Ithra launches third annual Tanween creativity festival

Ithra launches third annual Tanween creativity festival

Dhahran — The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) has launched its annual creativity festival, Tanween, now in its third season. Held under the theme “The New Next — Creativity is the Way Forward,” it features high-profile speakers and a series of targeted workshops and master classes Oct. 28-31 to support and develop the region’s creative industries.

Tanween 2020 expands the event by adding a virtual offering for the first time in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Our creatives are the futurists able to imagine a world beyond the here and now,”

says Robert B. Frith, Tanween curator. “At this time, we need to think creatively to respond to the bigger change happening to all our lives. Now is the time to use our passion and skills to envision and create our future.”

Abdullah Alrashid, Ithra Programs director, adds,

“Ithra was built to prepare us all for the future by empowering the next generation to turn the ideas of today into the reality of tomorrow. Through developing creativity and innovation, we can bridge the gap to find ‘The New Next.’”

futures imagined

Tanween 2020 brings together local and international creatives, artists, designers, entrepreneurs and creative leaders to share the futures they imagine. It looks to inspire, engage, and promote the creative industries and innovative thinking across sectors. 

The creative industry is one of the fastest growing sectors of the world economy, transformative in generating income, jobs, and exports. According to UNESCO, it generates annual revenues of $2.25 trillion and global exports of over $250 billion, and is expected to grow to approximately 10% of the global gross domestic product. 

The creative economy provides nearly 30 million jobs, and nearly half the people in it are women. Tanween highlights the opportunities across disciplines where creativity will make a tangible impact. 

building on past successes

Tanween 2019 welcomed over 100,000 visitors. The 2020 season builds on Tanween’s success by bringing together diverse talents and audiences to learn, build, promote, and engage with creative content. The first two days cater to people looking to enter the creative industries, and the final two days provide the latest insight to industry professionals. 

Through a series of talks, workshops and master classes, business innovators, risk-taking creatives, entrepreneurial icons, social game changers, and world-class experts will share their knowledge. Tanween 2020 will also feature three-minute pitch sessions and 30-minute one-on-one Zoom consultations with specialists, as well as networking and team building.

 Highlights include:
• Keynote addresses by Joanna Peña-Bickley (head of Research & Design for Alexa Devices at Amazon) and Sumaya Al-Sulaiman (CEO of Saudi Arabia’s Architecture and Design Authority)
• Duncan Wardle (former head of Innovation and Creativity at Disney) discusses the “Theory of Creativity” with Mahmoud Abdelrahman (of innovation and design consultancy Hued)
• A talk by advertising maverick Sir Martin Sorrell, who in 33 years as CEO built WPP from a $1 million “shell” company into the world’s largest advertising and marketing services firm.

Elsewhere, Alan Yau (of Wagamama fame) talks food, designer maker Gareth Neal talks craft, and multidisciplinary designer Mohamed Samir talks typography, while Zaha Hadid Architects Principal Patrik Schumacher discusses architecture with Sharqia Development Authority’s Abdulrahman Madallah. Other sessions are presented by Karinna Nobbs (digital fashion), Giorgia Lupi (data visualization), Stefan Sagmeister (graphic design) and Marije Vogelzang (food design). 

Ithra is committed to enabling creatives to succeed, and the Tanween program reflects this. An exploration of what it takes to be a successful freelancer sits alongside filmmaker Hakeem Jomah examining the dedication needed to turn professional. Then, marketing strategist Reem Bin Saddik presents an introduction to building a personal brand, Manal Alsadhan guides participants on how to find an authentic voice, serial entrepreneur Shahd AlShehai shares tips for starting a creative business in the local market, and social entrepreneur Sarah Ghaleb shows how to find your passion in life and work. Others in the lineup include artist Ftoon AlThaedi, artist and filmmaker Mohammed Al Faraj, author Tala Saleh, and product designer Tariq Sangorah.

 Ithra also worked with local partners Qormoz, Product Care, Shorfaa and the Graphic Design and Multimedia Department at Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University’s College of Design on the Tanween Challenge Projects, an opportunity for participants to apply their innovation and creative skillset to a live project. 

Supported by Ithra’s Idea Lab, this year’s challenges encompassed Reimagining the Crafts of Saudi Arabia, Visualizing the Data of Culture, The Future of Creative Place Making, Creativity Needs You, Cardboard Furniture, and A New Outdoors. Visitors can discover the winning designs and ideas in the Tanween Challenges Exhibition at the Ithra Plaza and online. 

Last season, Tanween highlighted “Play,” a key ingredient to creativity. With “The New Next,” Tanween 2020 takes that creativity into the future, while the 2021 theme, “Tools,” will focus on the building aspect of creativity. 

For more information on Ithra’s regular programs and special Tanween offerings, visit www.ithra.com.

Supported by Ithra’s Idea Lab, this year’s Tanween challenges encompassed Reimagining the Crafts of Saudi Arabia, Visualizing the Data of Culture, The Future of Creative Place Making, Creativity Needs You, Cardboard Furniture, and A New Outdoors.

Top Page Photo Caption: Supported by Ithra’s Idea Lab, this year’s Tanween challenges encompassed Reimagining the Crafts of Saudi Arabia, Visualizing the Data of Culture, The Future of Creative Place Making, Creativity Needs You, Cardboard Furniture, and A New Outdoors.

 

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