The Sharjah Art Foundation Production Programme is pleased to announce the 2010 Open Call for Submissions. This funding cycle will offer three artists grants of up to $100,000 for the realisation of individual projects.

The Sharjah Art Foundation Production Programme broadens the possibilities for the production of art in the MENASA region through a commitment to support innovation and excellence in artistic practice by encouraging risk and experimentation. This commitment places artists at the core of the Foundation’s mission by offering grants of up to $100,000 and professional support for the realisation of projects selected from an open call.

The past decade has seen an extraordinary rise in artistic activity throughout the Middle East, resulting in an increased visibility for artists both regionally and internationally. Within this context, the Foundation in its overall mission hopes to promote and encourage an environment of public and private patronage for the highest level of artistic endeavour, while this programme focuses on supporting artists in their individual attempts to create work on a scale they have perhaps never imagined possible.

Arts practitioners are invited to propose imaginative, ambitious and inspirational projects that will transform our understanding of what art is and how it can be experienced. With this initiative we hope to engage and challenge the artists, our audiences and ourselves aesthetically, intellectually, emotionally, socially, politically or in ways new and unexpected.

In 2010 we are offering up to three production grants to artists working in a range of media including sculpture, installation, time-based media, artist’s books and performance. Submissions will be accepted between 1 April and 1 June 2010 with the selections announced in early October. The selected projects will be developed and produced by the artist and the Sharjah Art Foundation with presentation of completed works in 2011 and 2012.

The Production Programme was originally launched in 2008 in recognition of the need for funding to allow artists to work free from economic and political constraints. Over 500 submissions were received, 230 applications were considered and 28 projects selected for production.

About the Sharjah Art Foundation

Sharjah Art Foundation supports the flourishing arts environment in the Gulf by nurturing artistic opportunities and actively pursuing both a regional and international programme of cultural collaboration and exchange.

Sharjah Art Foundation builds on the pioneering role the Emirate of Sharjah has played in the artistic and cultural development of the Gulf region. Inspired by the cross-fertilisation and rich cultural diversity of the Emirates, the Foundation provides both national and international leadership in the production and presentation of contemporary visual arts. Recognising the central and distinctive contribution that art makes to society, the Sharjah Art Foundation cultivates a spirit of research, experimentation and excellence while acting as a catalyst for collaboration and exchange within the Middle East and beyond.