In 2011, when popular revolutions erupted in several Arab countries, Culture Resource (in cooperation with the DOEN foundation, Mimeta Centre for Culture and Development, and the Open Society Foundations) initiated the Abbara program to support independent cultural organizations during the period of transition to democracy. The chief aim was to help emerging independent cultural entities in Arab countries that are undergoing democratic transformation to develop their institutional infrastructures. In this way they can play a pivotal role in disseminating the values of freedom, appreciation for artistic creativity, critical thought and the acceptance of diversity, as well as be more enabled to perform their principle function as providers of cultural and artistic services to broad segments of society.
Organizations selected to take part in the program receive a package of diverse services geared to meet the individual needs of each organization over the course of two years. The package includes a grant to support administrative and organizational infrastructure development, training workshops in cultural management, technical support and legal consulting, fundraising, marketing, creating websites, or developing organizational, administrative and financial structures. Abbara also provides incubation for small groups that have not yet crystallized administratively, networking services between participant organizations, and an exchange program for cultural managers within the Arab world and abroad.