We’re a month into the New Year and if you’re anything like myself, you’ve probably completely forgot about 90% of your resolutions. So this is the perfect time to check in one one major goal: advancing in your career. Whether you’re just starting the job search or looking to advance in your current organization, these tips can help you get organized and get focused on accomplishing your career goals this year. Continue reading “8 Tips for Reaching Your Career Goals In 2016”
I ended on Doha where a more conservative population is run by a very cosmopolitan royal family. The sheikhs have been making news in the last few years for their acquisition of blockbuster auction lots. The Qatar Museum Authority (QMA) opened the Museum of Islamic Art in 2008, and it remains their crown jewel. As they rebuild the Zayed National Museum with a new vision and brand following a fire at the old museum, QMA has wasted no time in opening smaller spaces like an artist-in-residence studio space with an onsite gallery in a former fire station. Compared to Dubai, this is a museum and exhibition space city. Here the galleries are less the focus, but not invisible. There are galleries sprinkled throughout the major tourist and social areas especially in the recently opened Katara Cultural Village just outside the city center. I stumbled upon the 2nd Annual European Jazz Festival opening night where combos from Austria and Germany followed the dignitary-filled opening remarks. It was promising to see the mix of locals and expats. Here the mix was closer to 25:75, which is more than you see anywhere else in the region. Katara Cultural Village lives up to its name featuring an opera house, an amphitheater, a handful of galleries and plenty of room for growth. Qatar seems to understand that you need an infrastructure behind the museums to spur any kind of progress.
As you can see, I have a love for the region and a skeptical approach to these projects despite my strong desire for them to succeed. Doha lived up to the hope for the region on its arts projects, but it reminded me that something was missing from these projects, the locals. As great as the governments’ interest in promoting the arts and exerting soft power is, who is to benefit from it: the locals, expats and/or visitors? So far it seems like there is no roll for the locals in the arts, and there is no interest coming from the locals to have a role.
I do hope that you work the Middle East into your travels someday. Parts of the region are safe and inviting. In time, the rest of the region will settle and will be eager for you to come learn its history and its heritage, inshallah (or God willing, the ending Muslims add when speaking about the future and their hopes).
Helene’s Top Ten Cultural Things To Do in the Gulf
- Museum of Islamic Art, Doha
- Al Serkal Avenue, Dubai
- Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha
- Katara Cultural Village, Doha
- Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi
- Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood, Dubai
- Al Quoz neighborhood (galleries outside Al Serkal), Dubai
- Fire Station and the Garage Gallery, Doha
- Al Riwaq Exhibition Hall, Doha
- Ethihad Modern and Antiques Galleries, Abu Dhabi
- Ski Dubai*
*Kidding, but it is a fascinating look at society and people watching.
by Helene Genetos
Featured image: Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi (provided by author).
I just got back from a jam-packed trip through the Gulf where they are making the arts a priority. As some of you might know, major “starchitects” are being brought in, and even out of retirement (I.M. Pei), to construct monumental new museums across the Gulf. It does not end there – even more projects from galleries to performing arts venues to specialized museums are popping up next door in these cultural districts. Here is my account of the arts scene unfolding in the Gulf. Continue reading “Travel Blog – The Middle East (Part 1)”
Lori Zimmer is a New York based writer, curator and creator of Art Nerd New York. She regularly contributes to an array of art sites, and is the author of “The Art of Cardboard: Big Ideas for Creativity, Collaboration, Storytelling, and Reuse.” Since February of 2015, Zimmer has been working with The White House as an advisor on their ACT/ART Committee, bringing contemporary art back into the forefront of public policy. Zimmer frequently curates pop up exhibitions, projects and events in the New York area, her recent projects include artist Mark John Smith at the Roger Smith, the Geeks for Peace charity event hosted by Morgan Spurlock and Kevin Smith, and a two person exhibition with Logan Hicks and Beau Stanton at the High Line Loft.
Marketing Coordinator Chris McCloskey and Lori spoke shortly after Art Basel to get her take on the art world, fairs, and condiments. Continue reading “Interview: Lori Zimmer”
French illustrator, Jean Jullien, listened on his radio as the details of the Paris attacks unfolded on November 13. “I thought we needed a message for peace,” he would say after creating the now iconic image of the Eiffel Tower at the center of a peace sign. “The main purpose of the image was to communicate peace and solidarity, and that’s exactly what it seems to have done.” The painting quickly became a unifying symbol across nations after Jullien shared a cell-phone picture of the illustration on his social media.
Children in the UNICEF art therapy program at Lake Chad refugee camp.
Hearing the CNN reports as the world awaited to see which terror group would claim responsibility, reminded me of watching the news that September morning when I first learned what terrorism was, and I waited in uncertainty for my aunt to come back from the World Trade Center. Growing up in New York post-911 has left deep emotional scars that are often hard for me to put into words. It naturally made me turn to music and to my writing, something I took up more after 9/11 to help manage stress.
However, now terrorism has affected more than just my home and my country. It has gone beyond isolated incidents in a single country, to many acts of terror in three nations under the hands of ISIS and Boko Haram are reaching more children than just myself. Boko Haram, in the midst of the ISIS coordinated attacks in Paris also attacked the city of Yola in Nigeria killing 32 people. Continue reading “How Art Can Fight Terrorism and Why It Should”
I hope you are all enjoying our heartfelt series on being thankful for art during times of conflict and turmoil, what cultural diplomacy can do to bridge cultures and help find peace, and soon how art can be used for healing.
Before I fell in love with the Middle East, I loved France. I love France and Paris in a way that can only be expressed through a chick flick or an Adele song. As a pre-teen, I wanted to be the Ambassador to France after watching the Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen film, Passport to Paris. I briefly lived in Paris while studying abroad and have visited more times than is appropriate to list. When I learned of the Paris attacks and reflected on the worldwide series of violent attacks and natural disasters that happened in just a matter of days, my heart broke multiple times over. It was in this moment that my secret (unrealistic) dream job, to be PR rep for Islam and the Middle East, seemed even more necessary in this world. Continue reading “The PR Campaign for Islam through the Arts”
“Some think I do wrong to go to the opera and the theatre; but it rests me, I love to be alone, and yet to be with the people. A hearty laugh relieves me, and I seem better able after it to bear my cross.”
– Abraham Lincoln
In the light of recent events in Paris, Lebanon, Syria, Mali, and too many other places, I can’t help but be thankful this week for the foundation that the arts have given me for coping in a world full of fear and sorrow. I am thankful that men and women, artists much smarter and more talented than I, from every land and every age, have left behind the tools and instructions for how to live for the light in a world that seems covered in darkness. Continue reading “The November Attacks: An Artist’s Perspective”
Almost everyone: “That’s fantastic that you are getting a master’s degree! What are you studying?”
Me: “I’m studying Arts Management!”
Almost everyone: “Oh great…..so, what is that?”