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Culture Summit Abu Dhabi to live stream special panel session and performances

In the absence of a Culture Summit Abu Dhabi 2020 event, The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), in collaboration with global cultural organisations, is delivering a special Culture Summit Abu Dhabi live stream experience, set to be broadcast on YouTube on Thursday 9 April at 5pm (UAE time).

‘Alone Together: Culture and Resilience’

HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi, will chair the panel session ‘Alone Together: Culture and Resilience’, featuring distinguished participants including Ernesto Ottone Ramírez, Assistant Director-General for Culture, UNESCO; Alexandra Munroe, Samsung Senior Curator of Asian Art and Senior Adviser, Global Arts, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation; Rebecca Lyons, Director of Collections and Learning, Royal Academy of Arts; Melanie Noronha, Senior Editor, Thought Leadership, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, The Economist Intelligence Unit; and Marisa Henderson, Chief, Creative Economy, UNCTAD.

‘Alone Together: Culture and Resilience’ will address the current global situation and its impact on culture from a social, economic and psychological angle.  Culture today is in crisis, but the session will address how it is responding to the threat and helping to create a resilient society that prioritises participation and community support.

With culture being the continuous thread which links an increasingly isolated global population, the discussion will assess the impact of this current period of unprecedented crisis on the culture sector, and explore how culture might help to lessen our collective anxiety and trauma.

With many institutions closing their doors for an extended period of time, there are severe challenges around funding and staffing, and the panellists will debate how cultural organisations can best endure this period of shutdown, and how we can most effectively support institutions, artists, and the creative industries.

As we undergo what is undoubtedly a transformative time, the participants will also discuss what lessons we can take from the challenges being presented, as well as what new frameworks might emerge in the aftermath.

Event will be broadcast on YouTube on Thursday 9 April at 5pm UAE time (2pm GMT; 3pm Paris/Geneva; 9am New York)

Musical performances curated by Berklee Abu Dhabi

The panel discussion will be followed by musical performances curated by Berklee Abu Dhabi, including: American Grammy-winning and Emmy-nominated songwriter-producer Desmond Child;  a Berklee Valencia and Berklee Abu Dhabi remote collaboration of “Min Makan”, an original instrumental Arabic fusion song composed by Jordanian violinist Yarub Smarait in collaboration with Berklee Valencia alumni; a remote collaboration between Berklee Boston and Berklee Abu Dhabi, a cover of Fairouz’ “Ya Tayr” (“Oh Bird”) in English by a group of Berklee college of music alumni originally from the Middle East, featuring vocals from Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Mayssa Karaa; and “When You Believe”, a remote collaboration between Berklee Boston, Berklee Valencia and Berklee Abu Dhabi, featuring Berklee College of Music alumni from around the world, as well as singer-songwriters Mayssa Karaa and Lilla, performing a special rendition of the famed Whitney Houston/Mariah Carey song from the 1998 animated musical drama The Prince of Egypt.

With a theme that is fitting in these uncertain times, the song tells us that although fear exists, positive things will come if we believe and don’t ever give up.

All are invited to stream this special event at the Culture Summit Abu Dhabi YouTube channel.

For more information, please visit

What is Culture Summit Abu Dhabi?

Culture Summit is a forum that convenes leaders from the fields of the arts, design, heritage, media, museums, public policy and technology, to identify ways in which culture can transform societies and communities worldwide. In April 2019, Culture Summit welcomed over 480 participants from 90 countries, and presented a series of expert-led panels and workshops on art, museums, cultural heritage, media and technology.

The Summit is organised by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi in collaboration with five global partners that curated and led on their specific area of expertise. These partners are the Royal Academy of Arts, UNESCO, Guggenheim, The Economist Events and Google.

The theme of 2019’s programme was Cultural Responsibility & New Technology. A series of panels, performances and workshops throughout the event engaged participants on their ideas about the role of culture in improving our world.



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