National Arts Council of Zimbabwe receives Z$600m

Having realized the constraints that face artists in various disciplines such as music, sculpture, literature, and film, the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe with the help of Delta Corporation and with the aim of facilitating the development and promotion of the arts sector through the provision of capital either in grant or loan form launched the Arts Development Fund.

Arts Development Fund, according to the board chairman of the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe, Solomon Chikate is a practical instrument in the development of the arts sector and it comes in three forms which are scholarship grants, administration projects and loan schemes.

Delta Corporation General Manager responsible for Corporate Affairs George Mutendadzamera says his organisation has also assisted in reshaping other projects under the National Arts Council. These include Neshamwari Dance Festival, Chibuku Road to Fame, Jikinya Dance Festival, National Arts Merit Award and the Culture week among others.

Culture Week Celebrations are organized to mark the United Nations Proclaimed World Culture Day every year whilst the National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA) which is the premier award given by the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe in recognition of outstanding achievements in the arts and culture sector.

Jikinya Dance festival is for primary school pupils and it is meant to promote and preserve traditional dances whilst Neshamwari Dance Festival is meant for older people but with the same theme as Jikinya. Chibuku Road to Fame is a musical search talent and identification programme.

The National Arts Council of Zimbabwe also funds a number of art scholarships. They provide financial support to art students taking part in various arts related courses at post secondary after realizing that the arts and culture industry was not being taken seriously and was not receiving much attention from other arms of Government.

The scholarship fund has to date benefited more than 60 students since 2002.

The National Arts Council of Zimbabwe has also entered into partnership with a local bank, First banking Corporation to enhance professionalism in the arts and culture sector.

It has been noted that the industry has since developed into a business that has potential to bring in foreign currency.

National Arts Council of Zimbabwe Communications Officer Academy Chinamhora says Arts Development Fund is the most practical instrument to empower artists both in terms of skills giving and projects funding.

“We hope that more partners will come to join us in making the fund big so that it can cater for many groups and individual artists.”

Those who have benefited from the Arts development Fund so far include The Zimbabwe College of Music, Rooftop Theatre Promotions, Kingstones Entertainment Pvt Ltd, Masvingo State University department of arts, University of Zimbabwe department of theater arts, Midlands State University, CHIPAWO, Harare and Bulawayo Polytechnic colleges, Academy of Music and Dance, Midlands College of Music and Bulawayo College of Music.

July 2006
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