Dubai’s Jameel Arts Centre celebrates first anniversary with unique festival

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Marking the first year of the Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai’s contemporary art institution, ‘Jaddaf Aloud!’ is a new free festival, designed to bring together the community in a celebration of homegrown creative talent.

Being held on Friday, December 13, 2019, at Jameel Arts Centre, there will be day-long activities taking place in the museum, throughout the Jaddaf Waterfront Sculpture Park and along the Creekside corniche of Jaddaf Waterfront – Dubai’s newest creative neighborhood.

Reflecting Jameel Arts Centre’s commitment to community engagement and open, multi-generational programming, the day’s artist-led workshops, activities, markets, live music and films are for everyone – including families, children, teens and youth.

‘Jaddaf Aloud!’ is a multidisciplinary, collaborative event, bringing the community together, connecting grassroots cultural partners such as Alserkal Avenue, jamjar, The Poetryhood Movement and Gulf Photo Plus, and landmark cultural events – Art Dubai, Emirates Airline Festival of Literature and Dubai Design Week.

“’Jaddaf Aloud!’ is about all of us – families, youth of all ages, music-lovers, cinephiles, photographers, crafters, authors and poets, artists and enthusiasts,“ explained Antonia Carver, Director, Art Jameel.

“This is an opportunity for everyone to gather, experience and support the diverse creative talent that Dubai has to offer, and to celebrate the homegrown – from Dubai’s leading global events, such as Art Dubai and the Emirates LitFest, through to the individual artists, writers and crafters that make this city a creative destination, year-round. The response to the Jameel Arts Centre in our first year has been incredible; we’re looking forward to celebrating the milestone of opening Dubai’s first contemporary arts museum with our colleagues and with the community-at-large.”

The current range of Jameel Arts Centre exhibitions includes more than 45 artists: the Jaddaf Aloud! programme will include special tours and activities for all ages in the galleries, library and project spaces throughout the museum and the adjacent sculpture park.

Summer Arts Camp at Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai. (Courtesy: Jameel Arts Centre. Photo by Brenta Galotera)
Summer Arts Camp at Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai. (Courtesy: Jameel Arts Centre. Photo by Brenta Galotera)

Committed to the power of storytelling, the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature is bringing UAE-based authors and poets to ‘Jaddaf Aloud!’ to create and perform new stories inspired by the works on show at Jameel Arts Centre. These engaging, fun, bilingual story-telling sessions at ‘Jaddaf Aloud!’ include young adult and children’s authors.

Outside the galleries, The Poetryhood Movement, a local platform dedicated to the creative expression of poetry, will present spoken word performances.

Registration for ‘Jaddaf Aloud!’ includes free access to a multitude of workshops and arts activities for all ages, running concurrently throughout the day, led by UAE-based artists and creatives.

Jameel Arts Centre has commissioned artists Sarah Ahmad, May Ali, Bishoy Girgis, Asma Khoory, John Marsland, Khalid Mezaina, Malda Smadi, Rabab Tantawy and Afsheen Zoheb to develop special, drop-in family and teen workshops and activities in a range of craft, from painting and jewellery making to dream catchers and stamp-printing.

Dubai’s cultural district Alserkal Avenue is presenting jazz musings by DXBrass. Gulf Photo Plus, the center for photography, leads a hands-on photo walk, providing a fun exploration of the surrounding area and best practices guided by expert photographers.

Community-centred artists’ space jamjar is inviting visitors of all ages to contribute to a communal 10-metre-long mural, created during the day and showcased in the evening.

Meanwhile, for film lovers, Jameel Arts Centre’s Gallery 9 features a rolling series of short films for all ages.

Highlighting home-grown UAE-based talent, ‘Jaddaf Aloud!’ culminates in a showcase of locally-based bands playing original music on the Sculpture Park amphitheatre main stage -- including DXBrass, Pink Jaeger, Sail into Night, WYWY and cult indie shoegaze band Flowershop – plus DJs specializing in Middle Eastern vinyl.

Jaddaf Aloud! also features a curated market, with stalls by artists, designers and specialists, offering – among other collectibles -- handmade artist books, illustration, prints, design objects, crafts, wearables, plants, musical instruments and vintage books, plus a diverse range of eateries and pop-up cafes. Participants include House of Folly, The Marigold Story, And Suleimani, The Third Line, Lady Mauve, Rakate, Book Quarter, Howlin’ Rooster, Gulf Photo Plus, among others.

In a special showcase, the Dubai Autism Centre will present a sale of paintings by its students.

Registration for ‘Jaddaf Aloud!’ is highly recommended in advance online. Events, concerts, workshops and markets take place from 2pm to 10 pm.

‘Youth TakeOver’ event at  Jameel  Arts Centre, Dubai. (Courtesy: Jameel Arts Centre)
‘Youth TakeOver’ event at Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai. (Courtesy: Jameel Arts Centre)
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