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6th Informal Donors Meeting of Arts and Culture in the Arab Region

The Anna Lindh Foundation hosted and organized the 6th informal donors meeting in its premises at the Swedish Institute of Alexandria from 25 to 26 February 2013.

The two day donors meeting was held with 27 individuals attending, representing 18 different institutions, cultural centers and embassies working to support contemporary arts and culture practices across the Arab region. The meeting also served as an inspiring visit to a thriving city and cultural capital of the Arab region.

Speaking on the ‘Status of the Arts and Culture Sector after the Arab Spring,” during the first session, the donors took stock of what has been achieved in the past two years in terms of cultural production and policy comparatively across the region and examined challenges, threats and opportunities arising from the latest changes in the region.
The meeting tackled an important point stressing on the role of an Artist as an Active Citizen”, where it invited 2 external speakers representing their good practices, in order to share their experience with the participating donors. External speakers were Nora Amin and her nation-wide Theater of the Oppressed project and Ayman Helmy from the Fan al-Midan festival project. The two artists/activists provided valuable insight on what drives artists to be engaged in social change.

The day continued with a very rich discussion about “Achieving Sustainability”, where it tried to highlight on important questions such as what is the clear meaning of sustainability, and how can donors encourage the successful autonomy and continuity of initiatives.

The first day has ended with a field visit to Wekalet Bahne for Cinema, managed by Gudran for Arts and Culture, where participating donors had the chance to interact with the new space team.

Day two of the meeting delved deeper into “The effect of the current political transformation on grant making in arts and culture followed by a discussion on “The impact of the Global Economic crisis on cultural funding”.

The meeting concluded with discussions and recommendations for improved cooperation between the present donor representatives and produced one final document with a set of recommendations for follow up until the coming meeting.

It was agreed that the British Council would host the next and 7th edition of the informal donors meeting with location and dates to be determined later in the year.

For more information about the donors meeting, please contact Chaymaa Ramzy