NCAC D-G says covid-19 relief package to creative sector signals gov’t readiness to do more

Nov 6, 2020, 10:55 AM | Article By: Yunus S. Saliu

Director general of National Centre for Arts and Culture (NCAC) has disclosed that the Covid-19 support for resilience and recovery fund currently being disbursed to the creative sector is a symbol of government readiness to do more for the sector.

Clarifying the ongoing disbursement of the relief package meant to improve resilience, confidence building and support as the Ministry of Tourism and Culture is reopening the tourism session, Hassoum Ceesay said the D100 million is not only for art and culture sector as being suggested by some people within the sector.

“The D100 million known as Covid-19 support for resilience and recovery is not meant for all sectors under the Ministry of Tourism and Culture,” he clarified.

“The disbursed sum is part of the recovery package for the institutions, stakeholders of culture and tourism establishments in the sector across the country.”

DG Ceesay explained that in disbursing the money, NCAC categorised the beneficiaries into six groups. He outlined that first category is the individual artists and artistic group validly registered with NCAC per the NCAC Act of 2003. So far close to 200 of this group have received relief funds and disbursement continues.

Second category is the artistic associations which the Copyrights Act 2004 recognises and these artistic associations include writers association, music union, film producers, theatre union, fashion association, music producers and promotion and professional photographers’ association.

“Each of this association we decided to also give them from the support because since they were formed in 2012 as per laws they have not received much support. And this will help them to also start implementing activities to promote arts and culture,” He explained.

He noted that, “the writers association and fashion designers association have already received their money because they are in good form as per the rules and regulations, they already had their congresses with standing executives member, active bank accounts with all necessary requirements.”

But for other associations “we are working with them to go to congress with the help of IEC. Hopefully on or before end of this month, all the associations will hold congresses with necessary requirement so that NCAC can disburse the Covid-19 support for resilience and recovery fund through their elected and authentic executive members into their association accounts through bank transfer,” he added.

The third category according to him, is the museums who also suffered a lot “and we have also disbursed the Covid-19 support for resilience and recovery fund to them.”

Fourth category is the old performers, these are people who have retired, now in their 70s and 80s but very active in the sector “we thought it is necessary for them also to benefit from the Covid-19 support for resilience and recovery fund.

The sixth group, he said is traditional communicators known as ‘griots.’

With this Covid-19 support for resilience and recovery fund, he therefore encouraged people in creative sector to register to enable them benefit from other future support. “If you are in a group without valid registration card, we encourage you to come and register so that you can benefit from other packages which the NCAC is working on.”

DG Ceesay disclosed that if you are registered, your profile will be in the NCAC system and when opportunity such as this emerges as a registered member, you will definitely benefit from it.

“There is no bureaucracy in the registration either as individual or association or group. Registration is just D25 while your subscription is D500 valid for period of 2 years.”

Therefore, he noted that the relief package “is a symbol of government’s readiness to do more to help people in the creative sector. If associations go for congress the money will be disbursed to you.”

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