(Photo: part of promotional material my Al-Mawred Al-Thaqafy)
Al Mawred Al Thaqafy recently announced the launch of Tajwaal, a fund supporting international travel for Arab artists and cultural players.
Al Mawred will offer six to eight grants yearly, with financial support of up to USD 8,000, and a package of flight tickets, living cost support, visa fees as well as offering letters to ease the visa process.
“For us, a flourishing regional cultural scene is one in which artist's needs are seen as multiple and complex, and where services need to account for the different steps of artistic development. Institutionally, we are also very focused on finding creative ways to surmount difficult circumstances. So, we are excited to be announcing a grant like this, especially at a time when global mobility has become much more difficult and more expensive,” said Rana Yazaji, Al Mawred’s current director, in a press release.
The fund was created in response to witnessing the difficulties Arab artists face when travelling both regionally and internationally due to a lack of financial resources and difficulties in acquiring a visa, limiting their opportunity for growth and exposure, and their chances to collaborate and exchange practices with other artists outside their own circles.
Another deficiency the fund aims to help eliminate is how many international organisations opt to provide limited invitations to the same top-grossing artists.
The press release cites this as an uneven international representation of the diverse Arab cultural scene, and a missed opportunity for cultural exchange.
Anbara Abu Ayyash, director of the regional office in Lebanon, said they expect interesting developments on the culture scene to happen, seeing as this grant responds to major regional problems.
“We are confident that with our internal capacities and the need for more of these kinds of opportunities, this fund will create significant change in the near future. We also look forward to the new opportunities that will arise from the global cultural scene, now that there is an opportunity to alleviate the financial burden,” she states.
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