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Artists open to submit proposals for the Sh100 million government's stimulus package

By Anyango Otieno | May 24th 2020

Musicians, actors and artistes can now submit their proposals for the Sh100 million stimulus package launched by the government on May 10.

State Department for Culture and Heritage Principal Secretary (PS) Josephta Mukobe announced that an online portal had been set up to facilitate sending of proposals.

The programme, the PS said, will be implemented by the relevant departments and agencies who will also be responsible for disbursement of funds.

“We are cognisant of the fact that Kenya has over 100,000 creatives and that the available funding may not be sufficient to cover all artistes engaged within the creative economy. Therefore, this will be a competitive process,” Mukobe said in a statement.

Sports ministry earlier this month launched the stimulus package in line with the order issued by President Uhuru Kenyatta on April 6, 2020, directing the Sports, Arts and Social Development Fund to avail Sh100 million to cushion those in the creative industry during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Artistes from different creative sectors will therefore be required to produce works that entertain and educate Kenyans and the world on the safety and health precautions to stop the spread of Covid-19.

The Permanent Presidential Music Commission (PPMC) will facilitate the participation of musicians, DJs, dancers and Acapella groups in all their categories.

Department of Culture will cover comedians and visual artists, Kenya Cultural Centre will be responsible for actors, poets, story-tellers, theatre, including radio theatre and mimes, the National Museums of Kenya will oversee mural and graffiti artists while the Kenya Film Commission will manage all matters film and content creation.

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Interested practitioners can now visit the portal and fill in the provided application forms for consideration. The criteria is spelt out on the website under the various genres.

It is estimated that the programme will directly benefit over 20,000 musicians, actors and artists from all the 47 counties and over 80,000 additional people from the beneficiaries’ households, 30 per cent of whom are vulnerable groups and persons living with disabilities.

“The ministry shall endeavour to guarantee participation in all the 47 counties, ensure gender parity and pay particular emphasis on the 30 per cent reservation for vulnerable groups, including Persons Living with Disability,” said Mukobe.

She assured the industry practitioners and the general public that the selection process will be fair, transparent and accountable.

Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed noted during the launch that the Sh100 million was not a reservoir of free funds, but a provision to educate, innovate, sustain and improve the sector’s output.

The project is set to supplement government’s efforts in combating Covid-19 and its effects by engaging and mobilising the cultural and creative artistes in strategic messaging on behaviour change to flatten the coronavirus transmission curve including, but not limited to social distancing, hand washing and wearing personal protective equipment such as masks.

The ministry reiterated government’s support for the creative sector, which was poised to contribute over Sh165 billion to the GDP this year.

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