Liverpool Arab Arts Festival (LAAF) is the UK’s longest running and most successful annual Arab arts and cultural festival, platforming the best UK and international Arab artists.
Founded in 1998 by Liverpool Arabic Centre and the Bluecoat to provide Arabic arts and culture in Liverpool. Over the years this partnership has grown to include most of the major arts institutions in the city including Picturehouse at FACT, National Museums Liverpool and Liverpool Philharmonic Hall as well as artists and community organisations.
The first festival took place in 2002 and it has run annually since that date as a celebratory event raising awareness and promoting an understanding and appreciation of Arabic culture for both Arab and non-Arab audiences in Liverpool and beyond. The festival has become a highly popular and permanent fixture in Liverpool’s art and culture calendar with a regular and loyal audience, the festival also continues to attract new audience’s year on year.
The festival has grown rapidly over the years in size, confidence, expectation and ambition and remains the only annual festival of its kind in the UK. Key funding for the festival has been secured from Liverpool City Council and Arts Council England.
Having been shortlisted in 2009, in 2010 LAAF was awarded the Arab British Centre’s Culture & Society Award 2010 for an outstanding contribution to the British public’s knowledge and understanding of the life, society and culture of the Arab people. In 2011, Liverpool Arab Arts Festival became independent and is continually growing, maintaining its high profile as a major arts organisation.