Enhancing Education Program

United Arab Emirates
Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation
This measure was reported by civil society.
Describe the main features of the measure/initiative: 
Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation (ADMAF) nurtures creativity through arts education, community arts and special projects. This entry provides information on programs implemented between 2016 and 2019 and which promote the diversity of cultural expression in the cultural sector. ADMAF’s Enhancing Education Program (EEP) has a theoretical underpinning corroborated by research and case studies from around the world showing the positive impact cultural and creative learning has on young people. It has been proven to foster the creativity of future generations by developing the five habits of mind: curiosity, resilience, imagination, discipline and collaboration. This program nurtures young people’s appreciation of the arts, exposes them to new cultures, engages them in cultural discourses and creates opportunities for cultural exchange and cross-cultural dialogue. The various initiatives under the program include conferences and debates, master classes, workshops, and access to Abu Dhabi Festival's open rehearsals. In this way, the program exposes young people to artistic excellence, and engages them with world-class artists, cultural leaders, diplomats, thinkers, and academics. Other year-long initiatives focus on reviving UAE’s cultural heritage and the introduction of a STEAM approach to education across the seven emirates. Initiatives under the Enhancing Education Program include: • Riwaq Al Fikr: Riwaq Al Firk is a platform for dialogue and debate on diverse global contemporary issues that engages a public audience (including Emirati youth and students) with thinkers, diplomats, and cultural leaders. The sessions have covered topics such as cultural identity, art and tourism, women’s leadership in the 21st Century, arts management and collecting contemporary art in Europe and the Middle East’, and much more. Riwaq Al Firk’s sessions can be accessed via ADMAF’s YouTube channel. • Cultural Heritage Preservation Initiative: The Cultural Heritage Preservation initiative is a continuation of ADMAF’s efforts in reviving the UAE’s cultural heritage, restoring ancient masterpieces and instilling pride in a national identity that is tolerant and open to the world. This initiative celebrates and revives local heritage while championing global cultural exchange through a series of symposiums, lectures, discussions and talks. On the sidelines of the symposium, an exhibition is curated to celebrate a culturally diverse world, inviting participants to reflect upon and identify ways through which humanity can build bridges across cultures, and instigate positive change. • Festival in Focus: Every year, Emirati youth and students from across the seven emirates are granted open access to Abu Dhabi Festival's rehearsals, through which they engage with world-class artists and performers. Such a “behind the scenes” experience has been a memorable one, further raising the aspirations of the youth and encouraging them to nurture their creative talents. Through exposure to artistic excellence, young people are inspired to create and become further attuned to artistic appreciation. • Back to School: Back to School is a series of workshops, master classes, talks and lectures by world-renowned artists and thought leaders that encourages learning and creative expression in educational institutions across the UAE. Back to School offers a valuable opportunity for students to learn first-hand from Abu Dhabi Festival's world-renowned musicians and artists in an intimate classroom setting. • Ministry of Science: Ministry of Science is a live, science-themed theatrical stage show that brings knowledge of mankind’s incredible inventions to new audiences across the UAE. This initiative introduces Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics education in a completely new, fun and interactive format to Emirati youth.
What are the results achieved so far through the implementation of the measure/initiative?: 
By exposing the youth to the world’s finest cultural and creative expressions, the program succeeded in deepening their interest in the arts and engagement with the UAE’s cultural scene. Working in intimate environments with world-renowned artists from the region and across all disciplines has also contributed to unlocking their creativity and raising their aspirations, while broadening their understanding of the art world and related career prospects. The EEP program has proven to be an effective channel for participants to better understand the world’s different artistic and cultural expressions. It succeeded to do so through initiatives leveraging cross-cultural dialogue, which at the same time invite them to reflect on their own sense of identity and belonging. The ultimate impact of such an approach to programming is the strengthening of the values of openness and tolerance among audiences. Over the years, the EEP has established itself as a gateway to knowledge that strengthens academic performance, inspiring and nurturing an appetite for learning across the entire educational spectrum. To date, 4,782 young Emiratis have actively taken part in this program.
Goal(s) of UNESCO's 2005 Convention
Cultural Domain(s)
Cinema/ Audiovisual Arts
Media Arts
Performing Arts
Visual Arts
Transversal Priority(ies)
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