Since 2002 SPICE has collaborated with the Silk Road Project to conduct teacher professional development seminars and develop curricular materials. This study guide was developed to accompany Art in a Time of Crisis, a video interview featuring Silk Road Ensemble musicians Kinan Azmeh and Yo-Yo Ma. In the interview, Azmeh discusses what it means to create music during a time of crisis - recognizing the limits of art and understanding its strength.
The interview and study guide are recommended for use in courses such as music, social studies, and language arts at the high school level and above. Please note that neither the interview nor study guide delves into the specifics of the Syrian uprising in March 2011 (though it is mentioned by Kinan) and the Syrian Civil War. Rather, the interview and study guide focus on the theme “art in a time of crisis.”
After keeping silent for a whole year after the uprising began, Azmeh with visual artist Kevork Mourad, created Home Within, "a multimedia expression of the anger and sadness they have experienced over the past five years."