New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), hosted a presentation and talk this week by NYUAD senior Bouthayna Baltaji focused on finding ways to inspire young people to become more active in the arts. The discussion, held at Manarat al Saadiyat in Abu Dhabi centered around Baltaji’s final year capstone project, entitled “Bina’a Al Bee’ah Al Mahalee’yah Al Fen’nee’yah” (The Building/Creation of the Local Art Community).
Baltaji's senior year capstone project examined the importance of placing artists in schools in order to engage and impact young audiences. By holding workshops with students in two Abu Dhabi schools, Al Raha International School and Al Yasat Private School, Baltaji hoped to inspire children and encourage a life-long interest in the arts. The education team from TCA Abu Dhabi provided mentorship and support to Baltaji as part of their initiative to reach out to young students through artist collaborations.
Through this experience, Baltaji, who will graduate from NYUAD on May 25th as a member of the inaugural class, hopes that both the children and their parents will begin to gain an interest in the arts and understand the importance of placing arts at the heart of student learning. The student works created in the workshops are on display in Fanr café and in Studio 2.
Baltaji explained: "This project is my endeavor in assisting and contributing to Abu Dhabi in its initiative to educate people on the aesthetic value, cultural significance, and global perspective explored in the creative process of art. Recognizing the need for children to feel that galleries and museums are engaging and welcoming environments, I decided to direct my capstone project towards improving arts education and building an established audience by merging art and culture."
Committed to directly impacting young people, teachers, students, artists, and adult audiences, TCA Abu Dhabi actively supports engaging young people in the practice of making art and provides unique opportunities for children to work directly with artists both in schools and throughout the Emirate’s community art centers in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain.