Arts and culture Community Development

European Union supports marginalised artists

HE Jobst von Kirchmann, EU's Ambassador to Zimbabwe

Writes Elvis Dumba

Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust and EU Delegation to Zimbabwe is promoting the development of arts and culture in marginalized communities through funding various arts groups in the country under CreativeACTIONs2 project.

The Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust and the EU Delegation to Zimbabwe have announced a USD $49,264.00 arts award to five projects, as part of the ongoing CreativeACTIONs2 project.

42 other arts groups have so far been awarded support totalling USD 748,588.00 by June 2023, and the groups are in the early stages of implementing their activities.

The recent allocation of funds has been particularly directed at addressing the needs of vulnerable communities. Individuals from the People with Disabilities (PWD) communities, marginalized and emerging creatives, with priorisation of women from rural communities have been prioritised.

“Through the Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust, the EU has committed EUR 2,060,500 over 36 months to the CreativeACTIONs2 project. The project was launched in January 2023 with a focus on nurturing and empowering Zimbabwean artists and cultural practitioners across a spectrum of disciplines, encompassing music, dance, theatre, literary arts, and fashion.

“CreativeACTIONs2 aims to complement national development priorities by funding innovative artistic and cultural expressions, empowering civil society, promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment, and providing training and skills development programs for arts and culture practitioners,” a press release by Zimbabwe Culture Fund and European Union said.

As part of this ongoing endeavor, the Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust and the EU Delegation has earmarked the next cycle of small grants funding, expected to take place between October and November 2023.

Some of the projects awarded grants are Intercultural Dialogues being implemented by the Zimbabwe Deaf Media Trust (ZDMT) which focuses on Sign language teaching, deaf culture promotion, video production, and content generation for broader Sign language dissemination aiming to distribute widely on television and online channels in social inclusion recognition of the Persons with Disabilities (PwD). In promoting the recently launched Sign Language Syllabus and were awarded US$10,000.00

Another grant will support young female cinematographers and editors in the Zimbabwe film sector through a project from a young female cinematographer building her career in film production and training. The project challenges gender inequalities and socially created skills gaps that limit opportunities for young female filmmakers from Zimbabwe’s small towns and communities.

The project aims to create safe spaces for young female team-building and training sessions focusing on gender-sensitive approaches, cinematography, film editing, sound editing, and color correction through a US$9,515.00 award.

Enhancing Social Inclusion of Young People with Disability in Mutare District through Digital Audio is another project being funded under the same project.Persons with Disabilities (PwD) will be engaged to develop and put into practice, their creative, artistic, and intellectual potential through a program known as Pikicha Afrika that promotes diversified ideas, equity, and inclusive realities aiming to foster an environment where creatives within PwD flourish.

Under the project 8, creative groups based in Mutare will be trained in presenting, content creation, citizen journalism, networking, and advocacy through digital audio-visual media technologies with a US$9,949.00 support fund.

An established and membership-based organization for women based in Lupane specializing in traditional folk art and craft; aims to boost the production of basketry for export to their markets in countries such as Germany, Denmark, South Africa, Zambia, Malawi, Spain, 3 states in the USA, United Kingdom. The project will increase the number of basket weavers, train them in new product designs, and quality control, and strengthen collaborative capacities through a US$9,800.00 support fund.

Another US9.800.00 award was awarded to Calah Crown, a published novelist who intends to publish illustrated children’s books.

The CreativeACTIONs2 project will see more artists being able to grow their artistic skills and help create quality art production.

About the author

Byron Adonis Mutingwende