The Culture Resource (Al Mawred Al Thaqafy) is to launch its Beirut office on 5 July, it has said in a press release.
The launch ceremony, which will be preceded by the organisation’s artistic board biannual meeting, will host performances by Lebanese musicians Mike Massy and Charbel Haber, as well as the screening of Egyptian filmmaker Ahmed Khaled's White Sugar (2014), which received funding from the Culture Resource in 2013 and participated in the Cannes Film Festival.
Lebanon-based cultural organisations, cultural activists and Lebanese artists from different fields will be present at the reception.
The Culture Resource announced a freeze on all of its activities in Egypt last year and stated that it would continue to operate on the regional level, with the aims of supporting young Arab artists/writers and their artistic freedom, and helping them present and promote their work within the region.
The organisation had been active in Egypt for 10 years, from 2004 until it froze its activities in November 2014.
The Culture Resource did not provide clear reasons for this decision, but the announcement came at a time when a new NGO law was being drafted, and which civil groups stated was being designed to hamper groups that serve as rights watchdogs or spark criticism.
Elected in January 2015, the organisation’s current artistic board includes Mauritanian film artist and cultural activist Abdulrahman Salem (Board Director), Egyptian businessman and political activist Khaled Kandil (Deputy Director), Libyan poet, academic and cultural activist Khaled Mattawa (Secretary), Moroccan poet and cultural activist Murad Al-Qadery (Treasurer), Egyptian cultural manager and activist Basma El-Husseiny, Lebanese theatre director and cultural activist Hanan Al-Hajj Ali, and Palestinian visual artist and cultural activist Khaled Hourani. The board will serve until end of 2017.
Since its foundation in 2004, the Culture Resource has continued to support the independent cultural sector in countries of the Arab region, through its various programmes.
Besides its support for young Arab artists/writers, the Culture Resource has worked on developing cultural policy, monitoring cultural work environment, providing poor and marginalised communities with outreach access to culture activities and training young cultural managers on how to set up cultural projects where they live. It has also continued to play a role in the capacity building of cultural operators, through organising cultural management workshops.