NACN doles out N$975 000 to artists

By Rosalia David

THE National Arts Council of Namibia (NACN) has announced that it will be paying close to N$975 000 to 85 approved applications under phase six of its Covid-19 Relief Fund.

This announcement was made by NACN administrator Gretta Gaspar who said the successfully selected applications consist of 45 individuals, 25 groups and 15 organisations who would get to share the N$974 999.

“These cover projects that fall in the areas of focus of the fund, which are arts, culture and heritage or in short what can be termed as the Cultural and Creative Sector,” stated Gaspar.

She said, with an overwhelming number of applications received for the last funding circle the jury committee worked tirelessly to have the results announced. However the large amount of applications received did not allow the committee to finalise the vetting process as planned on October 15.

Gaspar added that the number of applications received were higher than any of the previous funding cycles which indicates the success of the relief fund in reaching and attracting applicants from various parts of the country while highlighting the great pool of creative talent, cultural skills and related groups and organisations in Namibia.

According to Gaspar, most artists that applied are those working as traditional to contemporary artists and crafters, including other creatives such as promoters of varying facets from across the country.

She said, due to the number of applications received and assessed, the selection process had to go through a double scrutiny in the final round in order to align the total amount of available funds to the remaining budgeted amount.

“This is because the total amount of the applications recommended by the jury exceeded the remaining budget allocated to the fund with more than N$2 000 000.”

Although NACN received a total of 1 717 applications across all categories, only 385 were assessed and 236 approved for funding.

“This translates to 143 individual, 42 organisations and 51 groups approved applications country wide. The exercise proved the perception that most applications come from the Khomas region, which came as no surprise since Windhoek is the epicentre of the cultural and creative sector in the country. However, the fund attempted to ensure that as many as possible regional applications were supported through the process,” she explained.

Amongst the successful applicants are Suzy Eises Productions, Ngandu Events, Fashion Council of Namibia, Adele’s Creations, Windhoek Comedy Club and Nikhitha Winkler Dance Theatre.

Since July this year the arts council has provided payments in a bid to financially support and bail out creatives in the industry who were ravaged by the negative effects of the pandemic and subsequent lockdown.