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Emirates News Agency – Abu Dhabi Music and Art Foundation inaugurates ‘Art in Embassies’ in Paris

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ABU DHABI, 11th July, 2023 (WAM) — Under the honorary patronage of His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Honorary Patron of Abu Dhabi Festival, Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation (ADMAF) unveils Art in Embassy project with an engaging panel discussion at the UAE Embassy in Paris, in the presence of Sheikha Shamsa bint Hamdan bin Mohammed Al, Assistant Chairperson for Women’s Affairs, UAE Red Crescent Part of the festival organized under the patronage of Nahyan Affairs and Chairman of the Ataya Initiative Higher Committee.
Entitled ‘The Evolution of the UAE Art World’, the event featured renowned curator Maya El Khalil, editor and writer Melissa Gronlund and Emirati conceptual artist Maitha Abdalla.
Panelists shed light on the remarkable 50-year journey of the UAE’s art scene, discussing its growth, transformation and contribution to the global art landscape. The event demonstrates ADMAF’s commitment to promoting cultural exchange and nurturing artistic talent.
The panel discussion provided a platform for insightful dialogue and valuable perspectives, emphasizing the importance of cultural diplomacy and intercultural dialogue. Attendees had the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the UAE’s vibrant art scene and its profound influence on the international art scene.
In his opening remarks, Hender Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to France, said: “Art and culture are an important part of the mission of the UAE Embassy in Paris and a fertile ground for the flourishing of our bilateral relationship with France… is at the heart of the societies of our two countries and thus forms the backbone of French-Emirati diplomacy. ADMAF could not have chosen a better country than France to launch its programme.”
Huda Alkhamis-Kanoo, Founder and Artistic Director, Abu Dhabi Music and Art Foundation, said:
“We are delighted to be partnering with the United Arab Emirates Embassy in France to launch the inaugural event of our latest landmark initiative ‘Art in the Embassy’. This new initiative reaffirms our commitment to fostering cultural exchange through the power and impact of the arts And to create deeper connections between countries and cultures. Arts at Embassies aims to strengthen cultural partnerships and cultural diplomacy, opening doors for Emirati artists to showcase their talents on the global stage, while challenging perspectives through the exchange of ideas, disseminating knowledge to inspire profound Transform and improve understanding among nations.
“We are delighted to launch this initiative in Paris and to host a panel discussion with curator Maya El Khalil and writer and editor Melissa Gronlund on the incredible evolution of the UAE art scene, their success in ADMAF’s historic publication Played a pivotal role in Portrait of a Nation II and The Art of the UAE II. Join talented Emirati artist Maitha Abdalla, whose invaluable insights reflect on how the arts allow us to explore the depths of our shared humanity and celebrate the rich diversity of our civilization , covering the essence of initiatives that aim to unite people through shared experiences,” she added.

In her keynote speech ahead of the panel discussion, she spoke about the importance of the initiative, which reflects the UAE’s commitment to learning and listening, and its determination to be heard in international arts and cultural dialogues.
ADMAF’s history of cooperation with France further reinforces the importance of this event. Over the years, ADMAF has actively promoted cultural ties between the UAE and France through various initiatives and partnerships. In 2016, the Abu Dhabi Festival organized by ADMAF celebrated France as the country of honor, with a concert by the Orchester de Paris featuring cellist Xavier Phillips and organist Thierry Esquette Thierry Escaich and the world premiere of an orchestral concert adaptation of the mainstay of French literature, The Little Prince. Notable collaborations include the co-production of “Resurrection” with the Aix-en-Provence Music Festival and “The Garden of Eden”, commissioned with opera star Joyce DiDonato as stage direction by renowned French stage director Marie Lambert Lebihan “.
Abu Dhabi Arts Festival consistently showcases exceptional artistic performances and exhibitions, fosters dialogue between nations, engages audiences and promotes cultural diversity. Previous editions of the festival have paid tribute to French artists, including renowned ballet dancer Sylvie Gilliam, composer Gabriel Yared and graphic designer Philippe Appelog.
ADMAF’s commitment to cultural exchange goes beyond the UAE, as evidenced by its successful international tour. Tarek Yamani and Moneim Adwan’s performance in France captivated a global audience, highlighting the rich cultural heritage of the UAE and the Middle East.
A panel discussion held at the UAE Embassy in Paris further cemented ADMAF’s commitment to fostering artistic dialogue and nurturing emerging talent. Through its “Art in Embassies” program, ADMAF continues to serve as a platform for cultural exchange, furthering its mission to inspire creativity and celebrate diverse artistic expression.

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