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National Arts Council of Namibia announces 2023 grants application results

The National Arts Council of Namibia (NACN) recently unveiled the results of the grants application for 2023, cycle one, approving eight successful applicants who will receive funding totaling N$167 232.75 to bring their creative projects to life.

The grants were awarded to the Okahao Arts Centre (visual arts), Osona Culture Festival (Cultural Festival), Erick Schnack (multi-disciplinary), Nghidinwavali Nghipandulwa (multi-disciplinary), Maria Nakadiru Gideo (craft), Esther Ntumbu Nkomba (craft), Franciska Runguro Siganda (craft) and Filomine Muni Haikera (craft).

As an organisation dedicated to supporting artists and their creative endeavours, the NACN recognises the vital role artists play in shaping culture and society. However, it acknowledges that artists often face challenges due to limited funding and resources, especially during unprecedented times.

In response to this issue, the NACN has implemented a new approach to artist grants. Under this cycle, the grants will be disbursed in quarterly instalments, ensuring artists have a steady stream of income throughout the duration of their projects, rather than receiving a lump sum upfront. This inclusive approach aims to assist artists in effectively managing their resources while providing them with the financial support they need.

The payment process for each project will commence upon signing the grant agreement, covering the entire quarter of the project. This streamlined approach guarantees that all necessary payments for the project are accounted for within the designated time frame, eliminating the need for extensions to the project timeline.

The NACN supports projects across various artistic disciplines, in line with its mandate, such as craft, dance, literature, multidiscipline, music, theatre, and the visual arts.

To be eligible for funding, applicants must demonstrate their projects’ capacity to address at least one of the following critical focus areas: social protection and research, unearthing marginalised and indigenous arts in rural areas, addressing social ills such as unemployment and gender-based violence, supporting the involvement of women, youth employment opportunities, and people living with disabilities, creation of new works through digital media, and capacity building and arts entrepreneurship.

By incorporating these focus areas, the NACN aims to foster a diverse and inclusive artistic landscape that tackles societal challenges and promotes growth within the arts sector.

The National Arts Fund, established through the National Arts Fund (NAF) Act was established to advance Namibian contemporary and traditional arts, with a particular emphasis on artistically underserved communities. The NAF operates under the governance of the NACN.

“The NACN is committed to providing career-specific grants in arts and culture. Building the capacity of experts and creating a network of qualified professional artists and artisans are essential to our mandate of supporting the growth of the creative cultural industries of Namibia,” said NACN administrator Gretta Gaspar.

The NACN’s grants application results for 2023 mark an important milestone in the support and promotion of Namibian arts and culture. It is hoped that the financial assistance provided to these talented individuals will pave the way for the development of innovative and transformative artistic projects that contribute to the cultural fabric of the nation.