By Desire Tshuma
European Union in collaboration with the Culture Fund has awarded grants to 42 exceptional projects of Zimbabwean artists as part of the first round of Creative Actions II project.
The grants amount to a total funding of US$ 748,588. EU Ambassador His Excellency Jobst von Kirchmann expressed his excitement to awarding these grants and said EU are reaffirming theirs commitment to fostering Zimbabwean creativity.
“These projects will not only entertain but create jobs , raise awareness, promote tolerance and preserve Zimbabwean art and culture,” said Ambassador Jobst von Kirchmann.
“We are delighted to share that the project received a remarkable response during the first grant cycle with 248 highly competitive proposals submitted,” added Mr Mapfunya, Culture Fund Director.
“Forty two projects covering all 10 provinces in Zimbabwe will promote culture as a goal itself and as a powerful vector for social and economic development. Some of the activities to be implemented include the creation of a diverse range of artistic and cultural expressions by artists in Bulawayo, Harare, Masvingo, Bindura, Chinhoyi and other areas encompassing film making, music, theatre, craft , fashion, sculpting, comedy and dance . Some projects will support the holding of festivals, fairs, exhibitions and awards ceremonies in Harare, Bulawayo, Masvingo, Victoria Falls, Matobo , Murewha and other places,” added H.E Jobst von Kirchmann.
The projects will empower creatives especially to women and youth from Hwange, Binga, Tsholotsho, Lupane , Masvingo, Murewha, Harare Bulawayo and other areas on digital technologies, intellectual property rights, accessing new markets , and professionalizing their work.Preservation and promotion of minority cultures and communities such as the San and Ndau as well as promoting accessibility to arts and cultural creations by people with disabilities also will be the focus of some of the awarded projects.
The large share of 42% will be for Harare and Bulawayo, and 33% will be led by women and 34 % by youth i8. To address these imbalances, the EU and the Culture Fund is encouraging creatives from provinces with fewer grants awards , as well as women, youth and people with disabilities to apply for the ongoing small grants scheme. Second call for applications for the large grant scheme is set to be announced before the end of the year.