Second Edition of
Empower Her Art Forum
The Empower Her Art Forum (EHAF) is an international art forum started in Cairo, Egypt, and will be held annually to support and celebrate women artists from around the world. The first edition was held May 20th to May 26th, 2023, at The National Museum of Egyptian Civilization, featuring 105 female artists from 35 countries. The first edition of EHAF was held under the auspices of the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Social Solidarity, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Ministry of Immigration, Ministry of Tourism, The National Council for Women (NCW), National Council for Persons with Disabilities – Egypt and Egyptian Tourism Authority.
Building on the success of the first edition, the second edition of the Empower Her Art Forum will be held May 18th to May 22nd, 2024 at the new Grand Egyptian Museum. Artoday is delighted to host the Forum in Egypt’s prestigious new museum to honor Egypt as an ancient civilization that was known to have maintained gender equality, with some of the most influential monarchs having been women, as well as to continue advancing women’s empowerment and gender equality in a country where these issues must play an essential role in society.
Artoday will coordinate a number of ongoing activities leading up to the start of the second edition of EHAF, culminating in the Forum once again including a compelling visual art exhibition, panel discussions with leaders from Egypt and around the world, art workshops, and live painting sessions to celebrate women’s empowerment through art. The Forum will invite and include well-established female artists from Egypt and abroad working in a diverse collection of art forms including:
- digital art
- video art
- sustainable art
Artoday will utilize already established relationships with multiple regional, national and international galleries and artists to participate in the Forum, as well as release an “Open Call for Women Artists” across multiple platforms. All eligible female artists and galleries will be welcome to submit work for consideration through an online application process, after which a selection jury will then carefully decide which artworks qualify for inclusion in the event.
The second edition of EHAF will continue to focus on its mission by aiming to include a higher number of female artists from a broader range of countries, in order to provide a larger platform from which to showcase the multiplicity of women’s voices. It will seek to empower women through art and closely follow the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals no. 3, 4, 5, 12, and 17 as a basis for its goals, which includes:
- SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-Being: The event promotes well-being through art therapy and stress relief, addressing the mental health challenges that women may face. This aligns with the goal of ensuring healthy lives and well-being for all.
- SDG 4 - Quality Education: Art plays a significant role in education, fostering creativity, and critical thinking. Empower Her Art Forum supports this goal by offering art workshops and educational sessions, enhancing access to quality education for women and girls.
- SDG 5 - Ending discrimination against women, ending violence against women, ending harmful practices through awareness and empowerment, ensuring equal opportunities and full participation in public life, ensuring equality of economic resource availability and recognizing the value of unpaid work, empowering and supporting women who have been displaced (refugees), and supporting, and giving a voice to, women with disabilities.
- SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production: The event encourages sustainable art practices and promotes the use of eco-friendly materials in art creation that aligns with this goal.
- SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals: Empower Her Art Forum fosters partnerships between artists, organizations, and communities, exemplifying the spirit of collaboration needed to achieve all SDGs.
The second edition of the Forum will also center around the theme Strength in Numbers. This theme aligns with the priority theme highlighted by the UN Women 2024 Commission on the Status of Women, which focuses on “accelerating the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls by addressing poverty and strengthening institutions and financing with a gender perspective.”
The Strength in Numbers theme will be reflected in two key ways during the second edition of EHAF. Firstly, it will emphasize the importance of women coming together collectively to create a critical mass of women artists. This will involve celebrating and showcasing artwork created by women, thereby highlighting their talent, creativity, and contributions to the art world. By fostering a sense of community and collaboration, the Forum aims to empower women artists and amplify their voices.
Secondly, the theme will address the issue of pay equity for women. It will draw attention to the need for women to receive equal pay for equal work across all settings, encompassing not only the art world but also various other industries and sectors, and seek to recognize and value the unpaid work most often performed by women in addition to, or instead of, employment and creative ventures.
The Strength in Numbers theme also underscores the need for women's artwork to be taken seriously and held in high regard within the local art scene. It aims to combat gender bias and ensure that women artists receive equal recognition and opportunities for their creative endeavors, including equal compensation for their work, in order to address a historical discrepancy where women's artwork has often been undervalued or underappreciated.
By exploring the concept of strength in numbers, EHAF aims to create a platform that empowers women artists, promotes gender equality, and advocates for the fair treatment and recognition of women's artistic contributions. Through a collective effort, this theme will ensure that women are not only celebrated, but equally acknowledged and compensated for their contributions to art and society as a whole.
The Second Edition of the Empower Her Art Forum will again celebrate and acknowledge the immense talent of female artists. The Forum is an opportunity for women’s voices to be heard and provide a safe space to acknowledge the specific yet wide-ranging female experience. Empowering women through this event also allows local and international female artists to create connections for personal and professional development, de-mystify the artistic process for audience members during live painting sessions, and raise awareness about humanitarian issues through art.
We expect the following outcomes:
Empowering female artists
The Forum will include successful, established female artists with bright careers from all over the world, and the event will be an excellent opportunity to highlight their work. The Forum will also play an important role in developing female artists in the beginning of their journey by giving them opportunities to enhance their skills and advance their career in the form of workshops and panel discussions held during the event. Also, EHAF will provide opportunities for artists to share their vision and receive exposure of their artwork, which is potentially life-changing for involved female artists.
Advancing the art economy and developing a strong art network
The Forum will include artists, galleries, art collectors and aficionados, as well as curators from all across the globe, and will provide an excellent opportunity for networking and career advancement in this critical profession. Artists will get a chance to sell their work, giving them financial aid in this time of economic struggle.
Creating a platform for women’s voices to be heard
The Forum will be a safe space for women to share their ideas, visions, and goals with one another, as well as the world at large. It is a perfect opportunity for under-represented women to make their case and share their experiences through art.
Empowering displaced women and women with disabilities
Women are having a hard time all around the globe, and the fight for women’s rights and the realization of SDG-5 is far from over. However, it is even harder and more challenging for women with disabilities or that have been displaced to find balance in today’s world. As such, we find it of paramount importance to have a strong and diverse representation from these two groups.
Becoming a hub for cultural and intellectual exchange
Art is the universal language that unites us all, and the Empower Her Art Forum will be a bridge that links cultures together in order to create a more unified humanitarian front through the art exhibitions and panel discussions.
Raising awareness on several humanitarian issues
Having an international Forum like this in the heart of Cairo, with thousands of potential visitors each day, creates the perfect opportunity for raising awareness on several humanitarian issues, with a primary focus on SDG-5.
Becoming a world-class art event in its own right
With a team that has a strong background and experience in international art curation, Empower Her Art Forum aims to become a strong, impactful art event in the region and the world.
Guest of Honor
We are fortunate to have Rabab Namer as a guest of honor for Empower Her Art Forum 2024. Rabab Nemr is a veteran Egyptian artist whose work has been exhibited consistently since her graduation from the Fine Arts Faculty in Alexandria in 1963. She later earned a doctorate in Art from the San Fernando Academy, University of Madrid in 1977.
Nemr's work is best known for being very intricate in relation to its size. Her attention to detail is magnificent, as she uses miniscule strokes of a rapidograph pen in order to create large pieces that convey the soul of her hometown of Alexandria. She also moves between creating solid black and white works, as well as using color, continuing to thrill viewers with her larger than ever artworks of incredible detail.
Live Painting Sessions
In addition to exhibiting numerous artworks, the Empower Her Art Forum will also include Live Painting Sessions with the aim of bringing together international and Egyptian artists to build bridges between nations through art and related activities. The artists will work together to demonstrate their creative knowledge and showcase their artistic work in real-time during the art Forum, hold workshops for diverse groups such as women with special needs, women receiving cancer treatment and displaced persons, and participate in panel discussions on topics such as human relations and the arts.
This exciting program will encourage dialogue between artists and audience as a way for women to share their experiences through art.
The Empower Her Art Forum will again feature panel discussions with artists and industry leaders on how to empower women through art as part of the creative economy in Egypt. Previous panel discussion topics in the first edition of EHAF included how women provide mentorship to empower other women, the unique mental and physical health challenges that women face, and the ability of art to heal and empower women. The panel discussions will be used as a campaign to raise awareness, challenge stereotypes, and inspire social change for women through art as an intended outcome for EHAF 2024.
Accessible Artwork for Visually Impaired and Blind Visitors
The first edition of the Empower Her Art Forum 2023 was the first exhibition in Egypt to focus on inclusion for blind and visually impaired individuals by displaying descriptions in braille next to the artwork and including specific work intended to be tactilely experienced whenever possible. We are dedicated to once again provide this level of accessibility in EHAF 2024 in order to bring awareness and empowerment to all people through art, an idea especially critical when presenting artwork on prevalent topics in today’s world. Additionally, organizations that support the blind and visually impaired will once again be invited to attend and participate in the Forum, including the panel discussions and workshops given by artists and other distinguished guests.
Artoday’s role in the project
Artoday will undertake all responsibility for project management and logistics for the event, along with a number of partners and collaborators necessary for a festival of this size. Listed below are the three areas of expertise that Artoday will coordinate and execute to ensure all elements of the festival run smoothly before and during the event.
Art Curation and Administration
- Artoday, along with other co-planning partners, will be responsible for the curation of all artwork on display during the Forum. We have a number of highly regarded curators at our disposal to ensure the highest quality of work in showcasing a wide range of artwork, as we understand that without the artists and their art, there is no festival.
- Artoday will contact and collaborate with a number of different regional, national, and international galleries and artists to participate in the Forum. Artoday has already established relationships with many local and international artists and galleries that have expressed interest in such an event as this, including Saphira and Ventura Gallery in New York City, New Jorg Gallery in Belgium, Makan Art Gallery in Bahrain, and other individual local and international artists and galleries as well.
- Artoday will organize guest speakers and workshop leaders during the Forum, as well as organization of third parties in the live painting program. Artoday has already established relationships with a number of individuals and institutions interested in taking part in these events.
- Artoday will liaise with the different suppliers and production team members to obtain the materials needed for setting up the venues for various planned activities.
- Artoday will supervise all set-up for the different exhibitions and events to ensure the production team is successful in showcasing all artwork.
Visibility Strategy (Marketing and PR)
- Artoday will provide social media coverage prior, during, and after the events for all event activities on social media platforms of the Forum and other co-planning partners. We will collaborate with our partners on a common communications and visibility strategy.
- Artoday will ensure a high level of visibility on all social media and other online platforms for the event. Detailed information will be added to our website and social media channels in a planned roll-out to generate buzz, share artists’ profiles, and highlight the festival’s schedule and activities.
- Artoday will engage with local and international media outlets to secure coverage of the festival, including interviews with artists, behind-the-scenes features, and highlights of the artwork on display. Artoday will ensure special coverage to all Forum partners from speakers, organizations, and private and public sector participants.
- Artoday will organize and execute a VIP opening for the event, inviting high profile guests and artists to celebrate the beginning of the festival.