The Japan Foundation
Performing Arts Network Japan
Ashkal Alwan: The Lebanese Association for Plastic Arts
Ashkal Alwan: The Lebanese Association for Plastic Arts
Office Address:
Mina al-Hosn
Phoenicia St.
4th Floor, Saab Bldg. #2
Phone: +961 1 360251
Fax: +961 1 360251

Mailing Address:
Ashkal Alwan
P.O. Box 175-268
Mar Mikhael
Arts Organization of the Month Arts Organization of the Month
Ashkal Alwan: The Lebanese Association for Plastic Arts 
Ashkal Alwan - The Lebanese Association for Plastic Arts is an arts-supporting NPO founded in Beirut, Lebanon in 1994 with the aim of presenting the contemporary arts of Lebanon and the Middle East region to the world. Since its founding, the Association has engaged in a wide variety of activities in the fields of theater, dance, performance, art, video and film, as well as organizing seminars and producing publications, promoting of the arts in public venues and building networks and partnerships.

As an NPO in the arts field in Lebanon, a country with censorship, Ashkal Alwan works to build partnerships and collaboration programs with other arts organizations in the different arts fields within the Middle East and outside the region that will enable new developments in the contemporary arts of the Middle East. Efforts are also devoted to publishing a webzine to disperse information and news about events around the Middle East region, maintaining a database library of artists’ works and building an archive of documents collected concerning the creative activities of contemporary artists. Funding for the Association comes primarily from the Lebanon Bureau of Cultural Affairs, The Ford Foundation, the Heinrich Boll Foundation, the Open Society Institute, the British Council and the European Culture Foundation. The current Director is the curator Christine Tohme.

The platform for creating collaborative programs with foreign organizations and artists is the forum “Home Works: A Forum on Cultural Practices” that the Association has organized every year and a half since 2002 as an opportunity for Lebanese contemporary artists and presenters to meet their foreign counterparts and learn about art in the Middle East through panel discussions, showcases, workshops, exhibitions and film showings. The latest work by the Lebanese artist Rabih Mroue introduced at the 3rd Home Works forum in 2005, titled “How Nancy Wished that Everything was an April Fool’s Joke” will be given its world premiere at Tokyo International Arts Festival in March, 2007. This production is a three-city collaboration between Ashkal Alwan, Tokyo International Arts Festival and France’s Festival d’Automne Paris.

The following is a summary of the activities and policies of Ashkal Alwan:
• Organizing and operating projects to promote cultural understanding
• Support to help parties involved in cultural programs become independent
• Providing opportunities for artists to build their careers
• Building relations with organizations supporting the arts worldwide
• Building and archive and developing a database for contemporary art
• Organizing the arts forum “Home Works: A Forum on Cultural Practices” (every year and a half)
• Producing bilingual arts publications in Arabic and English
• Issuing a Webzine once a month (with information about contemporary art exhibitions, conferences, events information about solicitations and educational courses)