More than just great watches, Rolex has done its fair share of philanthropic work, extending its mega influence in the world of arts, culture, sports and the environment through its many longstanding initiatives. One of its most important programmes is the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative, which was founded in 2002 to ensure that the world’s greatest artistic heritage is passed on. The Initiative has paired together 54 of the world’s most exceptional artists in the arts, music and cinema with young proteges. Under Rolex’s generosity, the pair will work together for two years in a one-of-a-kind creative collaboration.
Just last month, the new mentors and proteges are announced for the 2023-2024 cycle. The talented pairings include Ghanaian sculptor El Anatsui and South African visual artist Bronwyn Katz; British author Bernadine Evaristo and Ghanaian writer Ayesha Harruna Attah; Chinese filmmaker Jia Zhangke and Filipino filmmaker Rafael Manuel; French architect Anne Location and Lebanese-Armenian architect Arine Aprahamian; and American jazz singer Dianne Reeves and South Korean singer-composer Song Yi Jeon.
Just as watchmakers of old have their apprentices who would learn from them and pick up invaluable skills, Rolex’s Mentor and Protégé Initiative hopes to achieve the same, allowing today’s most outstanding artists the space to make magic happen.
(Header image: Rolex Arts Weekend at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York, 10 September 2022. A still from Spirits, one of two films presented by filmmaker Kyle Bell, who was mentored by Spike Lee)