The coming of the Malawi Cultural Fund has excited some artists, who say it will improve and promote the country’s arts.
Speaking at a consensus building meeting, leaders from all the official 10 disciplines of arts hailed Hivos Foundation and the Norwegian government for introducing the fund, which is open to all players in the industry.
Alfred Msadala of the Book Publishers Association of Malawi (Bpam) noted that the fund, which replaces the Malawi Cultural Support Scheme, empowers the arts fully.
“The scheme was managed by the Copyright Society of Malawi [Cosoma] who were giving out the finances based on the needs and other reasons. It was also only to arts disciplines while the fund is open to all players in the industry who can apply as many times as they would.
“Of course, we look forward to how the disbursement will be handled, but if what is in the guidelines is anything to go by, we have a very good arrangement,” he said.
A representative of the Musicians Union of Malawi (MUM), Wellington Chatepa, was excited with the coming in of a reliable source of funding towards the arts sector.
Hivos Foundation Malawi manager Baldwin Chiyamwaka said among others the meeting sought to get input from the arts disciplines on the drafted guidelines.
“The fund will be incomplete without the artists themselves. We were establishing a common ground, as we get input from all the disciplines though not all suggestions will be taken on board. Management guidelines emanated from what Hivos and the Norwegian government signed in the agreement.
“From here, we will start the disbursement of funds. Recently there was a thematic call for proposals in the area of theatre. In October, we will make a general call to which the arts disciplines are supposed to respond,” he said.
The meeting was for all arts bodies as the Malawi Cultural Support Scheme ends in December and instead the Malawi Cultural Fund, to be managed by the local office of the Hivos Foundation, comes in place.