NeighborhoodsDelhi Township, Holt & Southside Lansing

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Foreign House promotes diversity and inclusion in arts

Foreign House
Posted at 6:00 AM, Aug 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-16 08:17:49-04

LANSING, Mich. — Siham Hassan has always had a love for film.

“I am really interested in the film industry, but growing up, I didn’t really find the right opportunities for me,” Hassan said.

So she decided to create some of her own.

“I wanted to make those right opportunities for myself and really just create a pathway for others to take,” Hassan said.

So, she started Foreign House, a collaborative film group that promotes inclusion and diversity.

“Foreign House really is here to promote positivity," Hassan said. "We’re here to make the environment more inclusive especially within the social media space.”

Foreign House
Foreign House is made up of artists including makeup artists like Drian Bautista who is from the Philippines.

Singers, songwriters, models, designers and makeup artists have come together from the U.S., Philippines, Jordan, Canada and India.

“Yes we are different, yes we are unique in our own ways, however, our differences do not have to be a break between us," Hassan said. "It could be a way for us to come together and work together as a community.”

Foreign House
Delia Bechmann plays her guitar outside of the building they're hoping to buy.

Delia Bechmann has been with Foreign House from the beginning.

“The idea and the story behind what foreign house is and what foreign house stands for was really interesting to me because I love meeting new people and experiencing the world through other peoples eyes," Bechmann said.

She said it's given her a space to collaborate with other artists like Zyair Ayanna.

“I’ve met so many amazing people through this and gained so many opportunities," Ayanna said. "I love it.”

Foreign House also provides opportunities for people interested in behind-the-scenes work like Katarina Keeley and Hannah Dauncey.

“When I heard what it’s about like it’s message, how its an inclusive and creative place I was like ‘Oh gosh, I’m all in, I want to join this,” Keeley said.

“I’m really into the whole, showing other diverse communities in the film industry especially in the internet industry,” Dauncey said.

Foreign House
Foreign House also has artists like Ella who paints custom shoes.

But there's one thing missing: their own space.

“Right now, we’ve just been doing everything through Zoom meetings,” Hassan said.

“Zoom's good and whatnot, but it’s a lot more to like work with people and see each other and have like an office space would be a lot more official,” Keeley said.

Building for sale
Hassan said they hope to buy the former Stock and Field building in Edgewood Boulevard.

Their next goal is to buy the building in Edgewood Boulevard that used to be Stock and Field.

“We want to renovate this building and maybe like have a stage inside of it," Hassan said. "This building is meant for us and we really want to make that positive impact with this building.”

When asked what they love most about Foreign House, they all said the people. Now they just want to bring people together even more.

“It’ll give us a chance to really, I guess like, to build creatively together, all in one space,” Ayanna said.

“It would just bring me a lot of joy because my music is my craft,” Bechmann said.

Hassan has set up a GoFund Me to raise money towards purchasing the building. A link to that can be found here.

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