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The full program for this year’s Sheikha Manal Little Artists Program, under the theme of Creating New Worlds, is announced today. Led by American artist Sally Curcio with five apprentice artists from the UAE, the 7th edition of the program comprises the popular annual on-site workshops and Discovery Tours for children and teens held at Art Dubai, as well as a growing number of artist-lead workshops at Dubai-based schools as part of the Artists-in-Schools Initiative.


Held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the UAE Gender Balance Council, President of Dubai Women Establishment, and wife of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, the program is a partnership between The Cultural Office of Her Highness Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Art Dubai, offering a unique educational opportunity for UAE-based children and teenagers and encouraging them to excel in the arts. The program is part of The Cultural Office and Art Dubai’s longstanding commitment to education and the development of the UAE’s cultural landscape.


Al Maha Al Bastaki, Director of The Cultural Office, commented: “The Sheikha Manal Little Artists Program is one of the key initiatives in the ecosystem of art education in the UAE and we are delighted to see it grow each year. With Art Dubai, we increased the number of workshops and tours by 25% to allow for the program’s growing popularity and increased the number of opportunities available for artists’ school visit.”


Apprentice Artists

Five apprentice artists from the UAE – Asma Alkhoori, Hibah Hoque, Rabila Kidwai, Taqwa Alnaqbi and Zahia Abdul Hameed – will join lead artist Sally Curcio to assist on the program. The Apprentice Artists program offers an excellent opportunity for UAE-based artists to develop their craft and advance in their art career, capitalising on the prospect of working with an internationally renowned artist such as Sally Curcio. Apprentice Artists assist the lead artist in devising the program of workshops, while having the opportunity to exchange ideas, and develop a practice that includes teaching/learning.


On-Site Workshops

Under the theme of Creating New Worlds, Curcio and apprentice artists will invite children to explore and create cityscapes and urban landscapes through the use of miniatures and prototypes, allowing them to create their own imaginative utopia. Curcio’s goal is to motivate an inventive spirit, cooperation as well as to encourage participants to explore how different materials can be composed to create new imagined environments. Materials such as coloured beads, balls, pipe cleaners, blocks, bottle caps, and other found and recycled material will be used to create the new worlds, and their use for representing cityscapes of varying scale and perspective enriches idea development and creative processes that are of value in a range of artistic and work endeavors.


Discovery Tours

This year’s program will also see the return of its sought-after Discovery Tours, led by UAE-based and international artists and art educators. This year’s guides are Alaa Amin Ali, Fadia Ali and Khoula Hamad. The tailor-made tours are specially designed to enable young children to discover key pieces around the fair, with the works brought alive via thematic activity maps and the storytelling of the guides. The tours usually accommodate between 10-15 children and are split across three age groups: ages 5-7, 8-12 and 13-17.


Registration for the on-site workshops and discovery tours are now open via the website: http://www.artdubai.ae/children-teens-2019/

Art-in-Schools Initiative

Part of the Sheikha Manal Little Artists Program, the Artists-in-Schools Initiative, takes place on March 17, 18, and 19 will feature workshops that play with a variation of the Creating New Worlds theme, offering a unique educational opportunity for UAE-based school children, and encouraging them to engage with and excel in the arts.


The popularity of the initiative manifests itself in a growing number of schools taking part in the program. The participating schools for 2019 include: Mohammed Bin Rashid School, Al Nokhba Boys Model School, Latifa School for Girls, Rashid School for Boys and Jumeirah Model School.


The Sheikha Manal Little Artists Program is part of Art Dubai’s wider educational programing, providing opportunities for school-age children, college students and graduates through to collectors and art enthusiasts. Other Art Dubai educational programs include the fair’s critically acclaimed Global Art Forum, the only transdisciplinary arts summit of its kind in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia and a leading international platform for engaging cultural debate; Campus Art Dubai, a unique six-month educational programme for early-career artists, curators, writers, designers and cultural producers based in the UAE, and Art Dubai Fellowship that brings together exceptional young curators and writers from the Arab world. More information on Art Dubai’s programing is available here: http://www.artdubai.ae/programming/

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