Saudi min­istry launches Na­tional Cul­tural Awards

Arab News - - News Saudi Arabia - Hala Tashkandi Riyadh

New Saudi cul­tural awards will cel­e­brate artis­tic achieve­ments in the King­dom, the Saudi Min­istry of Cul­ture said on Tues­day.

The Na­tional Cul­tural Awards are part of the min­istry’s Qual­ity of Life pro­gram and will fea­ture 14 cat­e­gories.

The awards will be given an­nu­ally to in­di­vid­u­als or in­sti­tu­tions who have made sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tions to the preser­va­tion or en­hance­ment of the Saudi cul­tural scene.

In a state­ment on the award’s web­site, Min­is­ter of Cul­ture Prince Badr bin Ab­dul­lah bin Farhan said the awards will en­cour­age in­di­vid­u­als and or­ga­ni­za­tions to con­tinue ef­forts to fur­ther the King­dom’s cul­tural agenda.

“The Na­tional Cul­tural Awards cel­e­brate the cul­tural achieve­ments and artis­tic tal­ent of in­di­vid­u­als and groups across sev­eral cul­tural sec­tors, in ad­di­tion to en­cour­ag­ing cul­tural ac­tiv­ity within the 16 cul­tural sec­tors of the Min­istry of Cul­ture. The ini­tia­tive sup­ports the re­al­iza­tion of Vi­sion 2030 through the Qual­ity of Life pro­gram by ad­vo­cat­ing cul­ture as a life­style and sup­port­ing the sta­tus of the King­dom as a hub of cul­tural ac­tiv­ity,” he said.

The awards are di­vided into four tracks: The Pi­o­neer Award, the Youth Cul­ture Award, and the Cul­tural In­sti­tu­tions Award. The fourth track in­cludes 11 awards: The Film and Vis­ual Show award, the Fash­ion Award, the Mu­sic Award, the Na­tional Her­itage Award, the Lit­er­a­ture Award, the The­ater and Per­form­ing Award, the Vis­ual Arts Award, the Ar­chi­tec­ture and De­sign Award, the Culi­nary Award, the Pub­lish­ing Award and the Trans­la­tion Award.

Nom­i­na­tions are open to Saudis over the age of 21 and lo­cal Saudi cul­tural in­sti­tu­tions, for work that has

FASTFACT

The awards will be given an­nu­ally to in­di­vid­u­als or in­sti­tu­tions who have made sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tions to the preser­va­tion or en­hance­ment of the Saudi cul­tural scene.

had a sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion over the past two to five years, de­pend­ing on the award cat­e­gory. In­ter­ested ap­pli­cants can ap­ply at cul­tur­alawards.moc.gov.sa un­til Sept. 30.

The an­nounce­ment has sparked in­ter­est among a number of Saudi artists, many of whom feel that their ef­forts are fi­nally be­ing rec­og­nized.

Saudi de­signer and mu­si­cian Labeed As­sidmi said the an­nounce­ment could not have come at a bet­ter time, as many cre­atives are strug­gling to sus­tain them­selves with work, but also re­main mo­ti­vated.

“It’s a burst of life to give hope in these dark times. A lot of cre­atives are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing ma­jor de­pres­sion with what’s hap­pen­ing. This shows them that the min­istry — and by way of them, the gov­ern­ment — still cares about them and sup­ports them,” he said.

Nouf Al-Ham­madi, an as­pir­ing Saudi fash­ion de­signer, told Arab News she felt val­i­dated by the in­clu­sion of a fash­ion cat­e­gory, es­pe­cially af­ter all the time she spent de­fend­ing her cho­sen ca­reer path from naysay­ers and doubters. “I stud­ied fi­nance at university and spent six months in the field be­fore I fi­nally stopped lis­ten­ing to peo­ple who told me I couldn’t suc­ceed and de­cided to be­come a fash­ion de­signer. I’m work­ing on my first col­lec­tion now and I can’t wait to share it with the world, know­ing that my coun­try sup­ports my ef­forts,” she said.

She added: “Ev­ery time I see the min­istry men­tion­ing fash­ion or in­clud­ing it as an art cat­e­gory, I feel like all the sac­ri­fices I made were worth it be­cause it’s not just a hobby any­more, it’s a rec­og­nized form of art and ca­reer path.”

The win­ners will an­nounced in 2021.

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