*Initiatives aimed at inspiring aspiring designers during stay-at-home period

A series of virtual initiatives by Qatar Museums (QM) and its partners continue to provide residents of different ages with workshops and coaching sessions, as well as art and design classes, while staying home amid the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

M7, a creative startups hub dedicated to innovation and entrepreneurship established by QM for the nation’s growing fashion and design industry, started its biweekly online forum on Thursday (May 7) via its Instagram account, @M7.qatar.

Themed ‘Accelerate, the session witnessed Aysha al-Mudahka, director of Strategic Initiatives and Partnership Development at Qatar Foundation (QF) and former CEO of Qatar Business Incubation Centre; and Stefano Bellandi, CEO of Cipriani Couture, discussing how to build a business plan from concept to production. Another session is set for Saturday (May 9) at 9pm.

On May 14 and 16, Khalifa al-Haroon, founder of ILoveQatar; and Harriet Gyamfuah, founder of Creatives Amplified, will discuss ways on how designers can stay connected with their customers using digital platforms under the theme ‘Connect’.

Another session, themed ‘Remote’, will tackle the impact of media placements and promotion of design on May 23 and 23, with Bianca Brigitte Bonomi, editor-in-chief of Harper's Bazaar Arabia; and Kai Margrander, fashion director of Harper's Bazaar Germany.

According to QM, M7’s online coaching sessions aim to support and inspire aspiring designers until activities normalises.

A five-storey, 29,000sq m facility located at Msheireb Downtown Doha, M7 also serves as a platform to train aspiring entrepreneurs in creative fields; spark creativity in people of all ages and backgrounds through exhibitions, performances, films, educational programmes, and public discussions; and help connect Qatar’s innovators with the world.

Meanwhile, Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar (VCUarts Qatar), a QF partner university, is offering a range of free online art and design classes until May 20.

Participants of ‘2D Animation for Kids’ (aged 10 to 13) will have the opportunity to learn shading techniques by using dotting, collage, and push and pull ink on May 17 and 18 between 12noon and 1pm. Instructor is Ebtesam M al-Hothi, a Qatari graphic designer.

Another VCUarts Qatar class allows participants to “explore art ideas, exercises, and the benefits of providing creative and exploratory opportunities for children of all ages in the home.” Schedule is on May 10 and 11.

Last month, Asma Ul Hosna, a VCUarts Qatar alumna with a major in Interior Design, shared her expertise in setting up a home office to those who are “looking for something to boost their motivation.”

Other classes include ‘Art & Collective Conversations in Crisis (Art Therapy)’on May 13 and ‘Art in Support of our Heroes (Art Therapy)’ on May 20.

The Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) also continues to give virtual residents with storytelling sessions, art workshops, tours and quizzes on its Instagram and Facebook accounts.

Other virtual visits include a 360 tour of MIA, via Google Arts & Culture, National Museum of Qatar’s archaeological and heritage objects, and Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art’s “enriching comprehensive modern and contemporary Arab art.”

The 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum’s “321 Activation”, series of workshops and fitness challenges with athletes, expert trainees and health professionals, continues to support and encourage families to stay fit and active while at home via its Instagram account @321qosm from Sunday to Thursdays at 2pm.

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