British Council in Egypt awards 19 artists grants

GMT 01:33 2014 Friday ,04 July

Arab Today, arab today British Council in Egypt awards 19 artists grants

Outa Hamra social theatre troupe
London - AFP

Designed to support up-and-coming local artists, the British Council grants to artists programme (offering a variable sum of money depending on the nature of proposed projects, with a maximum of £2,000) covers music, film, theatre, literature, dance, the visual arts and design activities.
Of the 134 applications received, 19 projects were chosen, stretched between Cairo, Alexandria, Minya, Ismailia, Luxor, Fayoum and North Sinai, and crossing several artistic disciplines.
"In 2011, as an organisation we were looking for a new strategy to support the arts," Cathy Costain, head of arts programmes at the British Council, told Ahram Online. "After listening and communicating with artists we found they needed access as individuals to small amounts of money to see a project through, host an event or produce something."
"We were conscious that we wanted to widen our network and work with various people, not only those institutions that always receive funding from institutions like us," Costain added.
This year marks the third round of grants since 2011. The grantees this year vary in approach and sector, but all are unique.
Among the projects selected was one by Ahram Online's own Rowan El-Shimi, entitled 'Question Mark.' Our reporter is teaming up with designer Adham Bakry and social worker Ali Azmy to stage public interventions in Cairo and other governorates using posters, stickers and stamps sporting evocative questions to engage the public in public space.
Another interesting project, taking place in Egypt's coastal city Alexandria by Ahmed Mabrouk, features workshops for Egyptian and Syrian rappers to collaborate in producing two CDs.
Mohamed Hassanein, in another project, is working to collect stories and present theatrical sketches in alternative locations, such as people's homes and from first floor balconies to the street.
In the North Sinai town of El-Arish, Amira Salem will run theatre workshops for local residents to express their issues through art; while in Upper Egypt's Minya, Raghda Nabil will work with children and supervisors of an orphanage to produce visual artworks.

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