Welcome to The Arts Center’s second season!

Our inaugural season at The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi exceeded all our possible expectations. One week after another, artists joined our community in Abu Dhabi to share their art, rich with invention, passion, insight, intelligence, and beauty. Many of the artists, often in the UAE for the first time, remarked on how open, how welcoming, how appreciative, how supportive, and how curious our audiences were.

Your willingness to step into the unknown with us was nothing short of remarkable. Week after week, we experienced a cultural community being created in real time. People of all ages and backgrounds came together to experience bold artistic visions, to celebrate the interplay of heritage and innovation, to take chances, to ask questions, to play, to dance, to enjoy.

During our residencies, artists come to Abu Dhabi to do more than just perform. They become part of the intellectual life of NYU Abu Dhabi, guest lecturing in our classes. They help to inspire emerging artists from throughout the UAE through workshops, master classes, and artist talks. They share their creative processes through open rehearsals, work-in-progress showings, and conversation. They break bread with new friends at our community meals. They discover the unique communities that make up Abu Dhabi, and add their own richness to it.

In our second year, we build on what we started to create together, with even more ambitious programs by visionary artists who push the boundaries between forms and disciplines. A non-stop 27-hour jazz concert-as-ritual; a live art installation about climate change featuring performers submerged in a tank filled with 13 tons of water; a wordless puppet theater piece about robots in love turned into live cinema accompanied by string quartet and turntables; a flamenco theater reinvention of a Greek classic; site specific dance pieces on stages, in public plazas, on bridges and on roofs; cutting edge music with deep roots and antennas into the future. These are just a few of the provocative events that will push the boundaries of the arts in Abu Dhabi this season.

More than anything we ask you to do one thing. Trust us. Come with an open mind, an open heart, and a willingness to engage with artists and styles that may be new to you. Meet a stranger in the audience and talk about what you’ve experienced. Talk to us and let us know what you think via Facebook, Twitter, in an email, or when you stop us in the lobby. First and foremost, The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi is here to spark conversations. Your voice is important.

We look forward to getting to know each other even better in our second season We’re building a cultural community together on Saadiyat Island.. Thanks for a being a part of it.

Bill Bragin
Executive Artistic Director
The Arts Center

Mission & Vision

The Arts Center aspires to be an internationally renowned performing arts center that presents student, faculty, and community productions alongside distinguished professional artists from around the world.

As a place that both presents and develops work, the Arts Center acts as a vibrant laboratory for performance that fosters a dynamic relationship between the arts, scholarship, and community. It serves NYUAD with compelling programming that connects to the curriculum, using the arts to illuminate and enliven the scholarly pursuits of students and faculty. It hosts a range of public programs that draw residents of Abu Dhabi to the campus, animating and enriching the cultural life of both the city and the university through interaction.

The NYUAD Arts Center strives to be a beacon on the international arts landscape, firmly rooted in the region but with a global reach, all the while embedded in the university and welcoming the local community.

Excellence, collaboration, creativity, accessibility, innovation, respect and understanding are the core values that govern NYUAD Arts Center.