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Summit to discuss power of culture to drive social change

Event will convene leaders from across the world on April 8-12

Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: The second annual Culture Summit Abu Dhabi will convene an audience of leaders from across the world to discuss the power of culture to drive positive social change.

Delegates at the summit will discuss topics as wideranging as education, positive climate action and measures against extremism, the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi announced in a statement on Wednesday.

The summit’s steering committee will be chaired by Noora Mohammad Al Kaabi, UAE Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development.

The summit is scheduled to be held from April 8 to 12 at Manarat Al Saadiyat on Saadiyat Island.

The inaugural Culture Summit, in April 2017, hosted more than 450 participants from 80 countries to discuss cultural diplomacy as a change agent for the digital age. Through a combination of presentations, panels and workshops, the action-driven programme addressed such issues as climate change, gender equality and globalisation, identifying art, technology and policy as a crucial yet underdeveloped intersection of those efforts.

As a result, the 2018 event will cross spectrums to focus on the unexpected collaborations needed to strengthen and initiate cultural notions. Performances, artworks and workshops by Culture Summit artists-in-residence will complement the forum’s programme to address global challenges.

Last year’s event also recognised and paid tribute to a number of prominent international figures in cultural diplomacy, including Madeleine Albright, former US Secretary of State; Dr Anwar Mohammad Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs; Zaki Nussaibah, UAE Minister of State; the creators of El Sistema music education programmes; the producers of Sesame Street; the creators of the East-Western Divan orchestra; Academy Award-winning composer Tan Dun; internationally-acclaimed artist Idris Khan, and MacArthur Award-winner Liz Lerman.

“We are looking for the 2018 event to build on the success of the inaugural summit,” Al Kaabi said.

“We expect to generate concrete efforts and tangible results — in identifying ways to enhance and support arts education worldwide — by connecting with sectors that may not seem quite so relevant to supporting culture, or contributing to public awareness. We believe that the concept of culture is broad and all-inclusive, and endures great potentials to impact people’s lives,” she added.

The event will be organised by the department in conjunction with US media firm The Rothkopf Group and global arts advisers TCP Ventures.

“The timing of Culture Summit 2018, coming as it does just months after the opening of Louvre Abu Dhabi, will give leaders from culture, policy, technology and media communities worldwide a chance to see how Abu Dhabi has established itself as a global cultural capital of rapidly growing stature. At the same time, the emirate maintains its own identity, celebrating heritage and culture as key components of an aspiring future,” said Mohammad Khalifa Al Mubarak, department chairman.