The UAE’s first annual arts career festival for high school and university students is taking place this weekend.
Creative Careers Days is being held at Jameel Arts Centre on Sunday and Monday. It is free and open to students, as well as their parents and teachers. More than 30 booths will be featured, offering visitors an opportunity to meet prominent artists, curators and industry specialists.
The programme will highlight a diverse range of career pathways. It will introduce options in tertiary education, both locally and internationally, and present student and postgraduate open calls, residencies, internships and volunteering opportunities.
Inspirational talks, informational workshops — including how to create and pitch your portfolio — and behind-the-scene museum tours will be running. The programming also includes an opportunity for aspiring high school and university musicians, with a UAE student band and music ensemble showcase.
Students are invited to join career surgery sessions to receive expert advice and guidance on navigating the creative industries. An additional multimedia research zone features behind-the-scenes videos and resources, while the Jameel Library will display a special range of resources on pedagogy and arts education for both students and teachers.
The event is the biggest gathering of its kind to happen in the UAE, according to Antonia Carver, director of Art Jameel. "It's all spurred by a collective commitment to inspiring and informing the next generation of cultural enthusiasts and professionals," she added.
“It's affirming to witness the sheer excitement and dedication across the spectrum, from universities looking to encourage teens to apply for arts degrees, to institutions eager to get to know emerging UAE talent, to the dynamic, creatively-minded youth of the UAE themselves, thirsty to gain knowledge and meet the industry in this ever-growing field.”
Several institutions and authorities from across the country are set to take part, including the Department of Culture and Tourism — Abu Dhabi, Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, Sharjah Art Foundation and The National Pavilion UAE — La Biennale di Venezia, to name a few.
Carver said that with the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi expected to open in 2025, and the Dubai Creative Economy Strategy aiming to boost the number of creative and cultural companies to 15,000, while creating 140,000 jobs by 2026, "2022 feels like the right year to launch this major new event boosting homegrown talent development in the creative industries".
Creative Careers Days will be held at Jameel Arts Centre on Sunday between 10am and 6pm and Monday between 9am and 8pm