Interconnected in Culture for a Stronger Ecosystem

Reflecting on AAC’s Impactful Journey: A Four-Year Odyssey

Start Date: 2020-03-01

End Date: 2024-02-28

Southern Mediterranean

Reflecting on AAC’s Impactful Journey: A Four-Year Odyssey

From 2020 until 2024, the All-Around Culture (AAC) program embarked on a transformative journey across the Southern Mediterranean, encompassing Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Tunisia, and the diaspora from Syria and Libya. With a mission to empower established and promising organisations, initiatives, and collectives, as well as emerging professionals actively engaged with diverse communities, AAC sought to enrich cultural landscapes beyond the main urban centres and into underserved areas.

Over the course of four years, the AAC program encountered a multitude of challenges, testing its adaptability. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic presented a significant obstacle, prompting a shift from physical meetings to online sessions to prioritise safety. Despite these challenges, the determination of the implementing partners propelled the successful execution of Year 2 activities, demonstrating unwavering commitment. As the project progressed into Year 3, Cultural Alliances, Youth-led initiatives, and Thoulathy³: Cross-border Collaborations persevered amidst political disruptions, showcasing the program’s abilities in navigating complex environments. 

In its final year, the AAC program faced additional hurdles with the eruption of a genocide in Gaza, resulting in the cancellation of crucial events.

Throughout its duration, AAC achieved significant milestones across various outputs. From the successful formulation and implementation of 11 Cultural Alliances to the facilitation of Thoulathy³: South-South-North collaborations  involving 30 cultural managers, AAC fostered impactful collaborations that enriched the cultural ecosystem. Noteworthy achievements include the implementation of research initiatives and production projects within Youth-led initiatives, as well as the development of a toolkit with 11 tools in Arabic and English languages to support organisational development and partnerships. Additionally, the Ecosystems Academy brought together 155 participants for intercultural peer-to-peer exchange during three impactful sessions, further enriching the program’s collaborative spirit.

While the program encountered challenges, it also celebrated numerous successes. Participants highlighted the cultural sensitivity and support within the program, emphasising its positive impact on organisational development and personal growth. The AAC program expanded outreach, enhanced skills and knowledge, and facilitated capacity development activities for organisational staff, leaving a lasting impact on the arts and culture sector in the region.

As the AAC program concludes, it leaves behind a legacy of collaboration, resilience, and impact. Despite the challenges faced, AAC’s journey serves as a testament to the power of horizontal collaborations in achieving goals and making positive impacts within the cultural ecosystem. Moving forward, critical notes on areas of improvement will inform future endeavours, ensuring sustained support for the arts and culture sector in the Southern Mediterranean and beyond.

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