ArteEast’s vision is of a thriving and sustainable arts sector in the Middle East and North Africa. Its mission is to deepen international arts engagement and to provide support to MENA-based artists and arts organizations in order to broaden the global audience for contemporary culture from the region. Our mission is realized through four strategic pillars:

  • ACCESS: We provide a platform and resources to catalyze greater intra-regional collaboration as well as broader international engagement.
  • ENGAGE: We facilitate and support U.S. foundations’ engagement with the MENA arts sector.
  • CONNECT: We connect MENA artists and arts organizations to professional development and capacity building opportunities in order to support the continued development and sustainability of the MENA region arts sector.
  • CONVENE: We create opportunities to gather artists, arts professionals, philanthropists, and foundations in critical discussions on contemporary art of the MENA region, and engages in opportunities to engage with the wider public in an effort to build the audience for MENA arts.


Since its beginnings as a New York-based programmer in Middle Eastern films, ArteEast has developed into an organization that advocates and supports Middle Eastern artists’ and arts organizations’ engagement with U.S.-based arts communities and audiences. By being responsive to the shifting needs and opportunities on the ground in the region, ArteEast has steadily evolved to become a valued U.S.-based partner for and supporter of artists working in the visual, literary and performance arts, while also expanding the U.S. cultural and philanthropic communities’ understanding of the challenges and opportunities of engaging with the MENA regional arts community.


Board of Directors:

Ellen Brooks Shehata (President)

Hazam Gamal (Treasurer)

Diana Abouali (Vice President)

Heba Elkayal (Secretary)

Nathaniel Bowditch

Lena Diab

Angela Edens

Naila Farouky

Tarek Khanachet

Co-Founders: Livia Alexander, Melissa Hibbard & Hamid Rahmanian

Executive Director: Beth Stryker