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CultureSummit 2017


Abu Dhabi Culture Summit Agenda

The Creative Mind of the Connected World:
Culture as a Change Agent in the Digital Age

*Tentative Agenda – Subject to change

The Arabic translation can be found here: القمة الثقافية 2017 – برنامج اليوم الأول.

*Updated Arabic CultureSummit2017 Tuesday Agenda

*Updated Arabic CultureSummit 2017 Wednesday Agenda

*Updated Arabic CultureSummit 2017 Thursday Agenda

Sunday, April 9, 2017

12:00-6:00 p.m. Registration (Location: Lobby, Host Hotels)

6:00-9:00 p.m.  Welcome Dinner (Location: Park Hyatt Hotel) A Bright Line in History: Why Here, Why Now?

During this first session of world summit on arts and culture over dinner, a panel will frame the summit with a discussion of the coming watershed moment in human history when everyone on the planet will be connected in a single global cultural ecosystem for the first time in history. This discussion will explore these ideas and themes for the participants and serve as a scene setter for the rest of the week. The focus of the Abu Dhabi culture summit 2017 is on the future, emerging trends, opportunities, challenges, technologies and the rising generations who will shape and be shaped by the outcomes of discussion throughout the week.

Welcoming Remarks

A featured performance by Emirati artists Nagham Debal and Chadi Youssef Asfour 

Monday, April 10, 2017

9:45-12:45 p.m. State of the Arts Plenary: Universality and Uniqueness: Boundaries and that by Which We are Bound Together in a Connected World

Morning Modules

9:45-10:00 a.m.

“Welcome Remarks”

HE Mohamed Al Mubarak, Chairman, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority

Carla Dirlikov Canales, CEO and Artistic Director, TCPV

10:00-10:30 a.m.

“Case Studies in Connectedness: New Collaborations for a New World”

HE Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of State, Federal National Council Affairs Chairwoman, Media Zone Authority-Abu Dhabi & twofour54

Irina Bokova, Director-General, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization)

Robert L. Lynch, President & CEO, Americans for the Arts

10:30-10:45 a.m.

Key Note Address

H.E. Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, United Arab Emirates

Coffee Break for Conversation

11:00-11:15 a.m.

Featured Performance – Sandeep Das-Artist,Composer,Founder HUM

11:15-11:45 a.m.

“The Universals: What the Arts Tell Us About How We Can Come Together”

Richard Armstrong, Director,
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation

Sabine Choucair, Artistic Director, Clown Me In

Amb. Cynthia Schneider, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy,
Georgetown School of Foreign Service

Dustin Yellin, Founder, Pioneer Works


11:45-12:15 p.m.

“Globalization and the Other: Lessons from Refugees and The Dislocated”

Octopizzo, Founder & Executive Director, Octopizzo Foundation

H.E. Mr. Faryad Rwandizi, Minister of Culture, Iraq

Sherrie Westin, EVP, Global Impact & Philanthropy, Sesame Workshop

12:15-12:45 p.m.

“The Different Cultures of Funding Culture: A Look at Private Philanthropy, State Support and What Lies Between the Two”

Werner Binnenstein-Bachstein, Director, Community Arts Lab, Porticus Foundation

Angela Migally, Executive Director, Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation

Darren Walker, President, Ford Foundation


1:00-2:00 p.m. Lunchtime Conversations and Performance

This lunch session will include a series of working conversations on the morning’s themes at tables hosted by event faculty.

Performance by Ana Tijoux



The afternoon programs for the event will follow CultureSummit’s Q-A-A format. On day one, workshops will focus on identifying the major questions that participants feel we need to be asking about the future of global arts and culture with a specific focus on how culture and coming changes in how culture is distributed and consumed can be used to produce positive social change.  On day two, the workshops will focus on identifying the best answers the group can identify to those questions.  And on day three, the groups will work on identifying the most effective and impactful actions they feel should be taken by artists, arts organizations, governments and other actors to help realize the answers identified in day two.  Afternoon workshops will be closed to the press.


2:15-3:30 p.m. Issues Workshops – Framing the Questions

3:30-6:00 p.m. Free time

6:00-10:00 p.m. A Celebration of Our Artists-in-Residence (Location: Manarat al Saadiyat)


Featuring Introductions & Conversation with the CultureSummit 2017 Artists-In-Residence:

Tan Dun, Composer 

Idris Khan, Visual Artist

Liz Lerman, choreographer 


Featured Performance of “Healing Wars”:

choreographed by Liz Lerman

featuring Paul Hurley & Keith Thompson


Nightcap Performance by DJ Tudo

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

8:45-9:00 a.m. Welcoming Performance

Razfa Traditional Performance, Salem Musabah Al Miqbali Group, composed of 35 performers

9:00-12:10 pm State of the Arts Plenary: Change Agents, Healers and Advocates: The Why of the Arts and Media in the New Global Cultural Reality

Morning Modules

9:00-9:45 a.m.

“The Why and How of Cultural Preservation in the Coming Decades”

HE Dr. Zaki Anwar Nusseibeh, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Cultural Advisor, Ministry of Presidential Affairs

Dr. Zaki Aslan, Arab States Representative, ICCROM

HRH Dana Firas, President, Petra National Trust

Mariët Westermann, EVP, Andrew Mellon Foundation

9:45-10:15 a.m.

“Problem Solving Through the Arts: Case Studies in Social Solutions”

Panmela Castro, President, NAMI Rede Feminste de Arte Urbana

Dr. Vishaka Desai, Senior Advisor to the President for Global Affairs, Columbia University

Bassem Youssef, Comedian & Political Satirist


Coffee Break for Conversation

10:30-10:50 a.m.

Featured Performance

Julian Crouch & Saskia Lane’s Birdheart


10:50-11:20 a.m.

“The Arts and Fighting Climate Change”

Fabrice Monteiro, Photographer

Aurora Robson, Founding Artist, Project Vortex

Sibylle Szaggers Redford, Founder, President & Artistic Director, The Way of the Rain

11:20-11:50 a.m.

“The Arts and Gender Equity” 

Carla Dirlikov Canales, Classical Singer; CEO, TCP Ventures

Alyse Nelson, CEO, Vital Voices

Adejoke Tugbiyele, Artist

11:50-12:10 p.m

Featured Performance

Nastio Mosquito 

Sarah Elizabeth Charles, vocalist

12:30-2:00 p.m. Lunch Conversation & Expo 2020 Dubai Preview

Dr. Tarek Oliviera Shayya, Director, International Affairs Department, Minister of State Office Board Director, Expo 2020

Manal Al Bayat, Senior Vice President Business Development and Integration, Expo 2020

Dr. Hayat Shamsuddin, Senior Advisor Culture, Expo 2020

Moderator: Dyala Nusseibeh, Director, Abu Dhabi Art, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority



2:15-3:30 p.m. Issues Workshops – Seeking Answers: What is in the Minds and Hearts of the Rising Generations?


3:30-5:30 p.m. Free time


6:30-10:00 p.m. Cultural Diplomats of the Year Awards Dinner (Location: The Ritz Carlton)

Awards in Cultural Diplomacy presented to:

Dr. Madeleine K. Albright,
Former US Secretary of State &
Chair, Albright Stonebridge Group

El Sistema
(represented by Eduardo Mendez, Executive Director,
Fundacion Musical Simón Bolívar)

HE Dr. Anwar Mohammed Gargash
Minister of State. Foreign Affairs
Minister of State, Federal National Council Affairs

HE Dr. Zaki Anwar Nusseibeh,
Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation
Cultural Adviser, Ministry of Presidential Affairs

Sesame Workshop
(represented by Sherrie Westin, EVP,
Global Impact & Philanthropy)

West-Eastern Divan Orchestra
(represented by Tabaré Perlas, CEO)


Featured Performance by Maya Beiser, Cellist

Nightcap Performance by Young Paris with DJ Acidophilus

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

9:00-12:30 p.m. State of the Arts Plenary: A Day of Vision: Technology and How It Will Change Everything

Morning Modules

8:45-9:00 a.m. Featured Performance

Al Ayyala Traditional Performance, Kheir Al Haj Al Kuwaiti traditional band, composed of 40 performers

9:00-9:30 a.m.

“The Arts & Advocacy: Confronting the Challenges of Our Time”

A conversation with:

Dr. Madeleine K. Albright, Former US Secretary of State; Chair, Albright Stonebridge Group

9:30-9:45 a.m.

Featured Performance

Jo Lawry, singer/songwriter

9:45-10:30 a.m.

“Innovators Roundtable: Visions for a Different Tomorrow”

Tracy Fullerton, Chair, Interactive Media & Games Department, University of Southern California

Aaron Koblin, Co-Founder & CTO, Within virtual reality platform

Horacio Lecona, Creative Director, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Matthew Putman, Nanoscientist, Musician and Board Chair, Pioneer Works


10:30-10:50 a.m.

Featured Performance

Emeline Michel with members of Found Sound Nation (Christopher Marianetti, Jeremy Thal, Kyla-Rose Smith)

Coffee Break for Conversation


11:05-11:35 a.m.

“The Unintended Consequences of Technological Change”

Bill Bragin, Executive Artistic Director, NYU Abu Dhabi Arts Center

Samantha Diamond, CEO, CultureConnect

Kristy Edmunds, Executive & Artistic Director, Center for the Art of Performance,UCLA

11:35-12:20 a.m.

“The Future of Culture”

Princess Alia Al-Senussi, Chair, Tate Young Patrons Board; Advisor, Art Basel

Adrian Ellis, Director, AEA Consulting; Director and Co-Founder, Global Cultural Districts Network (GCDN)

HE Saif Saeed Ghobash, Director General, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority

Deborah Rutter, President, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

12:20-12:35 p.m.

Featured Performances

Faisal Al Saari, Artist

12:45-2:00 p.m. Lunch Conversations & Artist-in-Residence Discussion: Disruptive Art and a Disrupted Future: A Keynote Conversation with Artist in Residence Idris Khan




2:15-3:30 p.m. Issues Workshops – Action Agenda – Next Generation Collaborations and Where They May Lead

3:30-5:00 p.m. Free Time

5:00-9:00 p.m. Cultural Trade Routes Dinner and Performances (Location: Park Hyatt Hotel) 


On this special evening the food and the performances will be curated to illustrate the flow of all forms of culture from and through the Middle East to Asia and China as well as to Africa,  Europe and the Americas. It will illustrate cultural connections over the centuries and speculate about where they may go in the future.

Pre-Dinner Presentation featuring:

Artist-in-Residence Tan Dun, Academy Award-winning Composer

Curating Chef: Simon Majumdar, Food Channel

Featured Performance: Falu, Singer/Songwriter

Nightcap Performance: DJ Beco with Flavio Renegado

Thursday, April 13, 2017

9:00-10:00 a.m. State of the Arts Plenary: Solutions: Emerging Opportunities, Generations and Risks and the Answers the Arts Can Provide for Each

For this session we will invite the workshop faculty plus selected individuals to offer their key “action item” conclusions for the event before opening the conversation to the entire group.

Featured Performance:

Tim Casson, “The Dance WE Made”

10:00-11:00 a.m. Presentation of the Louvre Abu Dhabi

Hissa Al Dhaheri, Deputy Director, Louvre Abu Dhabi 

Manuel Rabaté, Director, Louvre Abu Dhabi

11:00-12:30 p.m. Special Closing Performance

The Way of the Rain

12:30-1:30 p.m. Closing Luncheon

Musical Performance:     

Ali Obaed, Composer and Oud Player

Taif Ali, Qanoon Player


Closing Remarks:

HE Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of State, Federal National Council Affairs Chairwoman, Media Zone Authority-Abu Dhabi & twofour54

David Rothkopf, CEO, FP Group

Carla Dirlikov Canales, Classical Singer; CEO, TCP Ventures

HE Mohamed Al Mubarak, Chairman, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority