In the ever-changing multicultural society in Beirut, artists are stuck in limbo between seeking acceptance among Lebanese and seeking recognition elsewhere. It is rather known how difficult it is to turn one’s hobbies into a career path, or to break through the small circle of artists.
Few NGOs have been working on offering them an easier access to platforms and networks, through organizing different events. Haven For Artists is one of the few Beirut based apolitical NGOs aiming to “endorse, encourage, and expose the modern underground art scene of Lebanon and the Middle East”, as Haven’s Media Coordinator Anna Lamb put it in words.
It was founded in 2011, as a medium to link freelance spoken poets, writers, photographers, and others, to develop and build a broader network. Gatherings, exhibitions, performances, and concerts are organized throughout the year to shed light on artists and inspire others to leave their comfort zones.
Haven will be providing their audience a new chance to go beyond physical barriers. “The Haven house will embody the acting headquarters of the NGO, with spaces allocated to informative lectures, workshops, and panel discussions,” wrote Lamb, “A dark room and screening area are also available, along with a film and literature library; Haven has included these services to give artists, students, and art enthusiasts an unconventional learning space, where they can explore their creative facets freely without university or client requirements and restraints.”
Through this latest addition, Haven’s mission will carry new forms of art interchange that will strengthen “the creative bonds currently forming within the region, for the purpose of providing the necessary resources to forge creative collaborations and to develop an artistic community, one that is for the arts and by the arts.”
Along the house, more projects will be organized such as the “Haven Artist Exchange”, the regular Haven gatherings, and the “Social Change Program”.
Haven For Artists could be an opportunity to define the future of local art surpassing the physical Lebanese borders. Some boundaries would cease to exist, making way for new artists to consider Beirut as their own art haven.