This Beirut-Based Organization is Creating A Safe Space for Marginalized Artists

Haven for Artists is where it’s at

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Independent artists have been relying on social media platforms to make their voices heard and bring their work to light. Yet many would still argue that no matter how interconnected our world is today, it’s still difficult for emerging and marginalized artists to truly find profound support. 

This is where Haven for Artists comes in. The Beirut-based arts organization has made it its purpose to bring exposure to the underground art scenes of Lebanon and the Middle East. Through connecting regional artists as well as providing opportunities for funding and collaborations, the organization is on a mission to create a community “for the arts by the arts”. 

“Our goal as a cultural organization is to be the intersection of art and activism. Haven for Artists exists to support and empower marginalized communities in Lebanon,” co-founders Dayna Ash and Yasmine Rifaii told Jdeed.

The self-funded and women-led NGO wants to give a stage to the least heard voices. Having already hosted over 300 artists in gatherings, exhibitions and events, they’re well on their way. 

Alongside their social media platforms where they host workshops and live conversations, Haven for Artist’s website serves as a portal to the works of underground visual artists. The digital gallery includes the work of Detroit-born artist Phillipe El Riachi, Syrian-Russian Sandra Kastoun, as well as musicians like Beirut’s indie pop-folk band Sandmoon.

That’s not all they have to offer, the platform just launched an artist-in-residency program.

Entitled ‘The Haven House’, it’s a home for both local and visiting artists giving them a safe space to exhibit, participate in collaborative projects and grow their network. Current residents include Beirut’s musical duo Karim and Nadim Rifai, who mix western tunes with Arabic lyrics, Dutch comedian Janneke Rinzema, who’s exploring the comedy scene in Lebanon.

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