Friday, 16 April 2021 01:50 GMT

Qatar-USA 2021 Year of Culture announces year-long programme


(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Qatar-USA 2021 Year of Culture yesterday revealed a wide-ranging programme comprising exhibitions, festivals, bilateral exchanges, and events to be held in both nations throughout the year. 
The Qatar-USA 2021 Year of Culture program; which is a partnership between Qatar Museums (QM), the United States Embassy in Doha and the Embassy of Qatar in the United States; will feature virtual and in-person events, including exhibitions and installations of works by Qatari and American artists; events showcasing the music, film, and fashion of both countries; sporting events; culinary experiences; entrepreneurship, innovation, STEM, and business events; and educational programs.
 All past, present, and future exhibitions, programs, and events will be featured on the official Years of Culture website, http://www.yearsofculture.qa/, where one can find the latest information and details about upcoming events.
Qatar Museums Chairperson H E Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, said, 'On behalf of Qatar, I take great pleasure in announcing these programs, which show so vividly how the Qatar-USA 2021 Year of Culture will further align our two nations and strengthen the warm friendship they enjoy. Our vision nine years ago in establishing the Year of Culture program was to foster mutual understanding across borders on a humane, popular level by appreciating one another's creative endeavours in celebrating Qatar's win to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022.  Now just under two years from Qatar hosting its biggest sporting event, our impressive roster of programs demonstrates the breadth and depth of the experiences to be shared throughout 2021 by the people of the United States and Qatar.
Aisha Al Attiya, Head of Years of Culture, said, 'We announce the program for the Qatar-USA 2021 Year of Culture with gratitude to the partners in both countries who have developed this extraordinary series of exhibitions, events, and experiences. Through their efforts, they have already demonstrated how this program can bring people together and foster meaningful cultural exchange. We look forward to inaugurating these events and activities, which will show the best of Qatar in the United States and the best of the United States in Qatar. 
H E Sheikh Meshal Bin Hamad Al-Thani, Ambassador of the State of Qatar to the United States of America, said, 'Qatar and the United States have been friends and allies for almost 50 years, and it's exciting to be able to showcase a different and more accessible side of the partnership through the 2021 Qatar-USA Year of Culture. I'm honored to be a part of the effort to share Qatari culture with audiences across the United States, and to do the same with American culture in Qatar. These endeavors are what deepen the ties between our people, and it is an honor to help facilitate that. 
Ambassador Greta C. Holtz, Chargé d'Affaires of the US Embassy in Qatar, said, 'The Qatar-USA 2021 Year of Culture builds on the friendly diplomatic relations our two nations have shared since 1972. The Year of Culture provides an extraordinary framework within which we can come together to celebrate our longstanding relationship and forge new connections through people-to-people exchanges. 
In Qatar, a lineup of programs will take place throughout the country during the year kicking off with International Women's Day on March 8 which will see a live virtual discussion organized by the US Embassy in Doha and Katara with prominent Qatari and American women on the topic of female empowerment at 6pm.  
The New Black Vanguard: Photography between Fashion and Art will be held from March 24 to May 30. The exhibition, part of the Tasweer Photo Festival, draws together African and African Diaspora image-makers, many of whom are African-American, based in established creative industry centers across the globe. 
Experimental Photography, which will run from March 24 to May 30, is a series of installations by six contemporary American artists that prompt discussion and awareness of the expanded field of photography in the post-internet age. 
Also this month is Seagrass Tales, Dugong Trails in which the National Museum of Qatar, in collaboration with ExxonMobil Research Qatar, will present a special exhibition on dugongs - shy marine mammals which have inhabited the waters surrounding Qatar's peninsula for more than 7,500 years. Holding both a special cultural and environmental significance, the dugong was chosen as the museum's official mascot.
To be held next month, the US Embassy College Fair will comprise seminars for school counsellors, parents, students, and other audiences, and will feature US colleges and universities.
Throughout the year, the US Embassy in Qatar works with Qatari partners to identify and nominate current and emerging leaders in the fields of cyber security, journalism, education, art, STEM, medicine, and the justice system, among others, to participate in the three-week International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) exchange program and the 1-9 month Fulbright program, respectively.
During the Fall, Qatar Museums will present the first survey in the Gulf region of the work of one of the best-known contemporary American artists in Jeff Koons: Lost in America. Curated by Massimiliano Gioni, the exhibition features more than 60 artworks drawn from Koons's four-decades-long career, with each gallery introduced by an autobiographical text, compiled from interviews, statements, and quotes by the artist, emphasizing his memories, influences and fascination with American visual culture.
Throughout the year, Swalif, a series of virtual programs will take place discussing the US election system, entrepreneurship, mental health, media literacy, and education in the US, with Qatari social media influencer and comedian Hamad Al-Amari and invited American experts.
In November, Doha Film Institute and Qatar Museums will co-host Cinema Under the Stars-a program of family-friendly film screenings that will take place outside, highlighting American films.
 Wide-ranging programs will also take place throughout the United States during the year, one of which is Calli-graffiti a multi-city installation of street art that blends calligraphy and the Arabic language, as inspired by French-Tunisian artist eLSeed. The tour begins next month in Jersey City and will travel to other cities including Miami Beach during Art Basel. 
Dessert Recipe Tradeoff will see chefs from both countries challenged to make traditional desserts from the United States and Qatar in Spring.
Pearls of Wonder  - a pop-up exhibition featuring works by Qatari artists inspired by the history of the pearling industry in Qatar will open in New York City in the Fall.
The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the Smithsonian's National Museum of Asian Art in Washington D.C., and the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha are working together to organize an exhibition of exceptional textiles from the collection of MIA to open in Washington.   
Desert Drive-In Cultural Exchange, which will take place outside of Los Angeles at Hummingbird Ranch in the Fall, is a film screening program inspired by the rich history of nomadic Bedouin culture.  Desert Racing will be held in the Fall/Winter. The unique experience will highlight the shared love of car racing in both Qatar and the United States through a series of races featuring Qatari and American drivers.
Scheduled in November is Made in Qatar, a screening event showcasing works by Qatari filmmakers accompanied by talks at the Qatar America Institute for Culture in Washington, DC.  
Qatar Airways and ExxonMobil are platinum sponsors of the Qatar-USA 2021 Year of Culture.
Dominic Genetti, President and General Manager for ExxonMobil Qatar, said, 'ExxonMobil Qatar is pleased to be the platinum sponsor of Qatar-US Year of Culture 2021. As a US company that traces its relationship with Qatar for more than three decades, this is a significant initiative to us because it will showcase both our countries as centers of creative and cultural opportunity. We're also pleased that our cooperation with Qatar Museums will include a temporary dugong exhibition as part of the Qatar-USA Year of Culture 2021 program that will be on display at the National Museum of Qatar in March. The exhibition will help educate the general public about Qatar's iconic dugongs, and what can be done to ensure they are protected.
H E Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, said, 'Qatar Airways is delighted to be the Official Airline Partner of the Qatar-USA Year of Culture 2021. This year-long collaboration of programmes will empower both societies and inspire mutual paths of understanding for each other. As a global airline that brings people together, we look forward to further building the bridge between Qatar and the United States to celebrate and honour both cultures.

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