The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture – AFAC is pleased to announce the twenty-one new grantees in the Music Grants Program for 2019.
The call for applications opened on June 1 and closed on September 1, 2019, with 253 applications received from 14 Arab countries and 9 non-Arab countries, thereby registering a 71% increase in comparison to 2018 (148 applications received).
A three-membered jury committee convened in the AFAC offices in Beirut to deliberate on and evaluate the projects. This year’s jury comprised vocalist Fadia Tomb El Hage (Lebanon), composer Zied Zouari (Tunisia), and music producer and critic Rami Abadir (Egypt).
Following the deliberations and selection, the jurors issued the following statement:
“We were selected and invited by the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture – AFAC to be the music jury. Over a month and a half, each of the three jury members evaluated 253 applications. Over the course of two days, the jury engaged in fruitful and lengthy discussions reflecting the different backgrounds and interests of its members, ranging from classical, experimental, academic and popular, in search of the best projects which are innovative and serious.
The final selection included 10 emerging artists, 7 beginners and 4 institutions. The 21 winning projects included various musical genres like pop, jazz, experimental, electronic and heritage, as well as musical, documentary and educational festivals’ projects. The jury saw in the winners' projects the tendency to innovate and extend the boundaries of music fields, and the will to produce innovative works in relation to the Arab region. In addition to evaluating on a creative and technical basis, the jury took into account the budget feasibility and project methodology, as well as the social and geographical context, the educational dimension and the potential impact of projects on their surroundings.
The jury identified in many projects an attempt to break out of the familiar and consumer forms; some through audio, documentary and educational works, others through heritage revival in traditional and creative ways, in addition to a large presence of music fusion. However, the jury noted the lack of women among applicants, and encourages more women artists to apply in the future. We also observed a lack of orchestral, contemporary classical, rap, contemporary and electronic folk music and subsequently, the jury also recommends that more artists engaged on these musical genres to apply. The jury also urges artists to delve into unusual creative forms outside their comfort zone, as well as musical projects that connect with other artistic disciplines such as combining music with audiovisual disciplines.”
This year’s selection includes jazz, pop, electronic, experimental and traditional music productions, in addition to festivals and training and archiving projects.
Among the 21 selected artists and institutions, 17 are receiving support from AFAC for the first time; 6 are female artists versus 11 male artists and 4 institutions; 10 are emerging artists applying for a first or second project.