Nationals' Gallery: Emirati Artists' Resource & Register
Lisa Ball-Lechgar - Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation
Radisson Habiba Hall
2011 marked the 40th anniversary of the founding of the UAE, the 20th anniversary of the Sharjah Biennial and the 15th anniversary of the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation. With so much cultural activity in the region, the Nationals’ Gallery was set up to form a central resource for Emirati artists to access information on the region’s initiatives and act as a point of reference for visiting internationals.
The Nationals’ Gallery (Riwaq Al Fan) is an Emirati artists’ resource and register. This is a nationwide Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation (ADMAF) initiative dedicated to supporting the growth and development of indigenous, contemporary artistic expression in the United Arab Emirates. To complement the existing provision by independent organisations and government authorities, ADMAF seeks to create a dedicated resource to enable established, emerging and student Emirati arts practitioners to gain access to information and to empower them through opportunities that can help accelerate their careers and enhance their talent.
Established in 1996, founded by H.E. Hoda Ibrahim Al Khamis Kanoo, the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) seeks to nurture the arts, education, culture and creativity for the benefit of the UAE and the advancement of Abu Dhabi’s cultural vision. ADMAF advocates the power of music and arts in cross-cultural understanding and seeks to empower original artistic expression in the Middle East. Through the Nationals’ Gallery, award and grant schemes, education, community and cultural events, including the Abu Dhabi festival, ADMAF aims to preserve the UAE’s cultural legacy and inspire creativity and cultivate emerging talent.
Lisa Ball-Lechgar is Strategic Advisor for the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF). She left an acting career to move into theatre and festival management in Scotland and Morocco before joining the UK NGO Arts & Business (A&B), where she became Head of Information and International Affairs. Following a cultural research project in Egypt and Lebanon for the European Cultural Foundation, she moved to Beirut where she combined international arts consultancy with journalism and the management of Ashkal Alwan. She later served as Editor of Canvas magazine (2005-2008) and Editor of Bahrain Clientele (2008-2009), and has lectured and moderated forums across Europe, the Middle East and South Africa.