In the heart of Washington, D.C., the Qatar America Institute for Culture (QAIC) recently played host to an inspiring and diverse delegation of Qatari artists, creatives, and innovators. Their mission? To celebrate the power of expression, increase intercultural awareness in the community, and explore the dynamic intersection between art, technology, and innovation. The delegation’s visit was a remarkable collaboration, featuring partnerships with the Perfumery Factory, AlHosh Gallery, H Jewelry, and IMPART grant artist winners.
The schedule of events was nothing short of exhilarating, spanning seven days filled with enriching experiences and thought-provoking discussions. The delegates arrived at QAIC on Monday, October 16, for a “Meet & Greet,” setting the stage for the week’s artistic journey. Among the delegates were Mohammed Al Matwi, Co-Founder of the Perfume Factory, Ghanim Al Ghanim, Director of AlHosh Gallery, Sara AlBuainain, Creative Director of AlHosh Gallery, Jewlery Designer Hamad al Mohammed, as well as our 2023 IMPART Artist Grant Winners, Farjana Salahuddin, Salma Hassaan, and Randa Malkawi.
The delegation delved into the cultural richness of Washington, D.C., with a visit to the White House Historical Association and a tour of the National Portrait Gallery. These visits provided a deep dive into the heart of American history and culture, as well as how they are conveyed vis-a-vis art. One of the highlights of the week was the “Welcome Dinner,” held at a beautiful venue in the city. The dinner featured the Qatari delegation, along with esteemed guests such as Dr. Dania Thafer of Gulf International Forum and Tea Ivanovic of Immigrant Food. The evening was not only a feast for the senses but also an opportunity for cultural exchange and insightful conversations.
The delegates explored the remarkable Library of Congress and the iconic US Capitol Building, two of the nation’s most significant landmarks. A special “Artist Talk” session brought together AlHosh Gallery and QAIC’s IMPART Artist Grant winners for a captivating dialogue about art, innovation, and the creative process. Additionally, the visit to the Embassy of Qatar was a meaningful stop on the delegation’s journey, allowing them to witness the cultural diplomacy efforts of their home nation. The delegation also explored the National Museum of Asian Art, adding a layer of international perspectives to their experience.
The delegates engaged in a “We Are Museums, Art & Technology” workshop at QAIC headquarters, a space where art and technology intersect, fostering innovative thinking and creative exploration. The workshop provided them with a unique space to discuss the future of their creative industries.
On Friday, October 20, the delegation participated in an “Auction and Benefit Party.” It was a night dedicated to giving back and supporting artistic endeavors, further reinforcing the connections formed during the visit. The night also proved to be an important opportunity for delegates to meet and mingle with members of the local DC art community.
The week culminated in weekend festivities which included an open house event that showcased the remarkable work of IMPART Artist Grant winners, a Middle Eastern coffee tasting experience, and a Doha Debates and Shared Studios Portal Activation. On Saturday, co-founder of the Perfume Factory, Mohammed Al-Matwi, shared his entrepreneurial journey with our community via a discussion with the US-Qatar Business Council. His contributions to the discussion left attendees inspired and energized to pursue their own entrepreneurial aspirations.
The Qatari Art Delegation’s visit to Washington, D.C., was a celebration of creativity, innovation, and cultural exchange. Through a series of engaging events and insightful discussions, the delegates left an indelible mark on the cultural landscape of the city, fostering understanding and appreciation between Qatar and the United States. The power of art to bridge cultural divides and inspire innovation was on full display, leaving a lasting impression and a promise of continued collaboration in the world of creativity and expression. The week was a testament to the enduring connections forged through art, technology, and the pursuit of cultural understanding.