H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Minister of Tolerance, Honours the 2nd Edition of the Cultural Excellence Fellowship Graduates

Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation and British Council Celebrate Creative Entrepreneurship with the Cultural Excellence Fellowship 2018

Training programme for young creative professionals brought together local emerging talent with established cultural and creative leaders from the UAE, UK and beyond

(Abu Dhabi, UAE: 26 June 2018): The second edition of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) and the British Council’s joint Cultural Excellence Fellowship (CEF) drew to a close with a private graduation ceremony held at the Majlis of H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, UAE Minister of Tolerance. Championing the UAE’s emerging talent and creative entrepreneurs, the group of 9 young Emirati Proteges and 9 UAE-based cultural pioneers concluded their 18-month creative entrepreneurship programme in the presence of H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, UAE Minister of Tolerance, H.E. Huda Alkhamis-Kanoo, Founder of ADMAF and Artistic Director of the Abu Dhabi Festival and Gavin Anderson, Country Director of British Council UAE.

The first of its kind skills development and cultural mentorship programme is co-owned and co-designed by ADMAF and the British Council in-line with the UAE 2021 Vision and the Abu Dhabi Vision 2030 to make a significant contribution in shaping the cultural and creative industries of the UAE.

Commenting on the graduation, H.E. Huda Alkhamis-Kanoo, Founder of ADMAF and Artistic Director of Abu Dhabi Festival said: “At the establishment of our great nation, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Founding Father of the UAE, had set in motion a vision for his people that would embrace our rich cultural heritage, and forge pathways for future generations to harness the power and opportunity that culture, and creativity can bring. As we join with the nation to celebrate the Year of Zayed we take this opportunity to recognise his legacy in the establishment of a robust and thriving cultural community.

At ADMAF, we are committed to the furthering of this legacy through capacity building initiatives that offer young Emirati creative professionals access to vital resources to enhance their knowledge and provide them with the skills needed to develop their individual careers. As such, it is a moment of great pride as we witness the graduation of the second Cultural Excellence Fellowship. Working closely with the British Council, the Cultural Excellence Fellowship has enabled us to create an instrumental platform for the UAE’s emerging talent that allows them to fulfil their creative and entrepreneurial aspirations. With another successful edition of the Fellowship, we hope to create a wide-spread community of cultural leaders who can support and inspire each other, while taking advantage of the wealth of experience that the programme’s industry leaders have to offer.”

Gavin Anderson, Country Director, British Council UAE said: “The British Council is so proud and happy to see the achievements of this latest cohort of Cultural Excellence Fellowship Graduates. As creative and cultural leaders of tomorrow they have already been exhibiting the passion and dedication to shaping our creative futures in their respective fields. Now through the Cultural Excellence Fellowship they have been equipped with a learning experience that includes both professional guidance and the right skillset to innovate and flourish in a fast-changing world and an ever-blossoming UAE.

We are honoured to have partnered and worked so closely with ADMAF in creating and developing the CEF programme, and we look forward with a sense of excitement and wonder to the future growth and development of this cadre of innovative cultural pioneers of tomorrow. Congratulations!”

Over the course of the two-year programme, the participants were given in-depth insights into the creative industries by thought leaders and professionals from a cross-section of sectors. The group of Emirati ‘Protégés’ collaborated with UAE-based distinguished cultural ‘Pioneers’ and regional cultural experts to exchange skills, knowledge and experience from a variety of disciplines. The programme encompassed a wide range of subjects and included: Business Planning led by Randa Haidar, Programme Manager, Culture Sector of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, and Tala Badri, CEF I Pioneer & Founder and Executive Director of the Centre for Musical Arts (CMA); an in-depth session on Marketing led by        Shady Assaad, Managing Partner at Johnson/Luke and Dr. Celeste M. Schenck, President of the American University in Paris; as well as an in-depth workshop on Presentation, Public Speaking & Networking Skills          led by Zakaia Cvitanovich, Faculty of Applied Communications, Higher Colleges of Technology Abu Dhabi            Habeeb, Ghuloom Al Attar, Theatre Trainer and Supervisor of Eyal Zayed Theatre of Arts.

The CEF programme concluded with the presentation of the participants’ final business plans to a selected committee.

Cultural Excellence Fellowship Protégés:

  • Amna Sakher Saif
  • Budoor Abdulqader Obaid Ali
  • Fawzeya Nasser Al Blooshi
  • Hajer Mubarak Al Madhi
  • Khawla Darwish
  • Nada Obaid Al Taher
  • Reem Al Atiqi
  • Sanaa Amro
  • Saeed Ahmed Alzubaidi

Cultural Excellence Fellowship Pioneers:

  • Ahmed Al Anzi
  • Elena Ashley Kauffmann
  • Liliana do Nascimento
  • Mouna Khorchid
  • Nasif Kamel Kayed
  • Paula Perissinotto
  • Sabeen Saleem
  • Shayma Halawa

About the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation

Patron: H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan,

UAE Minister of Tolerance

Founded in 1996, ADMAF is one of the oldest, not-for-profit cultural organisations in the Arabian Gulf. Pioneering new artistic practices, it seeks to deepen global cross-cultural dialogue and inspire a renewed interest in the creativity of the UAE and Arab world.

Often in partnership with leading national and international institutions, it delivers multidisciplinary initiatives for people of all ages, backgrounds and nationalities through the Abu Dhabi Festival, special projects and year-round education and community programmes.

In the visual arts, it contributes to artists’ professional development, seeks to enhance and elevate the UAE art scene through publications, grants, commissions and exhibitions, works in schools and universities to inspire and inform the next generation, and uses art to tackle social issues. Presenting the creativity of the UAE at home and abroad, ADMAF uses the visual arts to empower a nation and to secure a brighter future for its communities and its artists.