Tel Aviv-Jaffa is putting the finishing touches to a variety of projects that will enhance its image as Israel's city of culture. According to Tslilit Ben-Nevat, director of the department of art at the Municipality of Tel Aviv-Jaffa, at least four of the city's cultural icons have undergone transformations - the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Cinema-thèque, Habima Theatre and Heichal Ha'Tarbut (Mann Auditorium).
"Mayor Ron Huldai has been deeply involved in improving and expanding the city's various cultural activities," says Ms Ben-Nevat.
"We are aiming to promote 2012 as a 'year of art' with a variety of grand openings, events and conferences for the local public, as well as visiting tourists. A number of celebrations will be centred on the re-opening of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art later this month.
The museum's Herta and Paul Amir Building is opening a 195,000 sq ft addition to the impressive complex. Designed by Preston Scott Cohen, chair of the Department of Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, the Herta and Paul Amir Building is a striking landmark, a fusion of baroque and modern, in harmony with its surroundings (see page 20).
The Habima Theatre (see page 44) re-opened recently, after a top-to-bottom renovation.
The Cinemathèque, which shows avant garde, classic and contemporary films by both local and international production houses, will re-open this month, after doubling the space within its unique structure.
Tel Aviv's Heichal Hatarbut (Mann Auditorium), which opened in 1957 and has staged performances by the likes of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, Leonard Bernstein, is also in the midst of an upgrade.
Some of the main events of Tel Aviv's Year of Art will take place from March 21 to 24, 2012, with open-air festivities, community events, educational initiatives, conferences and celebrations.
Colourful details of the bigger picture:
Fresh Paint contemporary art fair
Israel’s most important art event, attracting over 35,000 visitors every year, the fair provides a meeting place for art lovers, artists and art professionals and an opportunity to purchase the work of top contemporary artists. www.freshpaint.co.il/en
Art Marathon: 24 hours in the Tel Aviv Museum
The Tel Aviv Museum of Art will stay open all day and night, with exhibitions, lectures from curators and artists and many events.
Keifer @ Tel Aviv: a special exhibition by Anslem Keifer
VIP tour of the opening exhibit: a unique collection of Anslem Kiefer’s paintings, which has been curated especially for the opening of the Tel Aviv Museum.
Global PechaKucha in Tel Aviv
PechaKucha was devised in Tokyo in 2003 as a public showcase for young designers.
Drawing its name from the Japanese term for “chit-chat”, PechaKucha brings various artists to one stage — each artist has six minutes and 40 seconds to present an innovative project.
Tel Aviv’s version of PechaKucha is one of the largest in the world and attracts thousands every year.
Global PechaKucha in Tel Aviv will take place in the open air, outside the museum.
Tel Aviv art tours
Numerous art tours will be offered throughout the city, focusing on museums, galleries, alternative spaces, studios.
A special emphasis is placed on collaborations between Israeli and international artists.
Heritage Mile inauguration
A festive ceremony to launch Heritage Mile – a thematic path through the city’s cultural and historic landmarks. Many of the landmarks are in the White City – the historic and architectural zone declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 2003.
GAGA with Ohad Naharin
Gaga is a special movement language developed by Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin throughout his work as artistic director of the Batsheva Dance Company.
Gaga has two tracks: Gaga/dancers, which is the daily training of Batsheva Dance Company members and Gaga/people, open to the public and available for everyone at any age. No previous experience is necessary.
The Tel Aviv Museum of Art will host art performances fusing music, dance, video-art and more.
The show will be held in the open air and attended by tens of thousands, across many streets and locations in Tel Aviv.