16.02.11

Performing arts, the search and rescue team Ársæll and the exhibition ofLouise Bourgouis at the National Gallery of Iceland are new sponsor projects ofAurora Fund

Today, 16 February 2011 Aurora Fund allocates for the fourth time ISK 100 million to six projects within the field of humanities, education and culture in Iceland and in Sierra Leone.
Grants for performing arts:
In Iceland performing arts have been in a great uptrend recently and the creative energy has received international attention.  Aurora has decided to sponsor performing arts in Iceland, i.e. theatre, dance and song for about ISK10 million. In this way Aurora Fund wants to strengthen even further the performing arts by sponsoring exceptional and ambitious projects.  Aurora Fund has recruited Viðar Eggertsson director and Ingibjörg Þórisdóttir dramaturge and critic, to give professional advice in selecting projects and a great emphasis will be on projects that are artistic, bold and professional.
Applications may now be sent in and further information is on the Fund’s homepage.

The Search and Rescue team Ársæll:
The Search and Rescue team Ársæll is a department within the International rescue team of Slysavarnafélagið Landsbjörg and they assist in storms, earthquakes and flooding in inhabited areas everywhere in the country.  The team did a huge feat in a difficult situation in Haiti following the earthquake in January 2010 and they were among the first rescue teams to arrive on the site.  Much of their specialised equipment needs maintenance and replacement and therefore the Aurora Fund has decided to donate ISK 3 million to the team. The money will be used to buy equipment.

Further information: www.bjorgunarsveit.is

Louise Bourgeois – Exhibition of her artwork in the National Gallery of Iceland:
Louise Bourgeois is one of the best known women artists of the contemporary world. She died in 2010 when she was 99 years old, still agile and working vigorously as an artist. She started her career as a painter but around the middle of the last century she started sculpting which developed into massive instalments. She is a pioneer in that field and considered by many to be the artist that bridged the gap between modern- and contemporary art.  Now, at her 100 year anniversary exhibitions of her work are more popular than ever and therefore this is a unique opportunity for the National Gallery of Iceland to get an exhibition of this size and the first one in Europe since the artist passed away. Foreign visitors are expected that will come solely for the exhibition. The Aurora Fund has decided to donate ISK 3 million to the National Gallery of Iceland to sponsor the exhibition of the works of Louise Bourgeois and publication of a book about the artist which will give Icelanders a chance to get to know this artist a little better.
Attached is further information as well as pictures, one of Louise in 2007 taken by Dimitris Yeros and the other one is of her work Spider from 1995.

Further information: www.listasafn.is 

Kraumur Music Fund:
Kraumur Music Fund was established in 2008 by Aurora Fund as an experimental project for three years. The Kraumur activities have been flourishing and the fund has engaged in miscellaneous cooperative work with people within the music industry. During these three years around 100 musicians, bands and various music projects have been allocated about ISK 60 million.  Kraumur has, among other things, sponsored concerts and tours in Iceland and abroad, assisted in overseas marketing and launched new musical awards under the name of the Kraumur List.  It is therefore clear that the fund’s presence is important in the music sector in Iceland and the fund has now received 232 applications for the next allocation. Therefore the board of Aurora decided to continue this good work and provide another ISK 60 million for Kraumur Music Fund for the next three years.

Further information: www.kraumur.is

Aurora Design Fund:
Aurora Design Fund was established two years ago and is now receiving ISK 25 million for the third time. The fund has supported and worked with a diverse group of designers and the objective of the fund is to support designers and assist them is promoting themselves, their ideas, products and projects in Iceland as well as internationally. Besides, the fund also shares knowledge in the field of design and architecture in cooperation with others in the field as needed. Aurora Design Fund has as an objective to support promising designers and strengthen design work on the grass root level. The fund emphasises the support of projects that are exceptional in some way, encourage creativity and imagination within Icelandic design.

Further information: www.honnunarsjodur.is 

UNICEF’s educational project in Sierra Leone in Africa:
Aurora allocates for the fourth time ISK 40 million to build up a child friendly educational system and school facilities, especially with girls’ needs in mind. This is a part of the Fund’s most extensive project since its foundation and a total of ISK 160 million has been allocated to the project.  The project is in cooperation with the local educational authorities and UNICEF in Iceland and in Sierra Leone.  As a result of this project there are already over one hundred teachers who have received retraining and about 60 schoolhouses have been built with the appropriate water supply, plumbing, furniture and teaching materials.  A great effort is put into the education of teachers and training in teaching methods where the child is in a priority position and the community is activated by establishing parents’ associations at the schools as well as clubs for mothers. The project has been very successful and the same approach may be used in other parts of Sierra Leone.

This is the fourth time that grants are allocated from the Aurora Fund since its establishment in January 2007 by the couple Ingibjörg Kristjánsdóttir and Ólafur Ólafsson who started the fund with a capital sum of ISK one billion.  During these years grants have been allocated from the fund to projects that can contribute to a better life in Iceland as well as the developing countries.  Aurora Fund is a non-profit organisation that has fulfilled its objectives to support few, but large projects where there is need for considerable amounts of money in order for them to be realised.
The board of the Fund also wants to see the projects having a profound influence in the community. An emphasis is on the contributions in Iceland strengthening innovation and new projects so as to boost the variety of economic activity in the country. Projects that Aurora sponsors in the developing countries are first and foremost within education and culture. An effort is made to follow through with projects and support awardees and partners as much as possible.