Sanctuary Salon

Event has passed (Thu Dec 14, 2017 - Fri Feb 23, 2018)
The Chapel at Fort Mason
07:00 PM
Art, Theater / Performance Arts


For its latest presentation of art about place, Sanctuary, FOR-SITE Foundation invited 36 artists from 21 different countries to design contemporary rugs reflecting on the notion of sanctuary, offering visitors a multiplicity of perspectives on the basic human need for refuge, protection, and sacred ground. Installed on the floor of the historic Fort Mason Chapel, the four-by-six-foot hand-knotted carpets call to mind traditional prayer rugs, but they transcend religious connotations, encompassing thoughtful viewpoints on cultural identity, sense of place, and belonging. 

Echoing the project's ethos of plurality, the Sanctuary Salon series weaves together the voices of artists whose practices span creative disciplines. Featuring a thoughtful selection of spoken word, music, dance, and film, invited guests will present and perform new or existing works that resonate with the thesis of the exhibition, allowing visitors to engage with and reflect on these themes in new and compelling ways.

FOR-SITE’s inaugural Sanctuary Salon will be held at the Fort Mason Chapel on Thursday, December 14th from 7:00pm to 9:00pm. Doors open at 6:30pm.

Guests for the evening include:
Basma EdreesOriginally from Cairo, Egypt, violinist Basma Edrees is a graduate of the Juilliard school where she received her Masters in Western Classical violin performance. Basma served as Associate Concertmaster of the Oakland Symphony during their 2015-2016 season. She has performed under the batons of many great conductors including Alan Gilbert, Daniel Barenboim and James Levine. Basma currently holds a substitute position with the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, as well as the Santa Rosa Symphony Orchestra. Basma has performed internationally at festivals in Egypt, Spain and Montenegro. She strives to use her music to bring people together and has performed in Ethiopia before the Ethiopian Foreign Minister and other dignitaries at an event seeking to further strengthen the relations between Egypt and Ethiopia. Equally at home with Arabic music, Basma has performed with renowned musicians from the Arab world and is currently the Music Director of the Aswat Women Ensemble—an all female community ensemble whose goal is to introduce the American public to Arabic music. Basma is currently a Part Time Collegiate Professor of Music Theory at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.Rachelle EscamillaBased in the Monterey Bay Area, California, Rachelle Escamilla is the host of the longest running poetry radio show in America, a prize winning poet, author, and founder of a number of programs and organizations all over the world. Escamilla’s non-fiction can be found in Mission Village Voice, BenitoLink, National Geographic, and In the Red Magazine.

Aisan Hoss Aisan Hoss is a dancer and choreographer from Tehran, Iran who started studying and performing Iranian dances at the age of twelve. At the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Contemporary Dance in London, Hoss completed a diploma in dance and a BA in Dance Theatre. At Trinity Laban, she found her passion for choreography and dance pedagogy, which inspired her to pursue an MFA in Dance and Choreography at Mills College. For Hoss, her passion for dance and choreography has been a means for gaining insight into her identity as an Iranian living outside of her home country. Inspired by modern Iranian culture, she gives voice to the quietest elements of her culture through choreography.

Persis KarimDr. Persis Karim is the Neda Nobari Chair of the newly-established Center for Iranian Diaspora Studies and a professor in the Comparative and World Literature department at San Francisco State University. She is the editor/co-editor of three anthologies of Iranian diaspora literature, the most recent of which is Tremors: New Fiction by Iranian-American Writers published by University of Arkansas Press, and has also written scholarly articles about literature and the culture of the Iranian-American experience. Her poetry has appeared in numerous publications including Callaloo, The New York Times, Culture Strike, Reed Magazine, and Caesura. 

Hossein MassoudiSteeped in the folkloric Kurdish vocal tradition of his native Iran, Hossein Massoudi integrates his love of Persian classical music with his Kurdish roots, resulting in a musicality which is rarely heard.  A former member of the San Francisco City Chorus, Hossein is largely a self-trained and intuitive singer, whose style reflects a union of these diverse traditions with his original interpretations, with an improvisatory approach that moves effortlessly from the soulful to the whimsical. Hossein was a founding member of Aleph Null (world, middle eastern, and jazz) ensemble from 1997 to 2014. 

Hafez ModirzadehSaxophonist/theorist Hafez Modirzadeh has performed, recorded, published and lectured internationally on original cross-cultural musical concepts which include "Convergence Liberation" (in Critical Studies in Improvisation, 2011), "Compost Music” (in Leonardo, 2009), "Aural Archetypes” (in Black Music Research, 2001), as well as “Chromodality” (for Wesleyan University, 1992). Twice an NEA Jazz Fellow, Dr. Modirzadeh received a Senior Fulbright Award in 2006 to work with Flamenco and Gnawan traditions in Andalucia and Morocco, and again in 2014, to research Turkish Makam harmonization in Ankara. He is currently a Professor of Creative/World Music at San Francisco State University.

Jessica MejiaJessica Mejia is a scholar and poet based in San Francisco. She is finishing her MA in comparative literature at San Francisco State University with a focus on 20th Century Literature of the Americas, and was selected by the California Pre-Doctoral Program as a Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholar for the 2017-18 academic year. She is an active performer and organizer for the Flor y Canto Literary Festival in the Mission. Her poetry explores the transformative nature of the family unit, music as an element of trauma and healing, and the Salvadoran diaspora. 

Asaf OphirAsaf Ophir has played woodwinds in Israeli musicals on such distinguished stages as Habima Theater, Cameri Theater of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem Theater, and Haifa Theater. Hailed for his passionate and versatile tone, Ophir moved to the United States in 2014, where he continues to perform a blend of classical, ethnic, and jazz music around the bay area. The San Francisco Chronicle writes: “Asaf Ophir gives the clarinet the timbre of trumpet, then a violin, then a raspy scream. In one climactic moment, seizing center stage, he scores a climb in pitch and volume so perfectly that the instruments wail almost becomes too plaintive and beautiful to bear.”
Adrienne SwanAdrienne Swan is a dancer, choreographer, teacher, builder, deep feeler, reality weaver, and student. She received her B.A. in Dance from Mills College in 2015. She teaches Creative Dance, integrating dance concepts, critical thinking, embodiment, joy, and personal autonomy into classrooms; she also teaches theater, encouraging imagination, role-play, and collaboration through folk tale and original story to facilitate social-emotional learning and communication skills. As a dancer, she has had the honor of dancing with Sarah Mitchelson, Molissa Fenley, Robert Moses' KIN and Aisan Hoss. She has presented her work in many venues, public spaces, homes, and on many cliff faces, with incredible people, through many mediums, shapes, energies, and site-specific actions.

Proceeds from Sanctuary Salon directly support FOR-SITE's presentation of Sanctuary.


  1. The Chapel at Fort Mason 2 Marina Blvd., San Francisco, CA