Rooftop Rhythms to Celebrate Its 10th Anniversary at Louvre Abu Dhabi in Partnership with the Arts Center

Themed as the ‘Wellness Edition’, poets, musicians and singers will gather for an evening focused on the arts and mental wellness

Press Release

The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), sponsored by Mubadala, will present a special 10th anniversary edition of Rooftop Rhythms at and in partnership with Louvre Abu Dhabi on November 17 at 7pm. Themed as the ‘Wellness Edition’, Rooftop Rhythms’ first in-person event since February 2020 will spotlight established poets, musicians, and singers in a one-of-a-kind evening focused on mental wellness. The event is presented with the official support of the US Mission to the UAE.

Rooftop Rhythms founder Dorian Paul Rogers will emcee the anniversary Rooftop Rhythms event, while DJ Jaysus Zain will provide soulful grooves. Tickets are not required, and admission is free for Louvre Abu Dhabi’s LATES attendees. The event is open to everyone on a first-come, first-serve basis and seats are limited due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

Commenting on the anniversary event, Rooftop Rhythms founder Dorian Paul Rogers said: “For 10 years, Abu Dhabi’s longest-running poetry open mic night has been committed to providing a platform for locally-based artists to share their original creative work – often on stage for the first time. A supportive community has developed around the event which has helped artists to develop their craft in poetry, spoken word, and music across languages. We are proud to be a part of helping to grow this thriving scene.”

The participating artists include:

  1. Ammarah Safaa
  2. Anis
  3. Bill Bragin
  4. Ché
  5. Danabelle Gutierrez
  6. Dorian Paul Rogers
  7. Emma Miklasova 
  8. Jaysus Zain
  9. Khayal
  10. Mary Collins
  11. Maryam Al Shehhi 
  12. Mehran Azzam
  13. Nabiha Nahyan
  14.  notsohuman
  15. Salem AlAttas
  16. Shilpa Ananth
  17. Taryham Al Subaihi 
  18. Thaddeus Stegall

We are elated to gather in-person for the first time since the pandemic for the tenth anniversary of Rooftop Rhythms, and grateful to partner with Louvre Abu Dhabi for this celebration. It is fitting that Rooftop Rhythms, the first event we took online into the virtual space when the pandemic started, is also the first event that welcomes The Arts Center back to in-person performances. The evening will focus on mental health and wellness, a theme we created in dialogue with Louvre Abu Dhabi to address the role that the arts play in allowing people to overcome challenging times. The arts were an essential lifeline for millions during the pandemic. We look forward to celebrating the joy that music and spoken word continues to provide with an evening of inspired, thoughtful and uplifting entertainment.

Executive Artistic Director at NYUAD Arts Center Bill Bragin

Acting Cultural Programming Manager at Louvre Abu Dhabi, Alia Saeed Alshamsi commented, “Mindfulness has been a focus for Louvre Abu Dhabi focus since the museum reopened its doors after closure due to the pandemic. Welcoming Rooftop Rhythms with ‘The Wellness Edition’ celebrates this approach of promoting mental health and wellbeing through our Cultural Programmes. What a better way to self-express than poetry? We are pleased to host such a beautiful night that not only combines poetry, spoken word and music but also creates a social hub at the museum for all of our community.”

Aligning with UAE initiatives to develop young talent work, including The Next 50 and Now and Into the Future, Rooftop Rhythms will also launch Rooftop Junior, a safe space for teens and youth to take their first step towards becoming a performer. Presented with the support of the US Mission to the UAE, participants will receive two tutorials created by Dorian Paul Rogers. The first tutorial is an introduction to the poetry writing process, while the second tutorial focuses on the performance of their work. The virtual workshop and performance will take place on October 30 and is suitable for 12-18-year-olds.

About NYU Abu Dhabi

NYU Abu Dhabi is the first comprehensive liberal arts and research campus in the Middle East to be operated abroad by a major American research university. NYU Abu Dhabi has integrated a highly selective undergraduate curriculum across the disciplines with a world center for advanced research and scholarship. The university enables its students in the sciences, engineering, social sciences, humanities, and arts to succeed in an increasingly interdependent world and advance cooperation and progress on humanity’s shared challenges. NYU Abu Dhabi’s high-achieving students have come from over 115 countries and speak over 115 languages. Together, NYU's campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai form the backbone of a unique global university, giving faculty and students opportunities to experience varied learning environments and immersion in other cultures at one or more of the numerous study-abroad sites NYU maintains on six continents.