Abu Dhabi hosts the UNESCO World Conference on Culture and Arts Education

Abu Dhabi is hosting the World Conference on Culture and Arts Education from February 13 to 15. Organized by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), this three-day event at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre will welcome over 190 Ministers of Education and Ministers of Culture from around the world to discuss a global framework for culture and arts education.

The UNESCO World Conference on Culture and Arts Education will serve as a platform for Member States, policymakers, UN agencies, and other partners to adopt a ‘Framework on Culture and Arts Education.’ This conference builds on the 2006 Lisbon Conference, which delivered the UNESCO Roadmap for Arts Education, and the 2010 Seoul Conference, which resulted in the Seoul Agenda: Goals for the Development of Arts Education. It will also enable delegates to exchange experiences and provide recommendations that could help anchor culture in education through integrated policies and creative practices.

Salem Al Qassimi, Minister of Culture in the UAE, said, “We have established a central force in the United Arab Emirates to enhance knowledge exchange and promote understanding across cultures. Our dedication lies in facilitating crucial dialogues and providing assistance in fostering the cultural scene and arts education. Through our strong collaboration with UNESCO, we are confident that the outcomes of this gathering will lead to the implementation of a comprehensive cultural and arts education framework, ensuring its widespread adoption.”

Mohammed Al Mubarak, Chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi and Co-Chair of the UNESCO World Conference on Culture and Arts Education, stated, “Building on a legacy of driving sustainable impact, we are proud to organize this strategic milestone event that fosters dialogue within the global culture and arts education landscape. Aligning with the ideals of the Conference, we continue to harness the power of programs and partnerships that encourage lifelong education and skill-building within arts and culture while ensuring equitable access. The Framework for Culture and Arts Education will provide a clear guiding reference for Member States to drive this in and beyond school curricula. Working closely with our partners at UNESCO, we are confident that the outcome of this gathering will lead to the adoption of the Framework so that it can be cascaded by the Member States in their countries.”

The conference program will discuss seven themes: equitable access to culture and arts education; quality and relevant lifelong and life-wide learning in and through cultural diversity; skills to shape resilient, just, and sustainable futures; institutionalization and valorization of culture and arts education ecosystems; culture and arts education through digital technologies and artificial intelligence; partnerships and financing in support of culture and arts education; and monitoring, researching, and data.

Through continuous commitment to cultivate the culture sector, DCT Abu Dhabi has integrated cultural education to safeguard both tangible and intangible cultural heritage practices. Promoting the art and culture creative industries, DCT Abu Dhabi drives the development of resources and mediation tools, including artists’ residency programs and outreach initiatives. Additionally, the Department conducts annual training programs for educators across various cultural disciplines. With several established cultural institutions and museums under its purview, DCT Abu Dhabi has instituted long-term educational programs and initiatives that focus on equitable access, contributing to the creation of cultural spaces that encourage public engagement.

The conference agenda also includes a program of events, performances, and interactive exhibitions that showcase elements of the UAE’s cultural heritage for delegates.

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