Dec 2, 2008, 4:57 AM
The Arterial Network country chapter for The Gambia was officially launched recently at the Ebunjan Theatre Centre opposite the Gambia Football Association building in Kanifing Layout.The official launching was attended by officials from the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, the National Center for Arts and Culture, and different cultural groups and musicians.
In his opening speech, Ibrahim Ceesay, Executive Director of Mandingmorry Foundation for Performing Arts (MANFOPA), thanked all those who left their business in one way or another to attend the event.
Mr Ceesay also thanked the Government of The Gambia through the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and the National Center for Arts and Culture.
He also commended the CEO of Ebunjan Theatre Centre, Madam Aunty Badjan Young, for her contribution to the arts industry.
Director Ceesay said the Mandingmorry Foundation for Performing Arts is a nonprofit and nonpartisan charitable organization formed with the main aim of enhancing professionalism, building capacity and creating opportunities for livelihoods in the performing arts as well as encourages public participation in the arts.
The primary objectives and purposes of the foundation include, but not limited to, the promotion of the performing arts and African cultural heritage and practices through training and capacity building for performing artists.
According to him, the foundation is currently the focal point for Arterial Network in The Gambia.
He said the Arterial Network is an African civil society network active in the continent’s creative sector to develop and promote the arts and culture (music, dance, theatre, literature, heritage, film, visual arts, craft, etc) in their own right as well as in a manner that contributes to democracy, human rights and development.
The network was launched at a conference revitalizing Africa’s cultural assets on Goree Island, Senegal, in March 2007.
Sheikh Omar Jallow, director of Literature and Performing Arts at the NCAC who spoke on behalf of the Minister of Tourism and Culture and the director of the NCAC, said the launching marked a milestone in the history of performing arts in The Gambia.
“This is a great job done by Ibrahim Ceesay and Samba Njie. I am very happy today after ten years launching this chapter,” he said.
He assured the foundation that his office will always support anything concerning culture in the country.
Other speakers on the occasion included Janet Badjan Young, CEO of Ebunjan Theatre Centre, Lassana Igo Diarra, Arterial Network West African Secretariat, and Sinda Overtani from Tunisia, all expressed similar sentiments.