Ministry Comes to the Rescue of Struggling Artistes

Government will soon start disbursing the $10 million Covid-19 Arts Relief Fund after the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation received 2 899 applications which are now being processed.

The fund was launched on July 10 to provide relief to registered arts groups, production houses and individual artistes who lost income because of the Covid-19 induced lockdown, which started on March 31.

In a statement yesterday, the ministry said provincial selection committees were now processing the applications after which disbursements would start.

Matabeleland North Province had the highest number of applications at 681 while Matabeleland South had the lowest number at 93.

Harare had 486, Midlands 469, Masvingo 279, Manicaland 260, Bulawayo 224, Mashonaland East 144, Mashonaland Central 140 and Mashonaland West 123 applications.

“The ministry and its agencies, the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe and the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, are now in the final stages of concluding the processes which entailed receiving and documenting applications, convening provincial selection committee meetings and compiling lists of those recommended for approval to start receiving the relief funds.

“The ministry worked flat out to ensure that the selection process is strictly adhered to with observance of gender balance, the inclusion of people living with disability and that the funds benefit only the deserving recipients.”

There would be a review of unsuccessful applications with intervention measures being crafted where necessary.

Applications for the fund closed on July 31 with individual artistes, arts associations and stakeholders in the cultural and creative industries making submissions.

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