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Arab Scholarships and Grants in Creative Writing and the Arts

Arab students and professionals in culture and the arts might like to know about scholarships and grants they can seek to support their education or creative projects. Al-Fanar Media would therefore like to present five scholarships and other funding opportunities that support work or study in cultural and artistic fields, including cinema, visual and performing arts, photography, creative writing, and research.

Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC)

The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC) offers grants to individuals and cultural and artistic institutions in the Arab world for training and creative projects in areas like the visual arts, performing arts, documentary film, documentary photography, creative and critical writing, research on arts, music, and cinema. Application deadlines vary by programme. Check the Grants & Programmes page on AFAC’s website for grant guidelines and details about the evaluation process.

AFAC was established in 2007 by Arab cultural activists as an independent body that finances individuals and institutions working in the arts and culture. Based in Beirut, AFAC works with artists and institutions across the Arab region and the world.

Sawiris Arts and Culture Scholarship (SACS)

The Sawiris Arts and Culture Scholarship is open to Egyptian future artists and professionals who are seeking educational opportunities at multiple levels, including bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees and artistic residencies.

Supported by the Sawiris Foundation for Social Development, the scholarship aims to help artists enrich their talents and their communities. The foundation also seeks to ensure that educational opportunities are accessible to everyone and that all students have access to an inclusive environment to learn.

Scholarship subjects include the performing arts, music, visual arts and film studies. Applicants seeking a degree can study at preapproved universities in Europe, the United Kingdom, North America, Australia and Russia.

Culture Resource Production Awards

The nonprofit Culture Resource (Al-Mawred Al-Thaqafy) supports artistic creativity in the Arab region and encourages cultural exchange within the region and beyond. Its Production Awards programme offers grants to young Arab artists and writers to enable them to produce their first creative projects.

Grants of up to 8,500 euros are available for projects in literature, music, performing arts and visual arts, and of up to 13,000 euros for projects in cinema and video. Every year, 20 projects are selected for the grants, four in each category. The current funding cycle has closed, but potential applicants can check the organization’s website for when it announces a new call for applications. The online application form is available once a year.

Funding opportunities are currently available in the following three programs: Abbara, which supports the development of independent artistic and cultural initiatives and organizations in the Arab region; Wijhat, supporting regional and international travels of artists and cultural actors; and Stand for Art, which supports artists and cultural actors at risk.

Established in 2003, Culture Resource believes in the pivotal role of culture in society, the importance of making culture accessible to all, and the right of artists to freedom of expression.

Mophradat Opportunities for Artists and Writers

Mophradat, an international nonprofit association based in Belgium, offers support to artists, curators, musicians, and writers from the Arab world in a number of formats. Its projects include residencies for arts practitioners with various international organisations, fellowships that allow younger artists to learn through hands-on assistantships with professionals in their field; and writing sabbaticals for published authors who need time to focus on completion of a work in progress.

Established in 2004, Mophradat developed its various programmes over the years to enable artists to share their practices with audiences in the Arab region and internationally, as well as with peers, and to generate a dynamic and maturing artistic community.

Scholarship of the Supreme Council of Culture in Egypt

The Supreme Council of Culture in Egypt offers a full-time scholarship annually in  the arts, literature, and social sciences. It is limited to Egyptian artists and requires residency within the country during the period  of the scholarship. The application for full-time scholarships  includes branches of plastic art and Arabic calligraphy.

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The Supreme Council of Culture was established in 1956 as an independent body  affiliated  to the Egyptian Council of Ministers.  It coordinated the work of government institutions  in  art and literature.  It was the first of its kind  in the Arab world prompting  many Arab countries to follow  its example.

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By: Mona Abu Al-Nasr

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