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Moukhtar Kokache

Moukhtar Kokache

Policy maker

Moukhtar is the Officer for Media, Arts and Culture for the Ford Foundation in Cairo, where he works developing and promoting the cultural sector in the Middle East.

He joined the Ford Foundation in 2004; his grant making supports organizations and focuses on creativity, discourse and artistic development. From 1998 to 2004, Moukhtar was director of programs at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC), the leading arts council in New York City, which provides services and opportunities to thousands of individual artists and emerging organizations. He has managed and organized exhibitions, and has consulted for and worked with art galleries, museums and nonprofit organizations in the United States, Europe and the Middle East. He has also taught university level seminars, presented papers, been a keynote speaker at various institutions and received a number of awards recognizing his work in the field. He has published critical texts in catalogs and periodicals, and co-edited "Site Matters," a 2005 survey of site-specific projects executed by artists at the World Trade Center in New York from 1997 to 2001, published by LMCC.

Raised in Lebanon and France, Moukhtar relocated to New York in 1995 and to Cairo in 2004. He received a master's degree from Columbia University where he studied art management and art history. As an undergraduate at American University, he studied international relations (with a focus on diplomacy in the Eastern Mediterranean), economics and art history. His current interests include the sustainability of independent creative networks, culture and social philanthropy and film as a medium of self-representation.

Click here to read his 2011 provocation piece Look Out... Look In, written for the Royal Society of Arts (RSA)'s State of the Arts Conference. The provocation suggests that the arts are out of kilter with an increasingly interdisciplinary and connected world. What is needed on both sides of the Atlantic is a new social contract for the arts in which the artistic community embraces itself within new models of creative production and artistic activity.