The entirety of ArteEast’s conference, “Arts and Culture in Transformative Times: Expanding the Philanthropic Dialogue on the Middle East and North Africa,” is now online. The conference was organized by ArteEast, in collaboration with the Ford Foundation and its co-hosts, the Open Society Foundations, the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation and the British Council and was held in New York on October 29 at Asia Society, and October 30 at Open Society Foundations.
Here’s a description:
In the midst of the profound and rapid political changes across the region, artists, filmmakers, curators and arts leaders in the Middle East and North Africa are playing an increasingly vital role in driving cultural and social change both locally and regionally. A high visibility commercial art market centered in the Gulf often overshadows the significant cultural production that is emerging out of regional art centers from Beirut to Cairo, Damascus to Marrakesh, and Ramallah to Tunis. These cities have not only been home to a long history of Arab artistic production but are currently the sites of the most dramatic upheaval. Over the last few years we have seen a rise in the challenges that artists and art spaces in these cities face, at the same time that their role in society has continued to grow.
While European funders and arts institutions already engage with and provide support for these creative communities, involvement by U.S. foundations and arts institutions has comparatively lagged behind. This conference aims to serve as a catalyst for expanding engagement by the U.S. philanthropic and cultural communities and to open new opportunities for collaboration and arts exchange with MENA region.