The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) has announced 14 UAE based artists for the launch of the artists development initiative, Numoo, a year-long program that will foster the growth of performing artists in the UAE, and contribute to the development of the nation’s arts ecosystem.
Running from fall 2021 to summer 2022, the year-long pilot program, which is supported by a grant from the US Mission to the UAE, coincides with the UAE’s 50th anniversary and the future orientation of EXPO 2020, as well as The Art Center’s seventh season theme, Now and Into the Future. This curriculum will further artists’ professional skills as well as advance the goals of the international Year of Creative Industry and the Sustainable Development Goals, which has the support of the UAE Ministry of Culture and Youth.
This group of UAE-based artists come from diverse backgrounds and artistic experiences. From poets to musicians, writers and theater makers, this international group will be exposed to professionals in the field and will be trained on different skills in order to foster a comprehensive understanding of the arts field in the UAE.
The 21/22 pilot cohort of artists, all based in the UAE, are:
- Aya Afaneh, Palestine/US
- Carlos Alejandro Páez González, Venezuela
- Dorian Paul Rogers, US
- Ethan David Lee, UK
- Jaysus Zain, Sudan
- Jerome Deligero, Philippines
- Jomel Reyes, Philippines
- Juan Paul Gonzales, Philippines
- Khayal, UAE
- Lama Mosallem, Egypt
- Rashed Qurwash, UAE
- Safiya Bin AlSheikh Ali, UAE
- Smrithi Nair, India
- Subin Thompson, India
Selected through a mix of nominations and an open call application followed by a collaborative evaluation process, the cohort will receive guidance from The Arts Center staff, invited international arts professionals, and one another. As part of the program, they will also engage with The Arts Center’s public performances and attend Off the Stage workshops and panels. Participants reflect varying degrees of professional experience, with a shared long-term interest in contributing to the UAE’s artistic scene.
The program includes regular meetings with the cohort and instructors, working sessions, and independent work for each artist based on their own artistic practices. It is tailored toward professional skills and process, rather than being product oriented. Numoo aims to have each artist grow professionally in their field, to build a sustainable artistic community, to better enable them to bring their work to the public, in the UAE, and further afield.
Head of Public Affairs and Outreach at U.S. Consulate Dubai Yasmeen Hibrawi said: "We are excited to launch Numoo with NYUAD to develop performing artists' skills, connect them to a wider artists network, and support the creative economy in the UAE. Numoo will not only refine artists' skills but also teach the practicalities of budgeting and contracts. We recognize the immense talent in the UAE and we hope Numoo will take their talent to the next level."
Curriculum course elements include such topics as: defining and communicating their artistic vision; project management and budgeting; rights, royalties, and intellectual property; contracts and negotiation; working with technical production and touring.