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A competition encourages young people to explore their creativity, Dominic Rodgers looks at how The Crossway Foundation are helping to bridge important gaps

3 min read

“Art. Does it matter?

There are things in life we can’t express with words and there are moments in life we want to hold on to forever. But life gets ever more complicated.

Technology is taking over, and we’re forgetting how to make real connections with people, with nature, and with ourselves.

Art communicates across generations and geographies. It goes beyond religious, economic and political barriers. Art is how we define ourselves, and it allows us to mark our moment within history. In order to make that mark we need to travel to new places, meet new people and experience new things. It is only when we step out of our comfort zone that we can truly grow.

Art encourages change within societies and most importantly, it changes the way we see the world. Make your own art. because it matters.”

The above quote is the English translation of a transcript from a trailer made by Anggi Makki, one of the past winners of Create & Inspire, a competition launched by The Crossway Foundation, a UK-based charity which delivers arts initiatives in the UK and the Middle East.

The 2014 competition is now open to 16-25 year old filmmakers, photographers and artists in the UK and the Gulf, with a fantastic prize of a 2-week creative journey of a lifetime to Brazil for 12 winners in September later this year. With support from Art Jameel, Qatar Museums Authority, Qatar Brazil 2014, Etihad Airways, and the British Council, the competition will allow winners to work with professional artists, photographers, curators, filmmakers and musicians to develop the key skills of leadership, communication, and creativity.

The theme this year is “The World is Not Black & White” and applicants need to submit a creative project which relates to it in whatever their chosen medium by Thursday, 12 June online at

Stephen Stapleton, Crossway’s founder says, “Saudi Arabia is a specific context where the the young people don’t have that much chance to be artists, designers, or film makers. The wider context is to instil in the young people a sense that can have a big impact in making the world a better place.”

With a view to previous articles such as our CAO series businesses could learn a lot from this idea that access to creativity can have amazing effects on the culture within a business and affect the bottom line.