Alserkal Arts Foundation

Alserkal Avenue, Dubai / United Arab Emirates

March 22, 2019
Alserkal Avenue
Al Quoz 1
United Arab Emirates

[email protected]
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Supporting socially engaged, multi-disciplinary practices through public art commissions, residencies, research grants, and educational programmes

Emirati businessman and cultural patron Abdelmonem Bin Eisa Alserkal has announced the launch of a non-profit foundation dedicated to fostering artistic development in Dubai, and to creating cross-cultural exchange between local and international artists and scholars. Alserkal Arts Foundation will offer cultural practitioners—either based in Dubai, or whose practice critically investigates themes pertinent to the region's artistic community—opportunities for research, scholarship, and artistic production, through its four core initiatives: public art commissions, residencies, research grants, and educational programmes. 

Abdelmonem Bin Eisa Alserkal has a longstanding commitment to the arts, both as a philanthropist and as the founder of Alserkal, a socially responsible cultural enterprise, whose platforms and initiatives include the renowned cultural district, Alserkal Avenue, in the Al Quoz industrial area of Dubai. The Foundation will serve as the non-profit arm of Alserkal, providing a new, formalised structure for the organisation’s existing non-profit activities, such as Alserkal Residency and its annual public art commissions, in addition to developing new initiatives that promote discourse in Dubai. All of Alserkal Arts Foundation’s activities will be supported by Abdelmonem Bin Eisa Alserkal and the Alserkal family. 

The Foundation will offer cultural practitioners a singular opportunity to advance their projects through its four core initiatives. The Alserkal Residency programme was established in 2017 as a platform for artistic experimentation and dialogue, seeking to support multi-disciplinary practitioners as they research themes pertinent to their respective practices. The programme is designed to be immersive, and to engage the local interdisciplinary community through a series of public events and conversations. The Residency directly supports the Foundation’s broader mission, focusing on research-based and socially engaged practices. 

Alserkal Arts Foundation’s public art commissions critically and creatively investigate themes pertinent to the region’s arts community, and support practitioners whose projects are collaborative, participatory, and ephemeral. Rhodiola, a project by Athens-based collective 3 137 exploring the idea of maintenance in everyday life, opened in Warehouse 90 (formerly Nadi Al Quoz) on March 18 to mark the start of Art Week at Alserkal Avenue, marking the 19th artist commission. Alserkal Arts Foundation’s commissions take place annually each spring. Alserkal Arts Foundation’s Educational Programmes will be delivered through colloquia, seminars, and reading groups that are open to the general public and are interactive and participatory in nature.  

Alserkal Arts Foundation’s Research Grants are designed to support radical, innovative, and contemporary research that challenges traditional modes of practice in a variety of fields. The grants are intended to support inter-disciplinary proposals, comparative studies, and societal discourses that link the arts, humanities and social sciences in the context of the MEASA (Middle East, Africa and South Asia). Individuals and collectives that dynamically aim to disrupt conservative boundaries between conventional disciplines are invited to apply. Potential grant awardees can include, but are not limited to, multidisciplinary artists, architects, writers of fiction and non-fiction, independent publishers, documentary filmmakers and educators, geographers, historians, economists, and social scientists. Applicants who demonstrate a strong interest in pursuing broad, intersectional, and experimental approaches to research in their respective fields are preferred. Submissions for the 2020 grants will open on October 1, 2019, and remain open unti January 31, 2020. Grants will be issued for individuals up to USD 5,000, duos and collectives up to USD 10,000, and independent publishers up to USD 10,000. The first grant recipients will be announced in fall 2020. 

Further details on each of the above initiatives will be announced in the coming months.