Abu Dhabu Festival 2017 Schedule Revealed
The headline series of art exhibitions, concerts and performances as part of Abu Dhabi Festival 2017, which will begin in March 2017, have been announced by the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation (ADMAF).
Held under the patronage of Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the festival returns in 2017 with its 14th edition featuring an illustrious mix of artists, genres and nationalities as it celebrates the principles of ‘Culture and Tolerance’ set by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
With a headline programme that includes performances by the eminent Saudi singer Mohamed Abdo; US jazz icon Wynton Marsalis, popular Portuguese fado singer Mariza and the multi-national Silk Road Ensemble with Chinese-American cellist Yo-Yo Ma, ADMAF continues its 21-year-long track record in building bridges of understanding through the power of cultural diplomacy.
In line with this legacy, the festival heralds the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as the 2017 ‘Country of Honour’ and shall recognise the outstanding lifetime contributions to arts and culture of the acclaimed Saudi intellectual and poet, Prince Badr bin Abdul Mohsen bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and the iconic Saudi singer Mohamed Abdo through the Abu Dhabi Festival Awards.
Hoda Al Khamis-Kanoo, founder of the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation (ADMAF) and artistic director of the Abu Dhabi Festival, said: “Culture and tolerance are two notions that seem to go hand-in-hand so well, that one might wonder if it even is relevant to offer them as a theme. However, if one looks at the world surrounding us, this bond between culture and tolerance needs to be reaffirmed.
“We aim for a festival that is not an ivory tower but one that is in dialogue with the world. In its showcase of leading artists, we have chosen this year to concentrate on people whose work and concerns are closely linked to the notion of tolerance.”
Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of State for Tolerance and President of Zayed University, said: “Culture is a vehicle that enables people and societies to better understand each other and show more tolerance to each other, while countering the influences that lead to fear and exclusion. Tolerance is the freely given acceptance of difference that are seen as positive and valued.”
Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, secretary-general of Environment Authority – Abu Dhabi, said the ‘The Art of Nature’ exhibition would also be held alongside the festival.
The festival will begin on March 1 with the launch of the Festival’s community and education programme – a calendar of free events, exhibitions, performances and workshops for people of all ages to enjoy.
Highlights during the 2017 edition include the return of ‘Silent Voices’ under the patronage of Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak; ‘Festival in the Park’ under the patronage of Sheikha Shamsa bint Hamdan Al Nahyan; ‘The Ministry of Science’, ‘Riwaq Al Fikr / The Festival Debates’, ‘Festival in Focus’ and ‘Back to School’ alongside, ‘The Wonders of Reading’ and ‘Arts for Autism’, among many others.
March will also see the opening of the month-long Abu Dhabi Festival Exhibition.