Art Lives: Initiative to Support Arab Arts Practitioners

Ettijahat – Independent Culture is pleased to announce a new call for applications within the Art Lives Initiative for the year 2021, with the aim of providing support in covering the cost of health services for cultural practitioners and artists who live in fragile conditions across the Arab Region, including members of the LGBTQ community, single parents, and those with dependents, in order for them to continue their work and artistic practice, and overcome urgent health challenges. 
In 2021, the initiative will conduct 6 selection rounds and provide direct and urgent healthcare support to 40 artists from the Arab Region, enabling them to look after their physical and psychological wellbeing in the short term.
The initiative targets individual artists regardless of their age, the field of work, gender, sexuality, religion, and ethnicity, including art managers and technicians working across the creative arts sector. Listed below are a number of priority groups:
  • Artists from Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, Yemen, Sudan, Egypt, Libya, Palestine and Tunisia
  • Artists who have been displaced from their home countries and who live in the aforementioned countries
  • Artists working as “freelancers” and\or lacking options for official social protection, including members of the LGBTQ community and single parents, be it mothers or fathers
  • Artists with dependents, be it family members or partners 
  • Artists who suffer from long term physical and/or mental health issues


All parties involved in the initiative will maintain the privacy of applicants and beneficiaries, including their names, application data, and any other personal information, with respect to their right to privacy. 
This initiative is intended to support individuals and their families; therefore, a family member can apply on behalf of the artist as long as they can provide an explanation why.
The second edition of the Art Lives Initiative is launched with support from the Ford Foundation and the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation. 

About the Art Lives Initiative

In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, Ettijahat – Independent Culture, alongside Action For Hope, and Mophradat launched the Art Lives Initiative in June of 2020, which is an exceptional project to support artistic practitioners residing in the Arab Region. The initiative provided a quick and flexible response to protect artists and cultural practitioners whose livelihoods and health had been affected by the outbreak. 
Out of a total of 365 applications received in 2020, support was provided to 30 applicants in the Healthcare Support category, and 60 applicants in the Livelihood Support category, with fields of work including Theatre, Fine and Visual Arts, Dance, Music, Architecture, Creative Writing, Cinema, and Cultural Management. The selection criteria focused on the urgency of the applicant’s health or economic situation, their commitments in terms of securing rent or medical treatment, the effect of their current situation on their dependents, especially children or elderly family members, and the overall political, economic, and security context of their home countries.
Towards the end of August 2020, and following the Beirut Port Blast, Ettijahat – Independent Culture and Action for Hope announced a special call for applications, within the Art Lives Initiative, to support artists based in Beirut, whose health and material/economic conditions were damaged due to the explosion. Through Art Lives Beirut, support was provided to 29 beneficiaries out of 59 applications received from artists born in Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, and Iraq, all of whom residing in Beirut. 

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