From Gulf to Gulf to Gulf (film still), 2009–2013

From Gulf to Gulf to Gulf (film still), 2009–2013
SAF Production Programme Commission, 2010. Courtesy of the artist


The Sharjah Art Foundation (SAF) Production Programme broadens the possibilities for the production of art in the MENASA region through a commitment to support innovation and excellence in artistic practice by encouraging risk and experimentation. This commitment places artists at the core of the Foundation’s mission by offering grants and professional support for the realisation of projects selected from an open call for proposals.

The past decade has seen an extraordinary rise in artistic activity throughout the Middle East, resulting in an increased visibility for artists both regionally and internationally. Within this context, the Foundation hopes to promote and encourage an environment of public and private patronage for the highest level of artistic endeavour. This programme focuses on supporting artists in their individual attempts to create work on a scale they have perhaps never imagined possible. 

Arts practitioners are invited to propose imaginative, ambitious and inspirational projects that will transform our understanding of what art is and how it can be experienced. With this initiative we hope to engage and challenge the artists, our audiences and ourselves aesthetically, intellectually, emotionally, socially, politically or in ways new and unexpected. 

In 2018 we are offering production grants to artists working in a range of media including sculpture, installation, time-based media, artist’s books and performance. Up to a total of $200,000 is available in this application cycle. The success of a proposal will be determined by merit rather than budget. To this end, projects with budgets that range from modest to ambitious scales will be considered. The submission deadline is 15 January 2018 and selections will be announced in March. The selected projects will be developed and produced by the artist and the Sharjah Art Foundation, with presentation of the completed project as agreed between the artist(s) and SAF.

The Production Programme was launched in 2008. Over 1000 submissions have been received, over 500 applications considered and 55 projects selected for production.

This document should give you all the information you need to know to apply for the 2017 Production Programme. Please read it carefully before you complete the attached application form. If you have any further questions, please direct them to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Eligible Applicants:
We welcome visual art proposals from artists, collectives and collaborative groups. These collaborations may be between visual artists and choreographers, composers, filmmakers, writers, curators, theorists or other professionals working in fields such as science or philosophy.
• You should be able to free yourself from any commitments that could hinder the production of your project, should it be selected.

Eligible Projects:
Proposals can be made for any media including time-based media, installation, sculpture, artist books or performance. While we have not set a specific theme or criteria, we are looking for work that relates to or that can be of relevance to the MENASA region. This should not be taken in a strictly literal sense, but rather as an opportunity to undertake an ambitious project with a broad philosophical or inspirational approach to this context. We are seeking proposals that can engage and challenge the artists and our audiences on a variety of levels whether aesthetic, intellectual or political.
• The proposal must be a new project in the phase of preparation and its production time frame should not exceed 12 months.

Key dates:
The deadline for receipt of submissions is midnight 15 January 2018 in the UAE time zone. A selection panel comprising SAF senior management and one to three external members will assess your application in January. You may be contacted for further information at this time. Successful applicants will be notified by 17 March 2018. Due to the high volume of applications, we regret that we are unable to follow-up or provide any feedback to unsuccessful applicants.
• Names of the selection panel members will not be disclosed until announcements are made.

Production Location:
In keeping with the Foundation’s focus on collaboration and exchange we are looking for projects that can be produced in Sharjah with the support of our team. We will, however, take your project’s priorities into consideration and review proposals accordingly.

Grant Information:
SAF will select proposals and award the production grant based on the budget submit with the original application. In principle, SAF Production Grants are intended to be the primary source of funding for a project. Any additional funding requirements or funding partnerships should be discussed in advance with SAF.

General Guidelines:
We have designed this application both to guide you as well as to help us visualise, in the best way possible, your project from conception to execution. Read the application forms carefully and provide clear and precise information. If a section is not applicable to you, indicate “N/A.” Please note that you are not allowed to rename, reproduce or try to unlock the forms. All word forms are to be completed electronically and saved in their original format on CD, DVD or USB Flash Drive, along with supporting material.

Format Requirements:
Application and supporting material should be in ready-to-print-and-publish quality and clearly labelled. The text and optical media format requirements must be respected or your submission will not be considered.

Text & Optical Media:
We will accept images in JPEG and/or TIFF format only. They should all be in 300 dpi resolution and CMYK mode.
Text documents should be provided as either Word or PDF files.
Sound works should be submitted on audio CD, either as WAV, AIFF and/or MP3 files.
Time-based media can be sent on a multi-regional DVD and/or as MPEG2, MPEG4 or QuickTime files.
• All submitted material without exception should have captions including author(s), title, date, type, material, size, a brief description and a credit line where applicable. We have prepared a Captions Form that you will use for each individual project.

Supporting Documents:
Please submit your Curriculum Vitae in either Word or PDF format.
An official letter of intent from the other funding party, if applicable, should be scanned in colour at 300 dpi and saved as a JPEG.

Application Form

Please download and fill in both the Application Form and Captions Form. If you have a collaborator in the project, download the Collaborator Form as well.

Please email your applications to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Click here to download the Application Form.
Click here to download the Captions Form.
Click here to download the Collaborator Form.

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