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Saudi Arabia Gets Another Landmark Art Residency, This Time in Jeddah's Historic Al Balad

In line with its vision to create a more knowledge-centric economy and society, Saudi Arabia has been focusing on developing initiatives and programs to enrich its cultural, heritage, and art sectors. As part of its efforts, the Kingdom has been designing and rolling out a number of key programs aimed at providing support and guidance to its creatives, such as the most recent art residency program launched in Jeddah.  

According to various news sources, the residency program was launched in Al Balad, Jeddah’s renowned historic neighborhood, and will be hosted in Ribat Al-Khonji building, which was constructed in 1813 and functioned as a guesthouse for widowed and single women, and was then recently renovated as a space for cultural events and the like.

As reported by Saudi Gazette, the program’s courses are each six weeks long and the residency will host both Saudi and international artists and critics. The program has been designed to create “a suitable environment conducive to cultural dialogue and exchange of know-how and experiences.” It focuses specifically on fostering social awareness, professional development, and critical thinking. Those who are interested in applying may do so through the program’s platform:

This latest art residency in Al Balad falls under the Kingdom’s larger Quality of Life Program, which is one of the country’s Vision 2030 realization programs aimed at improving the individual's lifestyle in Saudi Arabia. It is also part of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Culture’s commitment to support and develop artistic talents across various creative sectors in the Kingdom.

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