The March Meeting
The Meeting is an annual gathering of global art professionals and institutions concerned with the production and dissemination of art in the region. Launched in 2008, the Meeting was conceived as a forum to encourage regional art professionals to connect, to share ideas and expertise, to network and form partnerships for future projects.
The first March Meeting was organised in cooperation with the Young Arab Theatre Fund (YATF). Discussions covered a wide range of topics including the enhancement of funding opportunities for artists and the need to address issues related to Arabic art writing and publishing. Among those attending were representatives from influential regional institutions including Darat Al Funun (Jordan), Townhouse Gallery (Egypt), and Beirut Art Center (Lebanon).
Reflecting the broad international attendance of the 9th Sharjah Biennial, the 2009 March Meeting added a more global perspective to the regional discussion. Complementing presentations by regional organisations such as the Beirut-based Ashkal Alwan, were those given by prominent international figures such as Rem Koolhaas, Thomas Krens and institutions such as the Prince Claus Foundation, as well as universities from New York and Sharjah.
The 2010 Meeting was co-organised with New York based ArteEast. Over 50 art institutions based or active in the MENASA region, as well as artists and independent curators took part in the three-day symposium. Full funding was provided to those presenting thus to enable a wider range of organisations and individuals to participate. The programme allowed participants to present projects, ideas, dilemmas and plans, with a view to developing a strong foundation for future collaborative ventures as well as mapping the cultural calendar for the coming years.