The Acting Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Professor Paul Mavima has unveiled a $10 million COVID-19 Relief Fund for the Arts sector.

Prof Mavima said government had noted that the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic had singularly brought an unexpected break to the flow in the entire ecosystem of the cultural and creative Industries in the the country.

“This sudden cessation of programmes and scheduling of events have had a direct sting on the major products of the industries. Agreeably the arts are a reliable source of income for many in the country and the disruptions of various calendar events due to COVID-19 has prompted Government to intervene by way of a Relief Fund. He said.

The Minister said the intervention was a temporary measure while broad, sustainable and structured interventions are being worked on for the industry and the fund is set to provide relief to registered Arts Associations/Organisations/Groups and Production Houses (Theatre, Dance, Film, Music Studios); Individual artists demonstrating the effect of COVID-19 on their practice, Registered Arts Centres/Spaces/Hubs or Galleries and Arts and Culture Education Institutions Projects and Programmes (Provincial and National levels with discernible impact on Cultural and Creative Industries’ development.)

Professor Mavima said the relief fund will assist practising artists able to demonstrate continuous practice for the past 2 years; Cultural and Creative industry practitioners living and working in Zimbabwe for the past 2 years.

“Applicants must demonstrate the experiencing of dire financial emergencies due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Institutions and projects with an impact at National or provincial level will be prioritised and applicants must not be employees, Board members, or immediate family members of the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation, National Arts Council of Zimbabwe or the National Gallery of Zimbabwe” he said.

The Minister also said applications will be received through the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ), and National Gallery of Zimbabwe (NGZ) who are the regulatory Authorities of the Arts in Zimbabwe.

Application forms may be found and submitted at the Ministry’s Provincial and District Offices as well as the offices of the National Arts Council and National Gallery of Zimbabwe. The forms may also be downloaded from the Ministry’s website and also from the NACZ and NGZ websites.

The deadline for the submission of applications for relief is 31 July 2020.