Amal - ‘hope’ in Arabic - is a programme of the Said Foundation making grants in the UK in support of a rich diversity of arts projects and activities, including storytelling, visual arts, theatre, poetry, film, music and dance.
The programme aims to further two interlinked objectives:
- To increase understanding of Britain’s Muslim communities among its non-Muslims;
- To foster a stronger sense of belonging among Muslim communities in the UK.
The decision to use arts and culture to further these objectives was based on the findings of an initial consultation carried out by the project as well as a growing body of evidence supporting their use in creating positive social impact.
In 2017 Amal ran a pilot year, supporting 39 projects, working with a wide range of artists and arts organisations and covering arts and cultural activities of varying size and ambition. Roughly half these projects took place in London and half in other cities. They were carefully chosen to reflect diversity (gender, ethnicity, age, disability and type of organisation) and to encompass different art forms and cultural origins.
Feedback gathered from the pilot year and insights from evaluators formed the basis of a findings report. This evidences the impact that can be achieved through arts and cultural engagement in increasing understanding of Britain’s Muslim communities among its non-Muslims and fostering a stronger sense of belonging among Muslim communities in the UK.
While the success of its pilot has generated much goodwill both for Amal and its approach, consistent, long-term work is needed to prove the case further and have greater impact. The Foundation has therefore provided further funding for Amal which will be relaunching in August.
Find out more by visiting Amal’s website at www.amal.org.uk
The video (below) provides a flavour of some of the fantastic work of our partners and highlights from Amal 2017.