Little Amal, the internationally-celebrated 12-foot-tall puppet of a 10-year-old Syrian refugee girl, will be arriving in Baltimore on September 15-16, 2023 as part of her epic 6,000-mile journey across the United States this fall. Throughout the two-month trek, which will span more than 35 U.S. cities and towns for 100+ events, some of the country’s most influential cultural institutions and artists will come together to greet Amal and add their unique color to the rich tapestry of America’s story.
During her stop in Baltimore, Baltimore Center Stage, the Black Arts District, Creative Alliance, Love Groove Festival, Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore, The Charmery, and CHEER (Community Health and Empowerment through Education) will create a series of theatrical “events of welcome” for Amal.
All events along the route are an open invitation to the people of the towns and cities Amal is visiting. Some of the organizations and institutions that will share their unique vantage point of the U.S. narrative and take part in the journey include: national and local cultural institutions, theaters, community groups, government bodies, arts, civic society, faith groups and humanitarian organizations. All participating partners are outlined at https://walkwithamal.org/friends/united-states/.
Also announced today, “Amal From Afar” will provide off-route opportunities for Americans to engage with Amal. To celebrate the first night of Amal’s U.S. journey on September 7, anyone from anywhere in the country is invited to host their own version of “Tonight I Am Not Alone.” As the sun sets across the U.S., leading cultural institutions will stage their own events inviting communities of every kind to explore the power of a welcome to a newcomer. Details of how to take part are available now on walkwithamal.org.
People who wish to participate in this movement and are curious to learn about Amal’s story and corresponding themes can peruse a Little Amal reading list, as well as an educational pack for adults will also include a series of “simple acts,” which will suggest ways in which Americans can participate in migrant and refugee-supporting initiatives within their communities. Additionally, there will be video content available throughout the journey that everyone of all ages can engage with, which will be shared across The Walk Production’s social media platforms @walkwithamal on Instagram, @littleamalthewalk on TikTok, and at walkwithamal.org.
Amal Walks Across America is partnering with Welcome.US, Students Rebuild, Welcoming America, Libraries Without Borders, American Federation of Teachers, and others to involve school-age kids in the journey. Available in English, Spanish, Arabic and other languages, the free curriculum will be available at WalkWithAmal.org and include activities and challenges that explore Amal’s journey from her home in Syria to the many steps of her migratory journey.
Students Rebuild will continue their partnership with Little Amal through a number of community participatory events along the route where young people will be invited to create art for Amal as part of the Students Rebuild Extraordinary Earth Project. For every piece of art created for Amal, the Bezos Family Foundation donates funds to support community-based organizations serving youth around the world.
“Amal stands for unity and hope, and we couldn’t impart this message without the hundreds of partners, large and small, coming together to support us as we embark on this journey,” said The Walk Productions Artistic Director Amir Nizar Zuabi. “Each artist, organization and institution has a story to tell about their unique slice of American history and culture, and is inviting Amal and all Americans to learn about what makes this country’s heart beat.”
“We’re overwhelmed by the outpouring of interest that we’ve received from partners who wish to welcome Amal to their communities,” said The Walk Productions Producer David Lan. “These partners have not only supported on-the-ground efforts to create memorable in-person experiences, but also lent their support to our off-route efforts through ‘Amal From Afar,’ which Americans from all 50 states can engage with during the journey.”
Starting in Boston, MA on September 7 and culminating on November 5 in San Diego, CA, the journey will take Amal through the nation’s capital, the Midwest, the South and along the Southern border. A full list of events, including locations, times, and other pertinent information, will be released in August.
Amal Walks Across America is produced by The Walk Productions in association with Handspring Puppet Company, which also guided Amal’s journey through her initial 5,000-mile walk across Europe in 2021 and through all five boroughs of New York City in 2022 in partnership with St. Ann’s Warehouse.
Since the beginning of her journey, Amal has been welcomed in communities across the globe at various artistic-led events that are authentic and meaningful to the local people she meets. During her travels through Europe, Amal participated in events hosted by prominent cultural organizations and changemakers, including at an installation in Turkey that paid tribute to those who lost their lives crossing the Mediterranean in search of refuge and an appearance at Glastonbury alongside the Refugee Choir Citizens of the World Choir and global rock superstars Elbow. In New York City, she was welcomed at events hosted by world-renowned cultural institutions, including the American Museum of Natural History and the Brooklyn Children’s Museum.
The current schedule will trace Amal’s journey across the United States at the following planned stops:
- Boston, MA: September 7-9
- Ashfield, MA: September 10
- North Adams, MA: September 10
- Hartford, CT: September 12
- Philadelphia, PA: September 13-14
- Baltimore, MD: September 15-16
- Washington D.C.: September 17 and 19
- Pittsburgh, PA: September 20-21
- Cincinnati, OH: September 22
- Columbus, OH: September 22
- Akron, OH: September 23
- Ann Arbor: September 23
- Detroit & Dearborn MI: September 24, 26, 27
- Flint MI: September 26
- Chicago, IL: September 28 – October 1
- St. Louis, MO: October 1
- Memphis, TN: October 4
- Nashville, TN: October 5-6
- Chattanooga, TN: October 7
- Atlanta, GA: October 8, 10
- Birmingham, AL: October 11-12
- Montgomery, AL: October 12-13
- Selma, AL: October 13
- New Orleans, LA: October 14-15
- Lafayette, LA: October 18
- Houston, TX: October 19
- Austin, TX: October 20
- San Antonio, TX: October 21-22
- Uvalde, TX: October 24
- Marfa, TX: October 24
- El Paso, TX: October 25-26
- Nogales, AZ: October 27
- Tucson, AZ: October 28
- Joshua Tree, CA: October 29
- Los Angeles, CA: October 31 – November 3
- San Diego, CA: November 3-5
The Walk Productions is led by David Lan and Tracey Seaward. Playwright/Director Amir Nizar Zuabi serves as Artistic Director, Sarah Loader is Executive Producer, and the Associate Artistic Directors are Khadijat Oseni and Enrico Dau Yang Wey.
The U.S. Producing Partner for Amal’s journey is THE OFFICE performing arts+film, a global producing and production company that leverages art for social good. Amal’s Impact and Outreach will be led by The Soze Agency, a social impact creative agency located in Brooklyn, NY. Marketing and advertising for Amal’s journey will be led by Cause Lab, a human-centered advertising agency.
Amal was designed and built by the Handspring Puppet Company of South Africa, creators of the award-winning puppets for the hit show War Horse.
Amal is inspired by a character in Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson’s play The Jungle, about a refugee camp in Calais, France. The Walk 2021 was a co-production with Good Chance Theatre.
Amal Walks Across America was made possible with an inaugural investment from the Doris Duke Foundation, as well as leadership support from the Bezos Family Foundation. Additional generous support was provided by the Backstage Trust, the Barr Foundation, Sunny Bates, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Choose Love, The Conrad Prebys Foundation, the Donald A. Pels Charitable Trust, Ruby Lerner, the McMillan Stewart Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, Opportunity Fund, The Shapiro Foundation, Students Rebuild, the Thorne Cox Family Foundation, andBarbara Tober in honor of Diane Love.