International artists join Rolex Arts Initiative


MUMBAI: At a star-studded gala held recently at Lincoln Center, Rolex CEO, Patrick Heiniger announced the six master artists who will serve as mentors in the fourth cycle of its international philanthropic program, the Rolex Mentor and Protege Arts Initiative.
The 2008-2009 mentors, spanning six disciplines and hailing from five countries, are: American filmmaker Martin Scorsese; German artist Rebecca Horn; Senegalese musician Youssou N’Dour; Nigerian writer Wole Soyinka; American actress Kate Valk; and Czech choreographer Jirikylian.
More than 500 international cultural leaders and tastemakers gathered last night to celebrate the Arts Initiative, including: film directors Stephen Frears, Julie Taymor, Anthony Minghella, and Carlos Saura; actors Anna Deavere Smith, Aiden Quinn, Lynn Redgrave, Liam Neeson, and Owen Wilson; artists Alex Katz, John Baldessari, and Christo and Jeanne-Claude; opera legend Renee Fleming; Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka; choreographers William Forsythe and Trisha Brown; and designers Diane von Furstenberg and Kate Spade.
Launched in 2002, the Rolex Mentor and Protege Arts Initiative pairs established and emerging artists in film, visual arts, music, literature, theater, and dance for a year of intensive, one-on-one collaboration, and is unique in its international scope and direct investment in individual artists.
Said Heiniger, “We are delighted to have such outstanding creative talents join the growing international community of artists who have given their time and expertise through the Rolex Mentor and Protege Arts Initiative. Rolex is proud to support excellence in the arts worldwide, and we are honored that these six masters are partnering with us to nurture the next generation of great artists.”
In the coming months, Scorsese, Horn, Soyinka, N’Dour, Valk, and Kylian will each choose a protege from a group of finalists identified by international panels of nominators. Once the 2008-2009 proteges are selected, each pair will spend one year working together in any way they choose, often engaging in extended dialogue, and sharing and refining their creative work.