ArteEast’s vision is of a thriving and sustainable arts sector in the Middle East and North Africa. Our 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 core programs include career-building residencies for MENA region-based artists, professional development workshops and resources for artists, and audience building and community engagement around MENA arts.



ArteEast partnered with the Arab American National Museum, and the Arab Film and Media Institute to bring together a monthly curated online program of contemporary and classic films, followed by discussions with Arab, Arab American, and diasporic filmmakers, connecting a worldwide community through film, dialogue, and activism.

To learn more about the Arab Film Series Online, go to



Unpacking the ArteArchive highlights ArteEast’s film and video collection, presenting curators’ selections from the ArteArchive in dialogue with contemporary voices.

Unpacking the ArteArchive is ArteEast’s legacy program which preserves and presents 20 ears of film and video programming by ArteEast.

To learn more about the Unpacking the ArteArchive, go to


ArteEast is seeking to support the preservation of and presentation of the organization’s ArteArchive of film and video by artists from the Middle East, North Africa and their diasporas. ArteArchive includes works from ArteEast’s programs The Calm After the Storm: Classic and Contemporary Lebanese Cinema (presented with the Film Society of Lincoln Center), Mapping Subjectivity: Experimentation in Arab Cinema (ArteEast’s multi-year collaboration with MoMA), and the groundbreaking series Lens on Syria: Thirty Years of Contemporary Cinema (presented in over 40 venues worldwide). A number of these programs showcased films that are rarely seen outside of the Arab world, including works that were especially restored, re-mastered and digitized by ArteEast. ArteEast seeks to preserve and make publicly available these important works. ArteArchive contains some of the only known remaining copies of films produced in Syria and Iraq. 

Unpacking the ArteArchive is an ongoing legacy project, preserving and presenting over 15 years of film and video programming by ArteEast.

To learn more about the ArteArchive, go to:


ArteEast’s Residency initiatives places MENA-based artists in prestigious, career-building, international residencies with our partners throughout the United States. Each of these residencies is strategically conceived to help support artists through various stages and challenges within their career, and to create opportunities for U.S.-based audiences, gallerists, curators, collectors, museum professionals, and artists to encounter and engage with our residents and their work. Our 2016 Residency Initiative Partners included:


The MENA arts scene is vibrant, and highly connected and creative communities of culture producers are making their voices known in the Middle East. Yet there is an ongoing struggle for sustainability in the MENA arts sector. ArteEast’s professional development initiatives provide a means for individual artists to refine their communications skills, learn how to network more effectively, and assist them in understanding how to build a sustainable career in the visual arts. Our initiatives for arts institutions focus on capacity building and aim to help institutions in the region understand the revenue generation and support opportunities available to them as well as to learn the public relations and marketing techniques that will help them to increase their visibility, build their audiences, and create a more sustainable future. Our 2016 Professional Development initiatives include:

  • On site workshops in Dubai, Cairo, and Beirut
  • Web-based series for individual artists and arts institutions
  • Online crit groups for individual artists to discuss their work in the context of a virtual mentorship


ArteEast hosts NAAS (Network of Arab Arthouse Screens) which is a network of independent arthouse cinemas and cultural institutions united by the common goal to develop cinema culture across the Arab world by bringing, and creating discussion around, the best of local, regional and world cinema to our large combined audiences. As committed and experienced promoters of art and cinema from Morocco to Bahrain, network members establish and enhance valuable synergies – in distribution, programming, promotion and training – in the face of shared obstacles and individual, local isolation.

NAAS membership is open to independent arthouse cinemas, cine clubs, galleries and spaces, independent organizations and exhibitors in the region involved in the promotion of arthouse films.