The Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden (MACAAL) Marrakech is an independent, not-for-profit contemporary art museum. One of the first of its kind in the continent, MACAAL is dedicated to the promotion of African art through its diverse exhibition and education programmes, cultivating the interest of a wide audience base, including families and students. The museum nurtures an understanding of contemporary art from Africa through collecting and exhibiting established and emerging artists, highlighting the creative energy and cultural diversity found across the continent.
Opened in 2016 to local audiences, MACAAL collaborated closely with the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 22) on the inaugural exhibition. The museum launches internationally in February 2018.
MACAAL showcases art from Morocco and its neighbouring countries across a range of media. Whilst maintaining respect for local audiences and cultural sensitivities, there are no restrictions on what can be shown. In addition to the permanent collection, exhibitions will focus on art which engages in a dialogue with the continent, including African and international artists.
His Majesty Mohammed VI, King of Morocco, has a long history of nurturing the emerging contemporary and modern Moroccan art scene by investing in African artists through developing initiatives and art events across the country such as The Mohammed VI Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMVI) opened in 2014 in Rabat, which is the first Moroccan public museum. MMVI and MACAAL add to Morocco’s positioning as a dynamic hub for the visual arts.
MACAAL is a philanthropic initiative of Moroccan art collectors Alami Lazraq and his son Othman Lazraq. It forms part of their charitable Fondation Alliances, a not-for-profit association which focuses on supporting cultural development in Morocco. Motivated by a passion for the arts and under the directorship of Othman, MACAAL brings the Lazraq family’s private collection of modern and contemporary African art, garnered over the past 40 years, to a broader audience.
Founded in 2009, Fondation Alliances is backed by Alliances Group, a leading integrated real estate group in Morocco. Dedicated to promoting cultural development in Morocco, the foundation established the Al Maaden sculpture park in 2013 among other projects.
Beyond MACAAL, Fondation Alliances has set up two other not-for-profit initiatives: Lcc Program (La Chambre Claire), launched in 2013, is a bi-annual award supporting contemporary photography through the promotion and exhibition of an emerging artist. Programme Passerelles (trans. bridges) encourages engagement with local young people through workshops and classes on contemporary art and design alongside museum visits. The programme acts as a bridge between local audiences and the wider cultural sphere.