DUBAI, UAE, June 20, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Today marks the conclusion of the third edition of the A.R.M. Holding Children’s Programme. This cultural education programme is the largest of its kind in the UAE, aimed at inspiring the next generation of creative minds and cultivating a passion for art and culture. The 2023 edition grew 64%, reaching more than 9000 students across the country.
The first-of-its-kind programme is developed by private investment firm A.R.M. Holding, in partnership with Art Dubai. The initiative seeks to empower the new generation with an understanding of the arts, reinforcing Dubai’s position as a global capital of culture and innovation. With creative programming conceived by international artists, each edition is designed to inspire the UAE’s young minds by offering specially curated workshops at Art Dubai every spring, followed by bespoke classroom experiences.
His Excellency Mohammad Saeed Al Shehhi, CEO of A.R.M. Holding, said: “In a diverse community of over 200 nationalities, art is a bridge that can connect us on a deeper level, fostering communication, understanding, and empathy. By integrating the arts both in and out of the classroom, we can equip students with the tools they need to think innovatively and solve problems creatively. Our programme has grown tremendously, increasing this year’s outreach to 64% compared to 2022. Over the years, we have engaged 1,800 children from 70 schools in the first edition, 5,500 students in 80 schools in the second edition, to over 9,000 students from 90 schools this year. We sincerely hope this programme can be extended further, serving as an integral component of the UAE curriculum.”
Each year, the programme themes the workshops complementary to the UAE priorities. In its inaugural edition in 2021, design duo Studio Sain tested innovative ideas on constructing a sustainable community in outer space and had the children create an alternative living habitat on a fictional version of the moon through the ‘Noom Project.’ This was in line with the UAE’s space mission to Mars as the first Emirati embarks on space travel. As the UAE leads the way in sustainable development, Kenyan artist Cyrus Kabiru conducted ‘Art of Recycle’ workshops in 2022. Designed to challenge perspectives and demonstrate how everyday objects can be given a new lease of life, the children repurposed everyday materials from their homes and schools creatively.
In 2023, the A.R.M. Holding Children’s Programme’s third edition selected Swedish visual artist Jacob Dahlgren. Drawing inspiration from his Signs of Abstraction project, he developed a series of workshops designed for children aged from 5 to 17. The aim was to foster teamwork skills while promoting creative and abstract thinking about their environments. The children created collages from everyday materials, pieced together to form colourful tapestries and flags. The programme culminates with an exhibition of the children’s artwork at schools, demonstrating the potential of abstract engagement with our surroundings and the power of collaboration towards a common goal.
Mona Mahmood, Art Teacher at Al Sadiq Islamic English School Dubai, said: “The workshop provided our students with a unique platform to explore their creativity and reflect upon the significance of flags as symbols of identity, unity, and diversity. The program has not only enriched their academic pursuits but also fostered a sense of confidence, self-expression, and appreciation for different cultures. We extend our sincerest appreciation to A.R.M. Holding and Art Dubai for spearheading this initiative and providing a transformative experience for our students. The Flag Project has become an integral part of our school’s artistic endeavours, and we eagerly look forward to future collaborations and opportunities to further empower our students through art education. We wholeheartedly endorse this programme and its commitment to nurturing young artistic minds.”
Benedetta Ghione, Executive Director of Art Dubai, said: “We are humbled by the growth of the A.R.M. Holding Children’s Programme, which has been successfully incorporated into Art Dubai’s education programme. The positive response has enabled us to continue engaging with the community beyond the fair. It is exciting to see the immense creativity that young minds can unleash through their art.”
Schools may express their interest in participating in the next edition through firstname.lastname@example.org.
Media Contacts – Art Dubai
About A.R.M. Holding
A.R.M. Holding is a private investment firm and multi-focused economic enabler that creates synergies and opportunities through local, regional and global investments. At the core of the company’s business strategy is its commitment to impactful investments, actively employing its resources to advance society and empower its players to pursue innovative solutions and inspire a better future. It collaborates with like-minded organizations and leverages its network and partnerships to create meaningful relationships and growth opportunities. A.R.M. Holding’s investments are focused on tech-enabled industries and sophisticated technologies around the world that demonstrate strong potential for long-term positive social impact. It also holds equity stakes in some of Dubai’s foremost companies in a variety of sectors including Banking, Telecom, FMCG, Real Estate, and Hospitality. A.R.M. Holding has contributed to society with significant investments in numerous industries and versatile projects. In 2021, it became the first corporate patron of the Dubai Collection, the first institutional art collection in the emirate of Dubai. To learn more about A.R.M. Holding, please visit: www.armholding.ae
About Art Dubai
Founded in 2007, Art Dubai is the premier platform to see and buy modern and contemporary art from the Global South. Across its Contemporary, Modern and Digital gallery sections, annual artist commissions and year-round collector and education programmes, Art Dubai champions art and artists from across the Global South, providing a relevant and increasingly important alternative to mainstream, largely Western-led narratives.
The preeminent international art fair in the Middle East, Art Dubai has established itself as a regional cultural hub and an increasingly important meeting point for the Global South’s art world. The city has experienced unprecedented growth over the last 10 years and the fair welcomes top collecting and institutional audiences from the UAE, the region and internationally.
Art Dubai has an extensive year-round education and commissioning year-round programme, carried out in collaboration with local and regional partners and delivering ambitious cultural programming across the city. A core component of this is its flagship initiative, Campus Art Dubai (CAD), now on its 10th edition. CAD was the first programme of its kind in the region, developed to provide existing and aspiring members of the region’s cultural and creative community with educational and professional opportunities. The annual programme offers a special curriculum that provides UAE-based talents with a platform to develop their artistic skills. During the fair, Art Dubai organises extensive school tours, enabling children to visit and participate in a carefully curated trail.
Art Dubai is held in partnership with A.R.M. Holding. The fair is sponsored by Swiss Wealth Management Group Julius Baer. Culturally rich developer HUNA is a partner of Art Dubai. The Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) is the fair’s strategic partner. Madinat Jumeirah is the home of Art Dubai.