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Culture Resource’s Abbara Program to Support Collective Cultural Work across the Arab Region

Culture Resource’s Abbara Program to Support Collective Cultural Work across the Arab Region

Deadline: 11 November 2019

Culture Resource has launched the open call for the sixth round of Abbara program that aims to support collective cultural work, contribute to the development of the cultural sector and address the common challenges of independent cultural work across the Arab region, through enabling independent cultural organizations and groups by offering financial and technical support, networking opportunities and training in cultural management.

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The Abbara program was launched in 2011 in response to the sociopolitical events that swept many countries in the Arab region and with the intent to support independent cultural groups and organizations as key actors in the processes of societal transformation.

Program Goals

  • To support collective cultural work by training, equipping and guiding independent cultural groups and organizations in the course of their development to help them forge the most successful structures for cultural work within diverse social, political and cultural contexts.
  • To contribute to the development of the cultural sector by testing alternative models and approaches to organizational sustainability, in general, and financial sustainability, in particular, with a focus on ensuring the stability and durability of independent cultural groups and organizations.
  • To address the common challenges of independent cultural work across the Arab region by creating links between groups and organizations engaged in cultural work in the region to enable them to share learning, exchange expertise and develop mechanisms to support the independent cultural sector.


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Towards the realisation of its goals, the program offers groups and organizations the following types of support:

  • Financial support: Up to $25,000 in core funding to cover such basic operational costs as administrative staffing expenses, rent and upkeep of premises, running costs and website development. The funding does not cover programs activities. This support component lasts for at least 12 months.
  • Training in cultural management: Abbara offers two cultural management training workshops supervised by experts in the field and carried out in collaboration with independent cultural organizations from different Arab countries. Abbara’s training component has evolved to include peer learning and address contemporary topics.
  • Technical support: The areas covered by the technical support are tailored to each organization on the basis of needs assessment conducted after the first workshop.
  • Networking: The program provides a space for networking through activities organized within the framework of the program itself and that engage many cultural organizations from different parts of the Arab region. It also encourages Abbara’s beneficiary organizations to participate in other Culture Resource programs such as Imkan and Wasl.

Eligibility Criteria

  • This program is open to independent (non-governmental) artistic and cultural groups/organizations founded and directed by artists and/or cultural actors from an Arab country (regardless of ethnic origin or citizenship status).
  • The scope of work of the group/organization should be mainly focused on the Arab region. Arab cultural and artistic groups/organizations abroad may be considered as long as their work serves artistic and cultural production in Arabic.
  • Groups that are not officially registered in the country where they operate may be considered as long as they are able to carry out their activities within established legal frameworks.
  • The applicant group/organization must demonstrate a clear desire to forge organizational, administrative and legal structures geared to contending with the challenges facing cultural work today.
  • The group/organization should have a clear perception of its role in the context of the social, cultural and artistic realities of the environment in which it operates and how it fits together with other groups/organizations in the cultural scene.
  • The group/organization must be active in the cultural sector and have a distinctive, dynamic and long-term artistic or cultural vision.
  • The applicant must be a small or midsize group/organization and it or its members should have no less than three years work experience in the artistic and cultural domain.
  • The group/organization must not be a previous beneficiary of an Abbara grant.

Selection Criteria

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A jury of independent professionals with experience in the Arts & Culture field evaluates the applications on the basis of the following set of criteria:

  • Future vision, goals and potential impact
    • The group’s/organization’s vision, plan and aims, and the coherence between these elements.
    • The group’s/organization’s role in the context of the social, cultural and artistic realities of its environment and how it fits together with other groups/organizations in the cultural scene.
    • The cultural or service activities performed by the group/organization.
    • Work experience in culture and the arts.
  • Organizational structure, capacities and skills
    • Planning: Is it realistic, logical and consistent with the group’s/organization’s vision and ability to evolve?
    • Organizational structure: How is the group/organization structured administratively? Is this commensurate with its size, activities and decision-taking mechanisms?
    • Soundness of financial management and whether it conforms with the principles of clarity and transparency.
    • Partnering and networking: The ability to work collaboratively, build partnerships and/or forge relations with support agencies.
  • The reasons for applying to Abbara
    • Are they reasonable and coherent?
    • Do the group’s/organization’s expectations conform with what the program offers?
    • Are the motives consistent with the needs?

How to Apply

Applications must be completed entirely in Arabic, apart from the blanks that require English through the applications platform via given website.

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For more information, please visit https://mawred.org/grants-opportunities/supporting-the-sector-cultural-actors/abbara-2/?lang=en#1551796483582-30b6a20e-eb28

A propos de l'auteur

Khady Khady

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