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Artists set to widen network in UK visit

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About 11 artists which include the country’s ambassadors McArthur Matukuta and George Kalukusha will converge on United Kingdom later this month as part of the Culture Works Connections Programme.

According to Communications Associate Sophia Victoria, the selected artists will be the ambassadors of their countries during the Edinburgh in Scotland visit.

She said the ambassadors were selected following intensive training since October 2015 during World Cultures Connect workshops held in Spain, Addis Ababa in Ethiopia and Lilongwe in Malawi among others.

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Victoria said the artists will have a networking week to showcase their work during the Edinburgh Festivals and Visiting Arts annual International Producers Breakfast in partnership with Creative Scotland.

She added that during their time in Edinburgh, the group will be involved in the World Cultures Connect Professional Exchange workshop day alongside Scottish artists and cultural managers.

“This will draw on the experience and ideas of participants to seed new collaborations, share resources and cultural insights. They will also receive a special opening reception where they will have the opportunity to network with key stakeholders,” Victoria said.

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The training programme forms part of a larger project, Culture Works Connections, connecting artists across Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific to international networks, led by Visiting Arts, in partnership with The Africa Centre, South Africa.

The other partners are Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts, Trinidad and Tobago and The Pacific Arts and Culture Foundation in Suva, Fiji.

The initiative is funded by the ACP Cultures+ ACP-EU Support Programme to ACP Cultural Sectors, financed by the European Union and implemented by the ACP Group of States and according to Victoria, aims to build a community and lasting network of creative businesses in more than 15 countries in the Pacific, the Caribbean and Africa over three years from 2014 to 2017.

Meanwhile, Matukuta, who is Director of Solomonic Peacocks, has said his participation in the project will give him an opportunity to meet different theatre artists to be invited to the next Easter Theatre Festival.

The Easter Theatre Festival, which debuted last year, will not take place this year due to financial problems; however, Matukuta said the event will return next year.

“This is a platform for me to learn more on festival organisation and management and this will even be a platform to search for partners to help us sponsor Easter Theatre Festival,” Matukuta said.

Matukuta and Kalukusha are expected to leave the country on August 20.

The other ambassadors who are part of the project include Alicia Vavataga from Solomon Islands, Navi Fong from Fiji, Patrice Briggs , Mtima Solwazi, Damian Whiskey and Rochelle Amour from Trinidad and Tobago and Mihret Kabede from Ethiopia.

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