Founded in 2003, ArteEast is a leading New York-based nonprofit organization dedicated to engaging a growing global audience with the contemporary arts of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
Through public programming, strategic partnerships, and dynamic online publications, ArteEast plays an essential role by connecting the MENA arts sector with international audiences and serving as a forum for critical dialogue aimed at the development of a sustainable MENA arts sector.
ArteEast First 10 Years at a Glance
A Brief History of ArteEast 2003 - 20013
ArteEast was co-founded in 2003 by Livia Alexander, Melissa Hibbard, Hamid Rahmanian with the support of a group of filmmakers, artists and educators who shared a vision of building an organization for showcasing the work of artists and filmmakers from the Middle East in New York.
From a start in 2003 focused on CinemaEast, a monthly Arab film program (screenings with talks) in New York, ArteEast has progressively broadened its scope and reach over the last ten years.
From a Cinemaeast Film Festival in 2005, our first major international touring film program was in 2006, Retrospective: 30 Years of Syrian Cinema, which permitted us to bring a largely unknown body of work to audiences in the Middle East for the first time. The program was complemented by the publication of our first book, Insights into Syrian Cinema: Essays and Conversations with Contemporary Filmmakers, and extensive talks with filmmakers, this program introduced Syrian cinema to audiences worldwide and contributed to an important rejuvenation for exhibition of Arab cinema in the region.
In 2009, ArteEast marked its expansion into the visual arts by curating and presenting Tarjama/Translation, a ground-breaking exhibition of contemporary Middle Eastern art at the Queens Museum in New York and also pioneered an unprecedented MENA-wide network for cinema as a founding member of NAAS (Network of Arab Art-House Screens).
In 2010, ArteEast took important steps to develop our role as a leader in the MENA arts community by partnering with the Sharjah Foundation to organize the annual March Meeting which allowed us to establish ourselves as an important partner to the MENA arts community for furthering intra-regional collaboration and promoting networking with international arts professionals. In that same year, ArteEast also co-presented Enchanted Mutineers: A showcase of Independent Film from the Middle East and North Africa at the Istanbul Film Festival and a selection of Middle East films at the Tribeca Film Festival.
In 2010, ArteEast also co-curated and co-presented our most significant program to date, a three-year film program Mapping Subjectivity: Experimentation in Arab Cinema, 1960-Present, with The Museum of Modern Art, selections of which were also shown at the Tate Modern in London and the Abu Dhabi Film Festival.
2010 also marked the beginning of an ongoing parternship with the French Instituite Alliance Francaise (FIAF), with their World Nomads Festival which has featured Lebanon, Morocco, and Tunisia.
In 2011, ArteEast launched some key initiatives enabling holistic support of the regional arts community including a residency Initiative to support MENA artists’ participation in prestigious US-based residencies, and a significant expansion of our online Opportunities for Artists/ArteNews service.
ArteEast also hosted its 2011 Benefit Auction featuring established and emerging MENA artists at Philips de Pury and Co.
In 2012, ArteEast continued to expand its artist residency program by hosting our first residency in the Middle East with Kristine Khouri as a researcher in residence at the Sultan Gallery.
Following our Shahadat issue featuring Gazan writers, ArteEast presented From Memoir to Reportage and Back Again: Gazan Writers Salon, which led to us hosting the first ever pannel of Palestinian writers at the PEN World Voices Festival the following year entitled, All That's Left to You: Palestinian Writers in Conversation.