Culture and Technology Center in Nazareth

This is a proposal to develop a Culture and Technology Center in Old Nazareth that will be a place to research, collaborate and create using media and technology. With a strong commitment to education, the programs will further media literacy and technological proficiency, while engaging progressive social and environmental issues. The center will serve the region, welcome local initiatives and connect to the global discourse. This proposal describes three potential programs:

  1. Coworking space: Shared office space for creative people
  2. An international media artists residency program
  3. Upgrade! Monthly public gatherings and lecture series

Coworking is a movement to create cafe-like office spaces for artists, designers, writers, programmers, organizers, theorists, activists, bloggers, etc. Coworking spaces offer full office amenities. Thus, instead of talking to walls in their home office, creative consultants can do their work alongside other like-minded people in an atmosphere of collaboration and knowledge exchange. Coworking spaces opened all around the world in many variations from converted storefronts to high-end, smart office facilities.

International media artists residency programs exist all over the world. They offer a quiet environment for artists to make their work. Usually, artists are invited to spend a finite period of time, most commonly 3-6 weeks. Artists are offered a studio and accommodations. Other amenities change from one residency to another. The Center for Culture and Technology in the Galilee will accept proposals from media artists and culture makers working with technology: Internet, electronics, video, sciences, digital practices, programming, etc. Most media artists in this field have graduate degrees and teach at the university level. Each artist will be expected to hold a workshop for youth or adults as part of their residency, thus both the community and artists benefit from the exchange. The residencies will culminate in a public presentation and open studios. The center will collaborate with local industry, other cultural organizations, schools and art networks in Israel and the world.

Upgrade! is a series of monthly gatherings to share ideas and knowledge. Topics range from arts to environmental issues, from media and communication to sciences and more. These meetings can be lectures, workshops, dinner parties, etc. and can take place in different locations. Upgrade! meetings take place in 26 cities around the world. In Israel the meetings are organized by Sala Manca and alternate between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

During the talk we will review the three programs mentioned above and how they run in other locations in world. We will showcase a few artists’ practices and the workshops that they offer. Yael will talk about her work with culture and technology as an artist and educator, as well as her role as founder of the Upgrade! International network. Dr. Wisam Gibran will talk about the possibility of integrating such programs into the The House of Culture & Art in Nazareth.

The evening will conclude with a Q&A. The purpose of the evening is to open a discussion and explore the possibilities of integrating such programs with local culture. We hope to learn whether the neighborhood will welcome such an initiative and communities in the area would benefit from it.

We’re holding a talk about these programs on Monday, June 30 at 19:00 at The House of Culture & Art in Old Nazareth (formerly Bayt Al-Kateb). The talk will be open to the public. If you have questions please email to Dr. Wisam Gibran wisam_gibran at yahoo dot com or Yael Kanarek yael at treasurecrumbs dot com