Namibia arts minister announces COVID-19 grant for creatives

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Namibia – Namibian Minister of Education, Arts and Culture Anna Nghipondoka, through the National Arts Council of Namibia (NACN), launched this month a COVID-19 relief package of N$5 million ($290 000) for the country’s creative sector.

“The relief fund will serve as an important contribution to ensuring the continued protection and promotion of our nation’s rich culture landscape through funding that will be administered over a three-month period,” Nghipondoka said.

NACN chairperson Patrick Sam said individuals would receive N$2 000 while businesses and organisations would get N$75 000. Sam also said membership fees to the NACN would be waived to enable artists and organisations a fair opportunity to apply for funding.

“The relief fund will be able to support arts and culture practitioners and institutions to continue implementing their mandates and to sustain their operations during the COVID-19 pandemic in order to maintain their impact in the cultural and creative industries,” Sam was quoted as saying.

Asked how individuals and organisations could apply for funding, Sam told Music In Africa that “information will be shared in the coming week, before the grant application begins on 1 July.”

In a statement, the NACN said: “The stages continue to have a harmful impact on cultural creative industries because of the continued restrictions. To soften the negative impact on the sector, interventions that can mitigate the impact on the sector needed to be introduced.

“Therefore, the NACN, with the support of the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, will institute a national response to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, particularly on the arts, culture and heritage sector.

“The fund will focus on providing grants to arts and culture practitioners and organisations, with a priority focus being given to those that fall in special needs categories such as those living with disabilities, vulnerable, living in marginalised communities, and from rural and/or indigenous communities.”

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