El-Fan Midan workshop for children (Photo: Bassam El-Zoghby)
Minister of Culture Gaber Asfour, agrees to support El-Fan Midan (Art is a Square) which had been taking place on an almost monthly basis in Abdeen Sqaure since the revolution.
Artists and intellectuals who organise the festival including Poet Zein El-Abedeen Fouad, Publisher Somaya Amer, Culture Manager Marwa Helmy and Engineer Ahmed El-Khafif met with the minister on 30 June, with a request for the Ministry of Culture to financially support the festival.
The group also asked for support from the ministry in hosting the festival in other governorates in coordination with the State Culture Palaces in addition to obtaining a year-long permit.
The Minister is giving the festival 30,000 Egyptian Pounds on a monthly basis starting August, with a promise to increase the grant in the future.
This grant will enable the organisers of El-Fan Midan to develop and expand the festival in Cairo and other governorates.
In 2011, Emad Abu Ghazy, who was the Culture Minister at the time was financially supporting the festival through the ministry's budget. However, after his short-lived term, the support came to a halt.
The festival, which launched after the revolution, has sustained itself on voluntary action and individual donation since its inception. The festival is infused with politics and presents a wide range of artistic endeavours from graffiti to performing arts to film screenings and other activities.