A.M. Qattan Foundation and Sweden discuss the impact of ‘Visual Arts: A Flourishing Field’ in the second annual meeting
On 16 January 2020, the A.M. Qattan Foundation (AMQF) organised its second annual meeting with Sweden, the funders of the Visual Arts: A Flourishing Field (VAFF) programme, at the Foundation’s headquarters in Ramallah. The meeting was attended on behalf of Sweden by Christina Etzell, Director of Development Cooperation, and Maria Ardaji, Director of Programmes from the Consulate General of Sweden; and for AMQF by Fida Touma, Director General; Mahmoud Abu Hashhash, Director of the Culture and Arts Programme; Majd Hajjaj, Resource Development Manager; Iman Sharabati, Project Coordinator for VAFF; Tarteel Moamer, Assistant Coordinator; and Project Accountant, Awni Wahbeh.
Fida Touma welcomed the attendees, and the meeting commenced by showcasing the project’s accomplishments during 2018, the second year of the VAFF project’s implementation. Touma noted the main results that were presented for the project’s mid-term evaluation, covering the years 2017 and 2018, the methodology of work, and the most important of the project’s achievements during that period – in particular the signing of eight agreements and the collaborations with different institutions throughout the West Bank (including Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip.
A brief presentation was given on the most important projects from the mid-term evaluation, with discussion of their management, the decision-making process and follow-up mechanisms, the impact on the beneficiaries, and the extent of the achievement of the set goals.
Christina Etzell praised the presentation and the current impact of the project. She also highlighted that measuring the project’s results now will be premature, as VAFF collaborates with long-term projects and she stressed the importance of seeing VAFF partners achieve a state of stability as a result of the awarded grants.
Eman Sharabati briefed the attendees on the final statistical results that reflect the numbers of activities, beneficiaries and participants during the first cycle of the project. The data was collected from partners following the conclusion of their grants, where the results achieved exceeded the anticipated goals and what was initially approved during the submission period as well as fine-tuned at the beginning of the first cycle of VAFF. This indicates the general public’s involvement in activities, its interaction with what the partners provide, and how these projects have affected the larger cultural landscape.
The meeting attendees also discussed the selection process for the second cycle, in which following the announcement of the grant, the receiving of the grant requests and the stages of the evaluation process that led to the development of each project, the jury selected six partner institutes from the first project cycle, and five new partners who had submitted various proposals.
Mahmoud Abu Hashhash highlighted the importance of the list of the beneficiaries in the second cycle, which include the Dar Qandeel for Arts and Culture, an organisation operating in Tulkarem in the north of the West Bank, and stressed the positive impact it can achieve and the potential development of the artistic movement in the region in particular. The second cycle will also be supporting two groups in Gaza, and will be a significant catalyst for the visual arts field in the region, opening new horizons and a diverse space for artists and those interested in the visual arts.
Abu Hashhash explained the interest of VAFF in educational programmes, such as the partnerships with Dar Al-Kalima University College, and the Faculty of Arts, Music and Design at Birzeit University, and the support given to the Visual Arts Forum’s programme, with the aim of influencing the overall scene, in parallel with other programmes that complement the project, in order to raise the quality and to build an enriching experience in the field of visual arts.
During the meeting, opportunities for future cooperation between AMQF and Sweden to expand further in the coming period were discussed.
This is the second meeting between the two parties. Sweden continuously monitors the project through periodic meetings and through field visits to the VAFF partners.
The project "Visual Arts: A Flourishing Field”, with the support of Sweden