Mohannad Al Bakri
Director, External Relations and Partnerships
Showcasing music, theater, dance, film, poetry, family programs, and interdisciplinary performances that defy definition, The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi presents distinguished professional artists from around the world alongside student, faculty, and community productions. The Arts Center draws on the resources of the University to create a dynamic space for research, investigation, and the active pursuit of knowledge and wisdom for audiences as well as visiting artists.
Excellence, collaboration, creativity, accessibility, innovation, respect, and understanding are the core values that govern The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi.
As a place that both presents and develops work, The Arts Center acts as a vibrant laboratory for performance that fosters a dynamic relationship between the arts, scholarship, and community. It serves NYU Abu Dhabi with compelling programming that connects to the curriculum, using the arts to illuminate and enliven the scholarly pursuits of students and faculty. It hosts a range of public programs that draw residents of Abu Dhabi to the campus, animating and enriching the cultural life of both the city and the University.
The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi strives to be a beacon on the international arts landscape, firmly rooted in the region but with a global reach, all the while embedded in the University and welcoming the local community.
Bill Bragin, a leading figure in music and arts programming, is the first executive artistic director of The Arts Center at New York University Abu Dhabi. Called “one of the most influential figures in the New York live-music business” by The New York Times, Bill brings extensive experience, creativity, and his own unique multidisciplinary vision to the role.
Most recently, as the director of public programming of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York, he attracted hundreds of thousands of audience members to the popular Midsummer Night Swing and Lincoln Center Out of Doors festivals, events devoted to increasing public participation in the arts, and commissioned and premiered numerous new works in a variety of disciplines. He also helped set the artistic vision for the free weekly programs at the David Rubenstein Atrium, which opened during his tenure.
Bill is also a co-founding co-director of the not-for-profit world music festival and service organization globalFEST and a former member of the board of trustees of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP). Previous activities include serving as director of Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater, curator of Music Programs at Symphony Space, general manager of the NYNO record label, and artistic director/executive producer of Central Park SummerStage. He was music advisor for the TED Conferences, and has served as a jury member, advisor, or speaker for acclaimed conferences and organizations including WOMEX (Worldwide Music Expo), South by Southwest (SXSW), Cape Verde’s Atlantic Music Expo, National Endowment for the Arts, Performing Arts Market Seoul (PAMS) and Brazil’s Porto Musical, among many others. As “Acidophilus,” he has DJed internationally as part of GlobeSonic Sound System.