Melina Nicolaides - Cyprus
Melina Nicolaides, from the island of Cyprus, was born in Washington, D.C. and moved to New Delhi at the age of seven. Her childhood years were spent 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 in Brussels 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 that 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 exhibition and governmental art grants in the USA and in Europe. At present, as Director of ACTIVATE Nonprofit Arts Organization, she is focused on curatorial work and creating cross-disciplinary projects that address climate change-related challenges of the Eastern Mediterranean & MENA area. These research-based projects 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. She is Permaculture Design certified, serves on the Steering Committee for the E.U. Interreg MED Program ‘Aristoil’ and on the Advisory Board of the Future Earth MENA Regional Center. In collaboration with the University of Bahrain, she is currently developing a series of public projects for an upcoming conference on Water in the MENA Region.