By Chimeno Azriel
The National Arts Council of Zimbabwe is working on reviving the arts industry through the resuscitation of the Arts Development Fund, the institution’s Deputy Director Mr Josiah Kusena has revealed.
The deputy director made the remarks during the Creative Talk Show held last week.
“The National Arts Council of Zimbabwe is on the virtue of resuscitating the fund so that artists would not suffer especially in this pandemic era,” Mr. Kusena said in response to the question posed during the session.
The Talk Show focused on the role of the arts sector in the National Development Strategy 1 ( NDS1) that is the economic turnaround blueprint set for 2021-2025.
The issue of the availability of Cultural and Creative Industries (CCI), arts development, and the funding of artists was also tabled. The Talk Show was organised by NACZ Mashonaland East and the discussion was set so that artists would know the position of the Council towards them. It was also meant to equip artists on how to handle their welfare.
The National Arts Council of Zimbabwe was established by an act of Parliament in 1985. It has the mandate to champion the promotion and development of the arts and cultural sector. One of its mandates is to oversee the sector in terms of governance of the sector. The NACZ falls under the Ministry of Youth, Sports, Arts, and Recreation.
The talk show was moderated by Mr. Chaira who is the holder of a BA in Film and Theater Arts and MA in Media and Society Studies. It discussed the issue of funding, especially during the Covid 19 pandemic.
“The key initiative is the resuscitation of the Arts Development Fund where we see artists will be getting loans, grants, and scholarships for their survival and upkeep,” said Mr. Kusena.
“The documentation that speaks about the establishment of the Art Fund has been done and what remains is the funding by the Government and work is in progress.”
NACZ initiated the provision of ZW$10 million in order to assist in the alleviation of the artists’ welfare.
NACZ has since embarked on a new music strategy for the music sector. The project is being partnered with UNESCO where jingles, music, poetry, and amination are being done.
“We have other Programmes which are being supported by UNESCO where Jingles music, poetry and aminations are aired on radio and that gave the artists the opportunity to showcase their skills and talents,” said Mr Kusena.
NACZ usually co-opts artists in National Programmes such as Independence, Culture Weeks, Nehanda Statue Launch. That gives artists a chance to get employment and market themselves.