The European Union (EU) has launched the Creative Actions II project which is projected to contribute directly to the implementation of the NDS1’s programmes and strategies for the arts and culture sector.
Addressing delegates during the launch, HE Jobst Von Kirchmann, the EU Ambassador to Zimbabwe described the country as a citadel of culture that produced a traditional musical instrument inscribed in 2020 by UNESCO on the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity – the Mbira.
“The people have a traditional dance which is called Mbende Jerusarema. Hon Minister, Ladies, and gentlemen; this is a story of Zimbabwe’s rich arts and culture. But it is also a story of the European Union’s support of the cultural sector over the past decade,” the EU Ambassador said.
The EU has supported a number of cultural initiatives in the past. These include Ignatius Mabasa’s project on promoting the story-telling tradition in Zimbabwe; the production and promotion of the Mbira instrument through Albert Chimedza’s one-of-a-kind Mbira Centre; the rehabilitation of the Great Zimbabwe Shona Village and the preservation and promotion of the Ndebele culture of home paintings. These initiatives are complementing the support by France for the rehabilitation of the Great Zimbabwe World Heritage Site that started last year.
That journey led to today’s launch of Creative Actions II, with a contribution of over EUR 2 million (EUR 2 060 500). The Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust is contributing EUR 108 000 and will be managing the project.
“Culture creates jobs. Culture can make us aware. Culture can make us understand each other. Culture can bring us together. Cultural and creative industries contribute to more than 3% of global GDP but still only 1.1% in Africa.
“Let me, therefore, commend the Government of Zimbabwe for recognising the essential role of arts and culture and having set ambitious goals in the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1). Through the Creative Actions II project, the EU will contribute directly to the implementation of the NDS1’s programmes and strategies for the arts and culture sector. Our project will support culture as a goal in itself. It is my sincere hope that this project will provide a breakthrough to emerging artists, especially young women, and men as it will stimulate Zimbabwean creations.
“Arts, culture, and ICT in the very capable hands of youth can stimulate innovation, entrepreneurship, and job creation. And projects have not to be big. Great Zimbabwe was started with one stone, you can also start something big with only a few euros,” Ambassador Von Kirchmann said.
Nelly Tiago, the Chairperson of the Culture Fund said COVID-19 proved that culture and the Arts are the heartbeats of society.
“The creative sector continues to assert its importance in sustainable development; contributing to creativity, innovation, and social well-being to better humanity.
“Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust is a not-for-profit organisation. We envision a world in which Culture and the Arts, imbued with Africaness, thrive and are sustainable; contributing to wealth creation for African societies. We help harness the power of the creative arts to help positively change lives. We envision enabling a culture and creativity-enriched society! We work within society with support from all of you here present.
“Our value proposition is to work within society to re-imagine our world. We profit from focused conversations. We join hands with others to innovate and co-create within collaborative spaces. We seek to explore and profit from the dimensions and nexus of the arts, culture, commerce and development. We have been a leading enabler and provider of technical and financial support for the arts, culture and heritage ecosystem. We drive the Culture for Development approach and deliver grant programmes and projects,” Tiago said.
The Culture Fund’s Strategic Plan seeks to intensify governance-of-culture advocacy, influence and sector leadership. It gives the tools to forge new ways of programming and diversifying resource mobilisation-post- COVID-19 pandemic and within an increasingly digital environment. Young African creatives, women, marginalized members of society and community-generated solutions will receive Culture Fund’s special attention.
In the past, Culture Fund delivered impacts under CultureLANDSCAPE, CultureIMPACTs, Culture@Work-Africa, CultureACTIONS, CreativeACTIONS1; among others.
“Today we will witness the launch of an exciting solution – CreativeACTIONS 2 and-together with our partners – will launch a new call for grant applications.
“Culture Fund is grateful to long-standing development partners, the European Union Delegation to Zimbabwe, for investing over two million EURO into the creative sector over three years. CreativeACTIONS 2 (2023-2025) is a continuation of CreativeACTIONS 1 (2020-2021). We value all players within the ecosystem-without whom the Culture Fund serves little purpose. We align our programmes to national development priorities,” Tiago added
Young artists are encouraged to obtain small grants between 1000 euros and 10000 euros easily from the Culture Fund. It is sufficient to go to Culture Fund website (https://www.culturefund.org w/creative actions), send an email (email@example.com) or call for assistance (+263 242794617 / +263 242794530), fill in the form and you will have a response within 8 weeks (total 600000 euros). Funds will be attributed on a rolling basis.
Bigger grants between 10000 euros and 60000 euros are for organisations working in the cultural sector. Creatives will also need to apply but there is a deadline: 10th of April 2023.
The Creative Actions II project launched today will be running for the next 36 months but there is more to come as Zimbabwe is one of the six benefitting countries of Europena Union’s EUR 10 million Regional Culture Programme for Southern Africa.
Gracing the occasion was Hon Kirsty Coventry, the Minister of Youth Sports Arts and Recreation; HE Jobst von Kirchmann; the EU Ambassador; CreativeACTIONS Partner Seller; Government officials; Members of the Diplomatic Corps; Culture Fund Board of Trustees; Culture Fund Executive Director, Farai Mpfunya; Creative Sector Leaders (National Arts Council, National Galleries of Zimbabwe, National Museums and Monuments, the EUNIC partners and others).