The AMQF’s “Visual Arts: A Flourishing Field” (VAFF) Project Kicks Off With Signing Agreements For Grants Totaling $520,500
As part of the first round of funding in the VAFF project, the A.M. Qattan Foundation (AMQF) has signed three grant implementation agreements with three Palestinian organisations: The Tamer Institute for Community Education, the Young Artists Forum and the Khalil Sakakini Cultural Centre.
The Tamer Institute for Community Education received the first grant of the VAFF project. The US$160,000 grant will support the Institute’s “History of Palestinian Art for Children” project, which aspires to raise cultural awareness and knowledge of the visual arts among children and young people in Palestine. Through the grant, the Tamer Institute will produce and promote high quality children’s stories based on the lives of a number of prominent artists in Palestinian art history. It will also translate and publish a book for children on the history of art. The project also aims to build capacities and provide training in children’s book illustration.
‘I believe our project is important as it seeks to produce quality outputs that will be handed down from one generation to another’, the Director of the Tamer Institute, Ms. Renad Qubbaj, said in commenting on the goals of the VAFF programme. The Tamer Institute for Community Education is a non-profit organisation established in 1989, during the first Intifada, which aims to design and implement locally-specific pedagogy in response to the urgent needs within the Palestinian community. The Tamer Institute upholds the right to a high-quality education, to the exploration of identity, freedom of expression and access to information. In the Tamer Institute’s publications, a high focus on the quality of the artistic and visual elements is evident.
The AMQF signed the second grant agreement of US$155,000 with the Palestinian Young Artists Forum in support of its “Visual Arts Education Programme”, a programme that aims to relaunch the Young Artists Forum’s activities in Ramallah and to develop its institutional capacities and sustainability. The Visual Arts Education Programme intends to further develop the Forum’s art education curriculum, in addition to implementing specialised training for trainers on pedagogical methods related to the existing curriculum. The programme will also develop the Forum’s overall strategy and its financial and administrative policies, as well as contribute to producing and implementing a fundraising plan to ensure sustainability.
The Chair of the Forum’s Board of Directors, Mr. Sameh Aboushi, said, ‘This grant is essential to the Forum, especially as it will assist in relaunching our activities after a disruption of three years due to a lack of funding. The grant will support the Forum’s core activities, with their focus on teaching visual arts to children.”
The Young Artists Forum was established in Ramallah at the end of 2002 as a non-profit cultural organisation specialising in fine arts training for children and young people. The main goal of the Forum is to raise the standards of art education in the society in general and among young people in particular.
The third grant agreement was signed with the Khalil Sakakini Cultural Centre for US$205,500, in support of its project “Infrastructure, as a Cultural Project”. This project aims to improve the quality of the Centre’s activities, fostering its ability to attract wider audiences and implementing a resource mobilisation programme in order to strengthen the Centre’s institutional capacities and its sustainability. Besides renovating the Centre’s infrastructure, the grant will also support the implementation of the visual art programme, the development of its strategic plan and its financial and administrative systems.
The Chairman of the Board of Directors, artist Yazan Khalili said, ‘We are happy to receive this well-timed grant. It is hoped that it will shift the prevailing funding approach into a more organic mechanism based on partnership. We also hope the grant will help us deepen partnerships with other organisations working in the field of culture.”
The Khalil Sakakini Cultural Centre is a non-governmental, non-profit organisation dedicated to the promotion of arts and culture in Palestine. Known as the Sakakini Centre, it was founded in 1996 and is located in Ramallah in a restored traditional mansion.
Mahmoud Abu Hashhash, the Director of the AMQF’s Culture and Arts Programme, said, “The A.M. Qattan Foundation intends, during the next few weeks, to provide five additional grants as part of the first round of VAFF project. With these eight grants, the VAFF project will have provided around US$1.6 million to eight organisations, which include the main visual art organisations working in the West Bank, as well as Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.
VAFF is a $4 million sub-granting project being implemented over a period of 6 years, from 2017 to 2022. It aims to enhance the capacities and sustainability of visual arts organisations, develop their artistic and educational programmes, learning and research opportunities, and to enable art organisations to extend support to artists and art professionals for the production of innovative works and community-based art projects. VAFF was developed through a participatory approach that involved several visual arts institutions and artists in Palestine, in order to best identify and address the needs of the visual arts scene through the project.
The project is funded by the Consulate General of Sweden represented by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).