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‘Cultural Fund is for the arts and cultural sector’

Implementers of the Cultural Fund for Malawi (CFM), the Humanist Institute for Cooperation with Developing Countries (Hivos Foundation) Southern Africa Hub have clarified that the fund is for the whole arts and cultural sector in the country.

The clarification follows an outcry from some of the captains in the creative sector recently, who observed that the call for proposals for the fund last month targeted only theatre.

Film Association of Malawi (Fama) President, Ezaius Mkandawire, who is also Copyright Society of Malawi(Cosoma) board member said they felt that there was a big oversight with the fund only focusing on one artistic field adding that by design the Cultural Fund needed to embrace the whole industry and not just a single discipline.

The Cultural Fund for Malawi, which is a three-year project supported by the Royal Norwegian Embassy was launched in May this year in Lilongwe before Hivos advertised the 2016 call for proposals.

“We would like to emphasise that the CFM is not exclusively for theatrical production or theatre rather it is for the arts and cultural sector in Malawi. This was made clear during the launch on May 12 this year,” says the press statement.

The 2016 call for proposal defined the target group for 2016 focus which Hivos observes has been a source of concern for some actors in the cultural sector.

“It is this reason why Hivos would like to clarify the misconceptions that have been construed from the statement. We are in the process of placing another call for proposals before the end of the year,” says the statement.

The statement further says that the project recognises that there are many strands to arts and culture such as film, design, craft, dance, fashion, music, photography and creative writing among others and that they may be different arts and cultural groups working to promote cultural rights and freedom of expression.

“Hivos Southern Africa will continue to consult widely with arts and culture practitioners in Malawi to identify sectors which are in need of immediate support,” reads the statement.


Programme Development Manager for Open Society, Southern Africa, Hivos Foundation Kennedy Mugochi said recently that the Cultural Fund is targeting youth organisations with a particular focus on theatre this year because of limited resources.

With the Cultural Support Scheme supported by Royal Norwegian Embassy and administered by (Cosoma) ending in December this year, many arts associations are now banking their hopes on the Cultural Fund Malawi.

“This was a strategic choice based on the limited resources and that is why we included a statement in the call that we recognise there are many arts strands and that this call was targeting youth organisations with a particular focus on theatre,” said Mugochi.

However, he said the previous call for proposals targeted youth related theatre organisations or organisations working with youth to promote freedom of expression through theatre.

Mugochi said this was justified based on limited resources.

“As I said this strategic choice is for this year only. Other strands of arts and culture will be considered in future calls since this is a three year project,” he said.

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