COVID-19 Art Relief Fund to be disbursed soon

by Christopher Makaza

Close to 3000 beneficiaries of the ZWL$10 million COVID-19 Arts Relief Fund are set to receive their money soon, once all the paper work involved is concluded, the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation has said.

In a press statement yesterday, the Ministry said it was now in the final stages of processing the paper work and beneficiaries will be notified soon.

"The Ministry would like to inform all its valued stakeholders in the cultural and creative industries (CCIs) individual artists, Art groups, Art institutions and Artist Associations, organisations that a total of 2899 applications were received for the COVID-19 Arts Relief Fund at the close of the submission period on July 31 2020.

"The Ministry and its agencies, the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe and the National Gallery of Zimbabwe are now in the final stages of concluding the processes, which entailed receiving and documenting applications, convening Provincial Selection Committee meetings and compiling lists of those applications recommended for approval to start receiving the relief funds and those not recommended so that we understand the reasons for rejection and craft intervention measures where necessary, " said the Ministry.

The Ministry said the processing of applications was all but completed at Provincial level and the Ministry was now activating the actual disbursements of the funds to intended beneficiaries who should soon start receiving the money in their preferred accounts.

The Arts Relief Fund was launched by Government on 10 July 2020, to provide relief to registered Arts Associations, organisations, groups, Production Houses (Theatre, drama, music studios) and individual artists whose income had been affected by the COVID-19 lockdown, which hampered their activities.