The British Council and Msheireb Properties have together organised an ‘Arts Management workshop: ‘Marketing and Audience Development’, at the company’s Msheireb Enrichment Centre on 18th & 19th Jan 2012. This will be the second workshop organised at the Msheireb Enrichment Centre, the first one ‘Strategic Management, Planning and Evaluation’ was held in December. The two workshops come in the series of cultural management workshops which The British Council will be offering this year as a part of their Cultural Leadership International (CLI) Initiative.
The approach of the workshop is participatory and experiential; it encourages participants to apply the principles they are learning to their own organisations and projects and draw on their experience of implementing projects in Qatar. It equips participants with the skills needed to tackle arts marketing successfully by examining the five key areas: Marketing and Publicity, Media and Public Relations, Research and Data, Planning, and Audience Development.
Khalifa Al Obaidly Assistant Manager - Cultural Affairs of Msheireb Properties, said: “We are delighted to partner with the British Council for these training sessions. Msheireb Properties is committed to the principle of knowledge sharing, and collaborations with international experts and the British Council will serve to further the development of arts and culture initiatives in Qatar.”
Msheireb Properties also presented for the first time its ‘Found Objects’ project started at their signature project site, Msheireb Downtown Doha. The project, ‘Sadaa Al Thikrayat’, which roughly translates into ‘the echo memory project’, is an artist-led initiative to record and collect a wide range of artefacts, stories and memories from Msheireb, Qatar’s earliest suburb, dating from 1951, as the area undergoes extensive regeneration as part of the Msheireb Downtown Doha development.
Khalifa Al Obaidly added, “This artist-led Arts Project sets out, at its heart, to foster and develop dialogue between the diverse communities of Doha. It suggests that by using the potency and inspiration of the ‘found objects’ as a rich resource, the project will support and create both a new ‘architecture’, metaphorically and physically, and art works that are poetic, contemporary and questioning – where the porosity of territory, time, memory and identity are explored through artistic creating and participation by the whole Doha community.”
Items were collected from the Msheireb Downtown construction site by local and visiting artists, students, employees of Msheireb Properties and Time Qatar and site labourers over a three-year period. The unearthed items include personal possessions such as shoes, clothing, books, photographs, letters, toys and documents; kitchenware; furniture; architectural items such as light switches, window frames and spiral staircases as well as street signs and post boxes.
Lana Kayed, British Council Qatar Projects Manager, said, “CLI is a programme developed by the British Council which supports the emergence, and hones the skills and talents, of a diverse and strategic group of future cultural leaders in Europe, North America, North Africa and the Middle East. The project will enhance intercultural understanding, and support economic growth, cultural development and social change. We are very happy to be launching the project in partnership with Msheireb Properties and hope that the collaboration goes forward to future workshops.”
One planned by-product of the workshops was the creation of a network of Arts Managers who will continue to work together to raise the quality of the projects and programmes implemented in this flourishing sector in Qatar.
The first workshop was attended by managers representing key players from the arts and culture sector such as Qatar Museum Authority and Qatar Foundation. It also included some successful artists and practitioners. This mix of experienced and skilled individuals from such a wide cross section of organisations was identified by participants as one of the key strengths of the event, as it enabled high quality peer group critiques and support.