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Press release

Partnership with Britain’s largest cultural institution will see joint commissions, artistic creations and educational initiatives

H.E. Huda Ebrahim Alkhamis and Jude Kelly 22nd Mar 2017

Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation and London’s Southbank Centre sign Letter of Cooperation

Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) has signed a Letter of Cooperation (LOC) with Southbank Centre, the world’s largest festival site, home to the Royal festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth hall, Purcell Room and Hayward Gallery, and four world-class orchestras. Acknowledging common principles, goals and areas of common interest for joint collaboration in culture and education, the Letter of Cooperation was signed in a ceremony yesterday at the Emirates Palace by H.E. Huda Ebrahim Alkhamis, Founder of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation and Jude Kelly, Artistic Director of the Southbank Centre in the presence of ADMAF Advisors and Gavin Anderson, UAE Country Director of the British Council. This agreement will focus on enhancing the strategic value of individual cultural exchange projects through mutually beneficial programmes, and aid in collaboration leading to joint commissions, artistic creations and educational initiatives.


The strategic partnership will encourage exchange, dialogue and other opportunities for cultural professionals and practitioners to foster greater understanding in all aspects of cultural and artistic development.


H.E. Huda Ebrahim Alkhamis, Founder of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) and the Abu Dhabi Festival said; “We are delighted to join the Southbank Centre to nurture artistic excellence across multiple artform disciplines, particularly through initiatives that will further innovative forms of expression and empower women in culture and society such as the Women of the World (WOW) Festival. This Letter of Cooperation reinforces the bonds of creative cooperation between ADMAF and the UK that date back over 20 years. Partnerships such as this enable ADMAF to be an effective creative catalyst, facilitating collaborations between the UAE and the arts and culture sector worldwide.”


Jude Kelly, Artistic Director of the Southbank Centre said; “Southbank Centre connects with the world in order to further not just culture but the idea of the role of peace, harmony and progress. It is one of the most strategic decisions we take to partner with people and organisations such as the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation, who share our values.”


The Southbank Centre reaches over 6 million people a year and encompasses over 5,000 events with world-class artists. The centre has a dynamic year-round festivals program and was founded in 1951. The collaboration with ADMAF will empower original artistic expression whilst working to preserve the UAE’s cultural legacy and inspire creativity and cultivate emerging talent.


Jude Kelly CBE was appointed Artistic Director of Southbank Centre in 2006 and has directed over 100 productions from the Royal Shakespeare Company to the Châtelet in Paris. Jude led the cultural team for the successful London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic bid and then served on the Board of the Cultural Olympiad.