Cen­dana to launch its first arts fund­ing pro­gramme in Novem­ber

The Star Malaysia - - Nation - By HARIATI AZIZAN sun­day@thes­tar.com.my

KUALA LUMPUR: Cen­dana, Malaysia’s new arts and cul­ture agency, will launch its first arts fund­ing pro­gramme in Novem­ber.

Its found­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Izan Sa­t­rina Mohd Salle­hud­din said that this came about be­cause 80% of the queries from artists, since Cen­dana set up shop in June, had been about fund­ing.

“Many artists have to fo­cus on rais­ing funds for their projects in­stead of the re­search and cre­ation of their work,” she said in an in­ter­view. Izan added that many artists now spent months on their work with lit­tle pay “and al­though there are many peo­ple who are do­ing it for the love of the arts, that is not fair on them”.

Cen­dana will also work on a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween artists from Penin­su­lar Malaysia and those from Sabah and Sarawak.

“We need to share our sto­ries,” she said. There is also a need for col­lab­o­ra­tions be­tween Malaysian and in­ter­na­tional artists, she said. Other fund­ing pro­grammes will be rolled out in stages, in­clud­ing one next year for emerg­ing artists to en­hance their knowl­edge and tech­niques at arts con­fer­ences, work­shops and fes­ti­vals.

Cen­dana has also signed an MoU with the Ade­laide Fes­ti­val Cen­tre for arts and cul­tural ex­changes be­tween Malaysia and Aus­tralia, in­clud­ing par­tic­i­pa­tion in the 2017 OzAsia Fes­ti­val.

“The OzAsia Fest is a gate­way to the Asi­aPa­cific arts scene for Malaysian artists as it is at­tended by fes­ti­val di­rec­tors of the re­gion.”

Izan said Malaysia should re­view its poli­cies to foster stronger arts net­works world­wide.

“A blan­ket pol­icy will not work to catal­yse arts and cul­ture in the coun­try.

“For ex­am­ple, li­cens­ing fees for arts can­not be the same as that for in­ter­na­tional en­ter­tain­ment acts, or big com­mer­cial shows,” she said.

“A pro­moter who brings in Dis­ney on Ice or Ali­cia Keys will not have a prob­lem of pay­ing RM30,000 de­posit, they can re­coup the amount in their ticket sales. But if you are a dancer col­lab­o­rat­ing with a dancer from the UK, or if you bring in an in­ter­na­tional dance troupe, no mat­ter how crit­i­cally ac­claimed they are, there is no way you can re­coup that amount be­cause the au­di­ence is smaller.”

There is also a need to im­prove arts lit­er­acy in the coun­try, she said.

“We need to have arts ed­u­ca­tion and arts ap­pre­ci­a­tion, es­pe­cially for the young.

“It is a ques­tion of how we can get the pub­lic to see art. How can we get a con­cert goer, who can fork out RM600 to see a con­cert, to spend RM50 for a theatre show?” she added.

Arts and cul­ture will not be able to grow with­out the sup­port from the cor­po­rate sec­tor, she said.

“Bursa Malaysia has more than 900 com­pa­nies listed. Can you imag­ine if it in­vests in the arts?”

At the end of the day, she said: “If we don’t sup­port our own arts, how can we sell it to the out­side world?”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.