein Boje in Heidelberg, Germany, the following year. It has since been touring internationally performing in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami, Cologne, Toronto and Edinburgh where it was PICK OF FRINGE at 70th Edinburgh Festival Fringe (Chris on Theatre) and long-listed for an Amnesty Freedom of Expression Award.


As a direct protest to the 2017 Executive Orders limiting travel to the United States by people from largely Muslim-majority countries, San Francisco’s Grammy Award-winning Kronos Quartet premieres a new program featuring music from the original seven “banned” countries—Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen—among others.

Kronos’ Music for Change: The Banned Countries highlights a rich diversity of artistic voices, including works composed specifically for the performance, new collaborations, and signature works from Kronos’ extensive repertoire.


The Immigrant Yarn Project is the nation’s largest yarn-based work of public art in honor of our rich immigrant history. Hundreds of artist / knitter / activists from around the country are collaborating in a single, magnificent gesture of unity, solidarity, and yarn-based creativity in a celebration of our nation’s glorious diversity.

The Immigrant Yarn Project is a purely democratic (by the people) and colossal work of public art, representing a cross section of the American experience. We think it’s time to rise above division and come together to celebrate what we all have in common – citizenry in a nation composed of diverse backgrounds, families, politics, faiths, identities and ideas.