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Art centre channels youth's creative energies

One local organisation has really taken the initiative to encourage and support the creativity of young Qatari artists and in bringing their work to the public. Not only that, the same organisation has nurtured the talents of young theatre artists and organised special events for Qatari folk musicians which showcase their musical gifts.

The Youth Art Center, under the aegis of the Ministry of Culture and Sports, was originally founded in 1997 before being split up into a more specialised set of organisations, one catering to visual arts, and another to theatre and traditional Qatari music. Last year the centres were once again merged to a single all-encompassing organisation.

Qatar Tribune spoke with the Youth Art Center's director, the renowned Qatari artist Salman al Malik about the centre's recent activities and also touched on the centre's mission and its importance to society.

Discussing events organised by the centre recently, Malik noted that they are characterised by their frequency and diversity, including talks, exhibitions, and musical performances by budding folk artistes.

"One of our recent events was a talk by Qatari artist Hassan Bujassoum, a veteran who has been painting for more than 30 years, within the framework of our Fikra (or 'Ideas') series of seminars. Fikra offers an opportunity to young artists and those with an interest in visual art, to engage with artists, critics and scholars in an informal setting. After all, we see it as the centre's mission to groom local talents while also promoting them to those with an interest in the arts," he said.

Elaborating on other recent events organised by the centre, he added,"Recently, we also organised the second in a brand new series of folk gatherings dedicated to highlighting the talents of young Qatari musicians and promoting an interest among the public for such a characteristic musical art form as Qatari folk music, which we are proud to bring to audiences who might not get many opportunities to be exposed to it. The first edition was such a hit among Qatari families, and also expatriates for that matter, and we are happy to organise other editions of this unique and popular Qatari folk music series in the coming months".

Malik explained that the centre had recently allocated an exhibition space at its headquarters in Mamoura to showcase some of the most outstanding examples of visual art by Qatari artists, which is open to the public. In addition, he said, the centre is working on establishing a website which would be a sort of 'online gallery' of works by local artists.

In this regard, he added that"there are quite a number of young artists in Qatar, and we take our mandate to support them and to promote their work very seriously. Indeed, there are also many people who are interested in the arts, and we see our task as also serving the community by satisfying their 'cravings' for art!"

In addition to supporting young talent and exposing it to art lovers in Qatar, Malik noted that the centre was also committed to engaging with the local community and to organising workshops and events intended to hone the talents of artists of all backgrounds.

"The centre recently organised a series of workshops in collaboration with Best Buddies Qatar, an organisation renowned for fostering opportunities for socialisation for people with special needs. The workshops, which were enjoyable for everyone involved, gave these young people the opportunity to exercise their artistic abilities and hone their creativity, and will certainly be repeated in the future", he added.


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