For more than a decade, The Markaz has operated essentially as a nexus for Middle Eastern/North African arts and cultures, where people of all faiths mingle, learn and celebrate together. Most of the center's income has gone to pay basic overhead and the salaries of artists and teachers. We now must strengthen the core operation, by increasing our professional staff, and improving our daily working conditions (better classrooms, bathrooms, kitchen, performance space, sound equipment, marketing system, intern and volunteer retention and so forth). To do that requires operational support. It costs just $120,000 per year to run our center in its current form.