The A. M. Qattan Foundation sought to establish the Public Programme as one step towards achieving its vision and strategies to empower free and critical individuals and a dynamic Palestinian and Arab culture, through a long-term, participatory developmental ethos.
The Public Programme is a transformative programme based on a series of curated events and activities that aim at questioning the intricate social and economic processes that shape our contemporary landscape. The Programme caters its activities to a wide array of audiences and geographies, each according to their specific culture and cognition. This is achieved through fostering critical thinking, research, creativity, collaborations, networking and production of knowledge, aiming at providing inspiring models of a just social cohesion, multiplicity, and independency.
The Public Programme is complementary to the three other programmes of the A. M. Qattan Foundation, namely the Culture and Arts Programme, the Childhood Programme and the Educational Research and Development Programme. The Public Programme is foreseen to combine an approach of reciprocal development of public activities together with the aforementioned programmes, while keeping a balance between its own cultural directions and the foundation’s interests, yet focusing on the provision of inclusive and excellent standards of public service.
The Public Programme strives beyond the classical semantics that define the word ‘public’. ‘Public’ is a word that concerns itself with the intricate social and economic processes that shape a place in a specific bounded geography and it differs in its definition and its production of visual identities from one landscape to the other. Therefore, the Public Programme caters activities and programmes to a wide array of audiences and geographies each according to their specific culture and cognition. This is achieved through fostering critical thinking, research, creativity, collaborations, networking and production of knowledge, aiming at providing inspiring models of a just social cohesion, multiplicity, and independency.
The following generic directions frame the operations and planning of the Public Programme within the effective period of the A. M. Qattan Foundation’s Strategic Plan 2016 – 2018. The following directions concern themselves with the programme’s mandates and active relationship to the Foundation’s Programmes as shown below:
- Embracing the definition of the ‘public’ as stated in the introduction of this document, whereby the ‘public’ concerns itself with the intricate social and economic processes that shape a place in a specific bounded geography, yet it differs in its definition and its production of visual identities from one landscape to the other.
- Considering events, activities and produced structures as ‘means’ for building long processes of public engagement and development and not as ‘ends’. These diverse public activities (that includes but is not limited to exhibitions, walks, tours, visits, film screenings, theatrical, musical and dance performances, lectures, panel discussions, publications and workshops) are milestones for bigger planned annual and seasonal public interventions rather than being looked at as scattered and disconnected activities.
- Embracing by means of the latter definitions the term ‘audiences’ as a multiplicity of groups, stakeholders, beneficiaries and actors and not as one bulk. Subsequently the transformations of concepts and themes into ‘activities’ should cater for the multitude of audiences and geographies, with high sensitivity to their cultural identity, needs, differences and cognition.
- Looking at cultural beyond its sublimity and aesthetical value. Culture is seen as one of the few left platforms regionally for producing critical knowledge that induces social change, resilience and political imagination.
- Producing via its planned programmes and activities, transmittable and contagious active knowledge that can enable other groups to become catalyst for re-production and re-circulation of the active knowledge.
- Integrating, as much as possible, within the building and planning of the annual/ seasonal programmes a dynamic relationship with the Palestinian extended populous and geography (Gaza, West Bank Jerusalem, Palestine 1948, Diaspora).
- Connecting the activities of the Public Programme as much as possible, in terms of their planning, developing and designing with locations, social spaces and venues outside the premises of the A. M. Qattan building.
- Integrating as much as possible, in building and planning the Public Programme’s annual/ seasonal programmes, a dynamic relationship to relevant regional and international networks, events and partners.
- Fostering awareness and understanding of the Foundation’s mission and values through building and designing its creative activities and innovative events, including the ethos of green buildings.
- Developing and nurturing existing networks and cultivating new partnerships with curators, collectives, activists, artists, researchers, galleries, museums, institutions, schools and universities at the local, regional and international levels, to ensure that the programme remains innovative, cutting edge and responsive to its contemporaneity.
- Utilizing the documentation of the implemented programmes and activities in creative and relevant forms to reach out other local, regional and international audiences.
- Adopting an evolving a transformative approach in planning, developing and implementing the programmes and activities, by means of assessing, and evaluating the learning outcomes, and social impact of implemented activities and programmes, and subsequently reassess strategically the used methodologies, concepts, audiences, products and resources to restructure the Public Programme approach to public events.
- Preparing the annual programme’s budget, and conducting cost and expenditure. tracking activities in close coordination with the Director of Finance and relevant staff
- Overseeing the content of the programme’s communication material in coordination with the Director of Communication and Public Relations.
- Encouraging internship and volunteering in the diverse programme activities
- Conducting regular and annual programme appraisals and identifying the Public Programme’s development and needs.
- Forming internal policies, relevant to the mandate of the Public Programme such as acquisitions policies, cultural events policies, cultural funding policies, residency, collaborations and partnerships, facility management policies and others to be determined.
- Preparing and presenting regular narrative and progress reports including those for the Foundation’s semi-annual, annual and public reports.
Relationship with the Foundation’s Programmes
- Working closely with the Foundation’s Programmes on developing creative, outstanding and engaging models forms and content of their public events.
- Contributing to the development of the artistic programme and directions of the jointly organized festivals/biennials and managing the implementation of the Foundation’s public activities in these events.
- Employing the archives and documentation of the Foundation’s Programmes in creative and relevant forms to reach out wider local, regional and international audiences.
- Extending the programme’s reach through programme delivery off site, including through touring opportunities and learning and engagement projects and initiatives, to ensure that the general public is able to gain greater access to the Foundation’s programmes and activities.
- Partaking in the formulation of the foundation’s general policies, relevant to work all Programmes.
- Partaking in the creation of a unified database in terms of the addresses of contacts, partners, and stakeholders of all the Foundation’s programmes.
- Preparing and overseeing an annual audience development strategy to attract new and sustain existing audiences, and engage audiences with special needs, in close coordination with the Director of Communication and Public Relations.
To ensure optimal operations within the Public Programme, and guarantee outcomes executed efficiently and effectively, the following employment scheme was devised to ensure such calibre. The structure was designed in accordance to the programme’s mandates explained above, in addition to the internal relationship of the Public Programme with the Foundation and its Programmes: Culture and Arts Programme, the Childhood Programme and the Educational Research and Development Programme. The proposed employment structure below is appended with a generic job description:
- Programme Director (Head Curator): Planning, Development and Management
This position is under a direct responsibility of the Director general of the foundation. Responsible for designing and implementing a dynamic, innovative and successful public programme, with the aim of creating a unique cultural programme with a regional and international reputation in Palestine. This senior level position will aim at achieving this through the efficient implementation of the Programme’s initiatives and activities in line with the Foundation’s vision, mission, objectives and strategic plan and in close coordination with its core programmes and key stakeholders and beneficiaries.
- Curator of External Programmes
Under a direct responsibility of the Head Curator the Curator of External Programme leads the development of a full, balanced and dynamic external activities programmes in tandem with the Head Curator and Foundation’s staff. Ensure the organization and coordination of all external programmes of the PP. Oversee the planning, development, implementation, and management of the PP’s approved budget and resources. Work closely with the Outreach Officer and museum operations team to ensure all programs and events are aligned with the overarching curatorial vision. Organize and collaborate with all Foundation’s Programmes to produce their external activities, as may be required. Produce interpretive texts for each project, including texts for brochures, catalogues, and any other advertisement and media texts.
- Curator of in-house Programmes
Under a direct responsibility of the Head Curator the Curator of In-House Programme leads the development of a full, balanced and dynamic in-house activities programme in tandem with the Head Curator and Foundation’s staff. Ensure the organization and coordination of In-house programmes of the PP. Oversee the planning, development, implementation, and management of the PP’s approved budget and resources. Work closely with the Outreach Officer and technical operation team to ensure all programs and events are aligned with the overarching curatorial vision. Organize and collaborate with all Foundation’s Programmes to produce their in-housel activities, as may be required. Produce interpretive texts for each project, including texts for brochures, wall texts, captions, catalogues, and any other advertisement and media texts.
- Project Coordinator: coordination of projects, reporting, scheduling, budgeting
Under a direct responsibility of the Head Curator the Project Coordinator is responsible for the coordination and delivery of public projects and programming that integrate values of research, education, culture and arts in their form and content. Ensuring viability between the Public Programme and the planned projects, both external and in-house, in terms of partners and audiences are established and maintained. Implementation, monitoring, evaluation, and reporting on projects in accordance with established concepts and agreements, identified work plans, and organizational plans and priorities. Develop funding applications and proposals, including budgets related to cultural projects and programmes. Identify sustainability gaps and develop solutions and strategies to mitigate these gaps.
- Outreach Coordinator: learning programmes, reporting, scheduling, site visits
Under a direct responsibility of the Head Curator the Outreach Coordinator is responsible for planning and co-ordinating the PP’s outreach programmes and publicize it’s activities in local communities and amongst different social groups and ensure their effective engagement. Responsible of developing formal and informal learning programmes based on the activities and directions of the PP. Take lead in developing and adjusting the activities to meet the diverse audiences and meet the learning and experiential prospects of the Foundation. Provide volunteering opportunities for the diverse in-house and external activities. Pursue and Explore partnerships with local and national organizations.
Under a direct responsibility of the Head Curator the interns participate in the preparation, coordination and implementation of the PP annual programmes and activities. This will in turn give you a number of formal and informal learning opportunities that will assist them with their future career. Interns do not need previous experience of working in a museum or gallery to undertake an internship at PP. Internship experience range in different fields including curatorial, marketing, and learning, with each placement generally lasting between one and six months.