2024 Assyrian International Art Competition

Date: April 4, 2024

At the Assyrian Cultural Foundation, we value the deep impact art can have on individuals across the world. A single painting can illustrate the richness of a culture, the resilience of a group of people, and the power of love. It is our mission as a Foundation to highlight the importance of art within our culture, as well as some of the brilliant Assyrian artists still practicing today.

From this, the Assyrian International Art Competition was born. Over the past few years, we have seen a range of gorgeous work produced by wildly talented Assyrian artists across the world, and we are excited to shine a light on even more of these individuals this year.

Love is the theme for the 2024 Assyrian International Art Competition. The final deadline for submission is Friday, November 1, 2024. You may submit to the competition at any point leading up to that date but are not permitted to submit after the deadline. Below are the submission requirements.

  1. Submitted works must reflect the year’s theme. You cannot submit a previous work from your collection. It must be an original design that does not violate any U.S. copyright laws.
  2. The submitted piece must be in a 2D medium. Acceptable mediums include painting, drawing, collage, or mixed media (a combination of the aforementioned mediums). Digital art will not be accepted. The use of AI will result in immediate disqualification.
  3. The piece must be a minimum of 5ft² (or 4645.15cm² in metric).
  4. You may not submit any work that has been published in any capacity, including submissions to previous art competitions, submissions to physical or virtual galleries, works sold as prints, or works that were posted on any social media platform (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, your personal website, etc). Doing so will result in disqualification.

Once you are satisfied with your piece, you may submit your artwork to us. Doing so is simple:

  1. Fill out the application form provided on our Fine Arts Program page. This includes a space for a brief artist statement to elaborate on the work and its relation to the theme in no more than 200 words.
  2. Once you have completed the application, you may submit the form along with three high-resolution pictures of your work to finearts@acf-us.org. The images must be at least 1080×1080 pixels in size in a JPG or PNG format. Do not include any filters or watermarks on the image.

You will be notified if your piece was selected as one of the Top 10 Finalists. These pieces will be shared across our social media in early November, followed by the top five later in the month. The top three will be unveiled in early December. The top three finalists will be asked to mail their works to the Foundation for final judging. Shipping costs of up to $500 will be reimbursed.

Please keep in mind that winning submissions become the exclusive property of the Assyrian Cultural Foundation in exchange for the prize money. ACF reserves the right to display, publish, and promote the item in any capacity upon the work’s acquisition. Finalists are subject to U.S. federal, state, and local taxes on their winnings, with international winners subject to a 30% tax deduction on winnings as per the U.S. federal tax code.

Good luck! We eagerly await the arrival of your inspirational pieces of artwork.

The Assyrian Cultural Foundation Presents: The Assyrian Renaissance

Date: May 17, 2023

The Assyrian Cultural Foundation Presents: The Assyrian Renaissance


Please join us for…
The Assyrian Renaissance
July 2nd 2023
Art Gallery opens at 4:00 pm, Concert at 6:00 pm
North Shore Center for the Performing Arts
Featuring exclusive works by Rasson Bet Yonan performed by the Northbrook Symphony and the Andrew Major Chorus


Tickets go on sale June 1
Starting at $25, up to $100 based on seat location
Students in our music, art, and tutoring programs are entitled to free tickets (limited availability)
Email tickets@acf-us.org for more information, or to request a purchase
Tickets can be purchased at the door on July 2


Music and art have always been foundational to the Assyrian Cultural Foundation. Through our diverse programs, it is our mission to uplift Assyrian artists of all ages and shed light on their incredible achievements. The Assyrian people have long since been creating impressive pieces of art to be admired, but to many people, the Assyrian people fell into obscurity with Mesopotamia.


That is far from the truth—and this is from where the Assyrian Renaissance rises. In Latin, the word “Renaissance” translates to “rebirth.” On July 2, we illustrate that this group of people has always been with us, and always will be, in the Assyrian Renaissance produced by President and Music Director, Tiglat Issabey, and Assistant Music Director, Barbara Bright-Read. Through the gorgeous work of talented musicians and artists, the achievements of these perseverant people in art and culture are reborn to the eyes and ears of a new generation.


The Assyrian Renaissance takes place on July 2, 6:00pm, at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts. There, attendees can explore a world of Assyrian culture, beginning with a gallery entirely comprised of work by Reni Stephan. Then, guests will enter the concert hall to explore Assyrian folk songs and stories through a series of etudes, an Assyrian Rhapsody, and a symphony titled Khwara Khwara, Khawara Kooma.


Learn more about the brilliant musicians bringing the Assyrian Renaissance to life.
Rasson Bet-Yonan (composer)— Rasson Bet-Yonan helps keep the Assyrian culture alive in his music—from composing full-scale orchestral works that highlight Assyrian folk melodies to providing Assyrian students high-caliber music education. Through his teachings, he hopes to cultivate the next generation of bright, well-rounded Assyrian students.


Hannibal Alkhas (lyrics)— Hannibal Alkhas was an Assyrian sculptor, painter, and author, born in 1930 in Iran. He pursued his passions all his life, from moving to Chicago to study at both Loyola University and the Art Institute of Chicago, to teaching in both the States and Iran. Though his poetry and artwork gained him much acclaim, it is his children’s story, Khwara Khwara, Khawara Kooma, that he is potentially best known for. The final performance of the night uses the text of Khwara Khwara to tell the beautiful story of finding friends in the most unlikely of places.


Mina Zikri (conductor)—Mina Zikri is a professional violinist and conductor who has led renowned ensembles such as the Oistrakh Symphony of Chicago and the National Symphony in Egypt. He currently serves as a faculty member of DePaul University Community Music Division, the resident conductor of the Lira ensemble, and the Music Director of the Northbrook Symphony Orchestra.


Andrew Major (conductor)—Andrew Major is a versatile conductor, singer, and pianist interested in exploring historic and contemporary choral music to ask questions about the world in which we live. Andrew has a proven track record of culturally-relevant programming, dynamic collaborations, and community building as the artistic director and conductor of Roots in the Sky, a chamber choir that he founded as an undergraduate at Montana State University. Andrew holds graduate degrees in choral conducting from the Bienen School of Music (DMA and MM).


Benjamin Taylor Watkins (pianist)— Benjamin Taylor Watkins is a versatile musician who believes in the power of artistic collaboration to transform lives and communities. He was educated at Northwestern University (B.M. in piano, cum laude) and Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music (M.M. and D.M. in piano). In praise of his performance of Joseph Schwanter’s In Evening’s Stillness, the Herald Times proclaimed “Watkins Conquered the Steinway.”


Sargon Sargis (tenor)—A powerful tenor, Sargon Sargis was born in Chicago, Il to Assyrian parents. Since early childhood, he had dreams of becoming a singer. He first developed a love for Italian songs through classic American cinema, then for Assyrian singing through the influence of his father. Striving for excellence and continuous learning, he began studying with Rasson Bet Yonan in 2012. The two formed a strong bond as student and teacher, inspiring one another. The two are working on an album to be released sometime this year.


Leah Rose Fisher (soprano)—Assyrian-American, Leah Rose Fisher, is a New York City-based singer, voice teacher, and performing artist. She holds a Master’s Degree in Music from New York University with an advanced certificate in Vocal Pedagogy. Leah is active in film and television, in the recording studio for both albums and voiceover work, and on stage in concerts, theater, musical theater, and opera. Over the years, Leah has been able to sing for audiences large and small both nationally as well as across the globe.


Reni Stephan (multi-medium artist)— The Assyrian Renaissance art gallery is entirely comprised of work by multi-medium artist, Reni Stephan. From a young age, Stephan’s artistic prowess was easily recognizable. In his work, he combines his passion for the Assyrian culture with his love of art. His art can be found in prominent places of worship, community organizations, and commercial establishments across the United States.


Tickets go on sale on June 1 through the Assyrian Cultural Foundation. Email tickets@acf-us.org to request a purchase, or purchase them at the door on July 2. We look forward to sharing with you a beautiful world of music and art unlike any other.