Director, ACTIVATE Nonprofit Arts Organization
Originally from the island of Cyprus, Melina Nicolaides, an environmentally-engaged curator, artist and writer, was born in Washington, D.C. and spent her childhood years in Asia, followed by secondary education in Geneva, and completion of her studies at the British School of Rome. She holds a BA in History from Princeton University, obtained with the thesis “A Problem of Authenticity and Representation in a 19th century Vision of the Orient”, as considered through Verdi’s opera ‘Aida’. Following an extended training-period at the E.U. in the sectors of communication, information and cultural heritage, she went on to earn a multi-disciplinary MFA from Baltimore’s Maryland Institute College of Art which she attended as an A.G. Leventis Foundation Scholar, and where she received the institution’s Graduate Award. Over the years as a visual artist, her work has been shown in solo and over fifty exhibitions internationally, and she has received multiple governmental grants, art fellowships and awards in the USA and in Europe. As Director of ACTIVATE Nonprofit Arts Organization, her focus is on developing cross-disciplinary projects that address climate change-related challenges of the Eastern Mediterranean & MENA area. These research-based initiatives bring together people from across this region and diverse fields of knowledge to build creative and solution-oriented collaborations related to water, food and energy security. The primary objectives of such projects include unifying the diverse efforts being carried out across the region - from within the scientific community to individuals working on the ground - while also highlighting the multiple environmental, social, and cultural ‘connected points’ or commonalities shared between the countries and peoples of the MENA region. Melina is Permaculture Design certified, and serves on the Steering Committee for the E.U. Interreg MED Program ‘Aristoil’; as a member of the Steering Committee for the upcoming FEMRC-University of Bahrain 2020 water conference, she is also working with the University to develop the “A Year of Water” Program, a series of water-themed events, public projects and water-related exhibitions within the Kingdom of Bahrain that will serve to broaden the mission and scope of the conference. The program was launched in July of 2019 with an event organized in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour and Social Development.