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Nhimbe Trust supports local arts funding

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Nhimbe Trust has prepared a research paper titled “Funding Analysis – Modes of Engagement” that explores opportunities, threats and gaps in local arts funding.

BY NONHLANHLA SIBANDA

The research was conducted in partnership with Pamberi Trust, supported by the British Council and Africalia (an arts support group). It was written by Melissa Eveleigh and will be formally launched at the beginning of Culture Week (May 16 to 22), courtesy of the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe.

Elvas Mari
Elvas Mari

The research is a response to the commonly held view that external financial support for the arts is more reactive and sporadic, than proactive and strategic. A more strategic and effective approach to spending and programming is needed, the report suggests.

The conceptual basis is that improved access to information across the creative sector can lead to a more cohesive and rewarding approach to working across the divides – especially in terms of closing the gap between artists, cultural workers and, ultimately, decision makers.

The report outlines key trends and perspectives, for use by stakeholders across the creative sector, including artists, cultural workers, non-profit cultural organisations, cultural and creative industries. The report gives a comparative view of 24 arts funding agencies supporting the local creative sector.

National Arts Council director Elvas Mari told Southern Eye Lifestyle that he was elated about the development.

“The National Arts Council of Zimbabwe is happy that the research findings are coming at a time when Zimbabwe is formulating a new national culture policy that will allow for the professionalisation of the creative sector that we have been championing for the last 15 years,” he said.

“Funding to the creative sector should strive towards being policy-driven and programme-based rather than being project-driven,” he added.

Framework for the research was guided by existing literature and national processes. These included the Baseline Study on the Culture Sector in Zimbabwe conducted by the Culture Fund of Zimbabwe in 2009, which underscored the need for further research on funding and financing of local creative sector.

Further, the report explores a Zimbabwean creative civil society strategy in the formulation of plan of action for arts and culture, in the context of funding and financing of the local creative sector.

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