The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture “AFAC” held its yearly fundraising gala dinner on the 18th of November 2015, with the support of HSBC private banking.
In the presence of around 400 guests: philanthropists, patrons of the arts, gallerists, leading businessmen, diplomats, artist and media, this unique gala dinner served as a high end platform for all guests to meet and interact. To that effect, the event was held under the theme of “Make Art Possible” in order to channel support for arts and culture by raising awareness on the importance of Cultural philanthropy within the Arab region. The event, organized by “Events Production”, hosted by Gisele El Khoury, highlighted the work of some of AFAC’s grantees through an artistic installation by Omar Imam, a photography exhibition, a number of commissioned trailers that shed the light on artists and grantees and the show of Bar Farouk.
“Lebanon and the World have witnessed during the past few days bloody events, but our determination to confirm that culture and arts are not a luxury but a need, is driving us today to continue what we started before 9 years. Violence, terrorism and extremism in our context are no longer an exception, but reflected in daily acts; it is a phenomena that is reproducing and aggravating, and we can only contain it with a weapon that terrorists ignore. Let’s adopt culture and arts as our weapon of choice," Dr. Ghassan Salamé, Chairman of AFAC noted.
Oussama Rifahi, Executive Director of AFAC noted: “We are looking forward to a near future where more and more individual patrons will embrace the importance of investing into arts and culture, taking upon themselves the personal responsibility for developing healthy and thriving societies around them. Creativity and entrepreneurship are much needed tools in the mission to reform our Arab communities and promote more authentic representations of who we are to the world. As we grapple with narratives of intolerance, extremism and backwardness, these independent voices are the ones that are best positioned to portray the region’s complex realities and usher in a new era for democracy.”
AFAC had established itself as the preferred incubation platform for artists in the region. The institution’s endorsement comes with no strings attached allowing full independence for grant receivers, thanks to its transparent grant-making process which is accessible to hundreds of artists and art institutions across the region and abroad, with a huge number of applications sent from talents working on various projects and topics.
Founded in 2007, AFAC supports as broad and diversified a scope of critical thinkers, artists and social entrepreneurs in the fields of cinema, performing arts, literature, music and visual arts while facilitating cultural exchange, research and cooperation across the Arab world and globally. Since its creation, AFAC has already awarded over 15 million dollars of grants to more than 800 artists whose works reached to around 10 million people. Those artistic activities provided job opportunities to more than 11000 employees in the Arab World. The association is continuously seeking to mobilize more local support for cultural and artistic endeavors.