The Saudi Ministry of Culture has launched the pilot program of its Art Residency Initiative: Art Residency Albalad and is seeking seven participants to attend the six-week program.
The first edition of this initiative is the first of a series of fully funded residencies that will provide dedicated time, considered collaborations and a supportive working environment for creatives from all around the world.
The first residents for the pilot programme will be chosen through an open call and is available to those working in cultural sectors. A selection committee made up of international and local experts will review all applications to whittle down a final shortlist of seven candidates: five artists, one writer and one curator.
The Ministry of Culture’s website is where hopeful participants can submit their applications.
Art Residency Albalad will be hosted in Jeddah’s Historical District, or Albalad, which is one of five UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Saudi Arabia. It will be operated by the renowned Athr Gallery, and residents will work out of Rubat Al Khuniji, a 200-year-old guesthouse that was recently renovated to host cultural events in the heart of Albalad.
Abdulkarim Alhumaid, spokesperson of the Ministry of Culture said in a statement, “We are delighted to officially launch the inaugural phase of the Art Residency Initiative: Art Residency Albalad. We hope that this, and other similar initiatives, will further develop the cultural ecosystem in Saudi Arabia and provide platforms for those in the sector to engage with their peers around the world. We invite all those working in the creative space, whether here in Saudi Arabia, or further afield to apply for the chance to attend this first-of-a-kind program.”
Art Residency Albalad is the first program within the Art Residency Initiative, sponsored by the Quality of Life Program, which was announced by the Ministry of Culture at its launch in March 2019.
The initiative builds on international models of excellence to provide programs firmly rooted in the country’s cultural heritage, empowering artists to continue this legacy into the modern world.
The initiative is part of the Ministry’s drive to develop the local arts scene and facilitate artistic creativity in the Kingdom, while nurturing creative exchange with the talent across the world.