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Established in 1984 by artist Isam Hillis, the Gaza Association of Artists is a non-profit arts association which aims to serve Palestinian society by encouraging appreciation for the arts amongst the younger generation and developing the skills of talented persons. Despite the refusal of a license and subsequent attempts by the Israeli authorities to prevent the development of the organization, the Association developed steadily during the 1980s. In 1995, it received a license from the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) plus financial and moral support from President Yasser Arafat.
The objectives of the Association include developing the role of the artist in society, establishing the foundations for the development of a national artistic movement, defending the rights of artists, and looking after artists’ welfare. The Association seeks to achieve these objectives by the following means: activating the local artistic movement, providing a suitable environment in which to develop artists’ potential in an atmosphere of artistic freedom of expression; promoting the preservation and development of the national and popular heritage; encouraging the growth of art studies and offering support to those undertaking research in this area; discovering talented artists, caring for them, and developing their talents; working towards the provision of a suitable environment in which Palestinian artists can produce creative work in an atmosphere of material and moral stability; organizing seminars, lectures, and exhibitions in line with the Society's objectives; collecting and documenting the Palestinian art heritage and publishing works that have not been published in the past; establishing special funds for artistic development and for artists’ medical treatment; and setting up a permanent exhibition on modern Palestinian arts in Gaza City. The Artists Association of Gaza is supervised by an administrative board comprising seven members, all with extensive artistic and administrative experience.