Did we mention that BAM and Asia Society are currently hosting the first of what will surely become an annual academic conference and arts festival hybrid called Muslim Voices: Arts & Ideas? The fest features music, film, lectures, readings, visual art (including Edward Grazda's street photography of New York's inconspicuous mosques, pictured) and a production of Shakespeare's Richard III recast as an oil economy dictatorship. The international slate of events prizes the variety of voices emerging from the region, highlighting diversity rather than seeking some fictional unifying trend. Muslim voices continues through June 14.
On a similar and purely co-incidental note, the big new show at the Queens Museum of Art takes a similar stance on the artistic production of the region. Tarjama/Translation, which continues at the QMA through September 27, features nearly 30 artists working in all manner of media and offering different takes on their national and regional identities.