Festival Beshekel, a non-profit organization, was founded in 2001 by a group of artists and activists for social change, led by the prominent Israeli musician Sha`anan Streett (of Hadag Nachash), who serves today as the artistic director of the organization and as a member of the Board of Directors. The founders of Festival Beshekel had a vision to combat cultural impoverishment in Israel`s periphery.
Festival Beshekel is working to promote art and culture in peripheral areas of Israel out of the belief that culture is a universal right regardless of economic status. In particular, our objective is to encourage art where youth are rarely exposed to cultural environments and activities. Through art, culture and social activism we promote a social and cultural dialogue between different social groups and empower youth in marginalized communities across Israel.
This year Festival Beshekel has a new target: by implementing a joint Jewish-Arab cultural project. The goal of this project is to build bridges between Jewish and Arab teens and young adults in mixed communities within Israel through the prism of arts and culture. In this fragile time, it is even more crucial to make coexistence a genuine possibility, and shared creation is our way of doing so.
In Israel today there are no other organizations who address our mission. Our programs have proven successful in 25 different marginalized communities across Israel over the past 7 years. Each of our festivals is attended by 10,000-15,000 people.
The price of admission to each one of Festival Beshekel's activities is one shekel (approximately 25 US cents) which enables all sectors of Israeli society, regardless of religion or social economic status, access to the richness of our local culture.Ido Meridor, General manager: firstname.lastname@example.org