EU, Culture Fund disburse US$118k to artists

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Vasco Chaya

CULTURE Fund of Zimbabwe Trust (Culture Fund) in partnership with the European Union Zimbabwe have issued a US$118 000 grant to support the country’s creative sector during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

The grant is meant to promote new and innovative projects from artists, cultural practitioners, institutions and private operators involved in creative industries.

“A total of 131 eligible and highly competitive proposals (104 under Lot 1-bigger grants) and (27 under Lot 2-smaller grants) were received. Culture Fund and EU Zimbabwe awarded an initial nine grants worth a total of US$117 416 out of an available US$300 000. Another call for proposals will be announced at the end of the year,” Culture Fund projects officer Simbarashe Mudhokwani said.

“Grantees will soon commence implementation of their creative activities — sensitive to on-going Covid-19 measures.”

Some of the projects to be implemented will focus on the Empowering Generation of Women in Music and Upskilling Performing Artists for Enhanced Digital and Online Engagement among others.

On Empowering the Next Generation of Women in Music, Mudhokwani said the programme targets 63 women in the music industry.

“The Sisterhood Music Training Project aims to train 63 female artists in music recording and production, audio engineering, live performance and instruments, music management and Deejaying, podcast production and audio production; creating a supportive community for women in music, providing tools, knowledge, and support to further manage their music business and opportunities.

“The project expects to strengthen their role in Zimbabwe’s creative sector,” he said.
On the Upskilling Performing Artists for Enhanced Digital and Online Engagement, the project seeks to support capacity building of theatre artists to better engage with digital and online technologies.

“It will draw participants from Manicaland, Matabeleland and Mashonaland West. This initiative has a special focus on digital skills. Implementation will be carried out through virtual and limited person to person master classes and mentorships,” he said.

The grants also seek to promote culture through traditional dances in Chipinge District.

“The project partners Holland Mphongo Traditional Dance Group with primary school age children in Chipinge and Chikore. It will offer specialist training in Mphongo dance, drumming, and drums preparation for performance skills.”

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