Austin names Rehab El Sadek artist in residence

A native of Egypt now based in Austin will spend nine months embedded within the city’s Watershed Protection Department.

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Artist Rehab Al Sadek, the city of Austin’s new artist-in-residence. Contributed

A painter, photographer, printmaker and all-around creative sparkplug, Rehab El Sadek is also a social connector who has initiated workshops around women’s rights and children with disabilities among other causes. She has created art in Africa and Pakistan and has been exhibited in multiple European cities.

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‘HomeNightTopography’ by Rehab El Sadek. Contributed

She will not be required to make art, but rather to help city staff “resolve problems, provide innovative or new improvements, and help engage residents around community issues in creative ways,” according to a statement.

The University of Texas College of Fine Arts has put together a somewhat similar program with the Design Institute for Health at the Dell Medical School.

RELATED: After 135 years, a medical school is about to open its doors at UT.

Also, artists have already been embedded successfully with city workers, as witnessed recently at the Lift a Fork benefit for Forklift Danceworks at Springdale Station. Allison Orr and her company have famously created unique dance projects for sanitation workers, firefighters, electrical linemen and technicians and urban foresters.

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Lift a Fort for Forklife Danceworks. Michael Barnes/American-Statesman

Along the way, Danceworks has attracted international attention to Austin. They recently returned from Europe where they collaborated with sanitation workers and revisited gondoliers. The testimonials flowed as easily as the craft cocktails at the magical evening event and a half dozen of the diners engaged me in strikingly memorable conversations.

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Leslie Briggs and Kassandra Hendrix at Lift a Fork for Forklift Danceworks. Michael Barnes/American-Statesman

RELATED: “Dance explores art of everyday movement.”

Coming up from Danceworks: “My Park, My Pool, My City.” The Parks and Recreation Department actually approached Danceworks to help find out more about what could be done with three East Austin pools.


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