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Leaders to focus on ‘unexpected collaborations’ at CultureSummit Abu Dhabi

Leaders to focus on ‘unexpected collaborations’ at CultureSummit Abu Dhabi

The second annual CultureSummit Abu Dhabi will convene an audience of leaders from every corner of the world to discuss the power of culture to drive positive social change, from topics as wide-ranging as education to saving the climate, to combatting extremism. The Summit’s Steering Committee, chaired by HE Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development for the UAE, announced the forum would take place from April 8th through 12th, 2018 in Manarat Al Saadiyat.

The inaugural CultureSummit, in April 2017, convened more than 450 participants from 80 countries to discuss cultural diplomacy as a change agent for the digital age. Through a combination of presentations, panels and workshops, the action-driven program addressed such issues as climate change, gender equality and globalization, identifying art, technology and policy as a crucial yet underdeveloped intersection of those efforts. As a result, the 2018 Summit will cross spectrums to focus on the unexpected collaborations needed to strengthen and initiate cultural notions. Performances, artworks and workshops by CultureSummit artists-in-residence and presenting artists will complement the forum’s program to address global challenges spanning from art, technology, policy, and preserving heritage to art countering extremism.

CultureSummit 2017 recognized and paid tribute to a number of prominent international figures in cultural diplomacy, including former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs HE Dr. Anwar Gargash, UAE Minister HE Zaki Nusseibeh, the creators of El Sistema music education programs, the producers of Sesame Street, the creators of the East-Western Divan orchestra, Academy Award-winning composer Tan Dun, internationally-acclaimed artist Idris Khan, and MacArthur Award-winner Liz Lerman.

Participating artists in the first Summit included a diverse list of performers and leaders from arts organizations including the China National Symphony, Vienna Boys Choir, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Tate Modern, and Carnegie Hall.

“We are looking for the 2018 event to build on the success of the first inaugural summit,” said HE Noura Al Kaabi, “We expect to generate concrete efforts and tangible results in identifying ways to enhance and support arts education worldwide by connecting with sectors that may not seem quite so relevant to supporting culture, or contributing to public awareness. We believe that the concept of culture is broad and all-inclusive, and endures great potentials to impact people’s lives.”

The event is organized by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) in conjunction with U.S. media firm The Rothkopf Group and global arts advisors TCP Ventures.

HE Mohammed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi, said: “The timing of CultureSummit 2018, coming as it does so shortly after the opening of Louvre Abu Dhabi, will give leaders from culture, policy, technology and media communities worldwide a chance to see how Abu Dhabi has established itself as a global cultural capital of rapidly growing stature. While at the same time, the emirate maintains its own identity, celebrating heritage and culture as key components of an aspiring future.”

Carla Dirlikov Canales, chief executive of TCP Ventures and an internationally known opera singer, added, “The artists who participated last year found the opportunity to collaborate with new partners from different disciplines or locations especially rewarding. That’s why next April our focus will be on fostering new such collaborations – among artists, but also between artists and government officials, business people and thought leaders.”