The Jerusalem Cultural Quarter continues to develop and thrive even now in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic. The continued support of our friends in Canada for the important projects contained within the Quarter has greatly impacted the city of Jerusalem.
Jerusalem’s Cultural Quarter is an essential part of the strategy to transform the city into a cultural hub and to create permanent homes for cultural institutions in the center of the city. With the onset of the Covid-19 crisis, many cultural events were cancelled and artists and cultural institutions were at a loss about how to continue activity in the new reality created by the virus. We have come to understand that COVID is likely to last longer than hoped and with recurring cycles. In our new reality the arts and culture organizations and institutions have had to develop innovative new models to remain compliant with guidelines and to still flourish. However, construction projects have been able to continue almost unabated and the Jerusalem Foundation continued with building and planning for major cultural institutions and launched a special fund to support the arts and culture community of Jerusalem during this storm. The Foundation has provided over 50 grants for artists and cultural organizations and distributed over $1 million CAD.
We are excited to be able to report that great progress has been made with the Jerusalem Arts Campus, scheduled to open in September 2021 bringing 4 art schools into the center of the city as part of the Quarter. The Naggar Musrara School of Art and Society has completed planning and is only waiting for final permits to begin expansion and renovation. The Jerusalem Foundation of Canada continues to invest in this area of the city.
The amazing work by the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, creating the jewel in the crown of the Jerusalem Cultural Quarter is inspiring. A vibrant symbol of the Bezalel spirit, the 460,000 square foot [42,735 square meter] Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Bezalel Campus will provide a new base for the originality and excellence of its 2,500 students and 500 faculty members. Scheduled to open in October 2022, Bezalel’s new campus will house a whole new world in the heart of Jerusalem, a thriving world of art, education and activity, serving as a springboard for the Academy to continue its historic mission of expanding cultural horizons and impacting conventional beliefs.
Located in the heart of the Jerusalem Cultural Quarter and surrounded by Canada House, City Hall and Safra Square, the historic Russian Compound and at the intersection between the Old city and the modern city of Jerusalem – the new Bezalel campus has already begun to take shape and make its presence known.
In spite of all of the obstacles we face today to overcome the challenges of this global pandemic, the arts and culture community of Jerusalem are still building the Cultural Quarter and leading the way with hope and inspiration to a better future for Jerusalem.
The Jerusalem Foundation is proud to partner with the Bezalel Academy to build, enhance, enrich and strengthen the center of Jerusalem and embolden us with “Imagination…Innovation…Inspiration”.