Culture Fund in collaboration with Sweden and Denmark award new grants worth US$178,154.80 as investment to Zimbabwean Arts, Culture and Heritage

The Culture Fund is an organisation working within Zimbabwean society seeking to provide financial and technical support to cultural practitioners, institutions and activities with the ultimate aim of contributing to the development of the culture sector and creation of wealth in Zimbabwe. The Fund works within society as an enabler, an endorser of ideas as well as a creative energy convenor that feeds into creative economy development, community empowerment, promotion and empowerment of marginalized groups, promotion of social cohesion, education and self-expression. The CFoZT’s programmes have supported innovative and implementable projects which in turn contribute to livelihoods.

Recently, the Fund’s Board convened and awarded new grants to projects for the 2nd cycle 2014 covering different disciplines addressing needs in various programme clusters. Grants worth US$178,154.80 were awarded to 24 projects and programmes. During this cycle, a total of 131 grant applications were submitted requesting some US$ 1,894,078.85, an indication that the grant requests far outweigh available funding.

Submitted applications undergo initial assessment by the Culture Fund’s Technical Advisory Committee of Experts (TACE) while the final grant support is made by the Board of Trustees. The review processes balance the CFoZT results and area based management considerations under the following programming development clusters:

  • PEOPLE CULTURE – Broad Participation with Gender, Equity focus
  • CULTURE – XPRESSION – Promotion of Talent and Artists Rights
  • CRE8TIVE INDUSTRIES – Development & Marketing
  • RESEARCH & DOCUMENTATION – Evidence based development and Knowledge Management

The project proposal assessment criterion used by the Board includes; implementation partner capacity to coordinate and implement creativity and innovation, tangible and intangible outputs, outcomes and impact as well as project sustainability beyond current funding. In the case of repeat grants, project activities should have been successfully implemented and grant fully accounted for. Here are some of the reasons why some applications were not successful in this instance;

  • Project proposal submitted outside mandate of the Culture Fund
  • Projects whose impact / outcomes were not explicit
  • Seemingly Impossible to implement ideas
  • Lack of supporting documentation such as samples of works for literary arts or film projects
  • Grant applications submitted with insufficient or unrealistic information
  • Lack of experience in stated activities
  • Poor implementation of previously supported projects for repeat applicants
  • Lack of consistency between objectives, activities and budgets in the application
  • Generalized or unrealistic budgeting to listed activities

The Culture Fund partners for this grant programme were the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and the Royal Danish Embassy Office (RDEO) in Harare. Sida has been injecting an average of US$1 million annually since 2007 to the development of the arts and culture in Zimbabwe. Recently the RDEO injected a grant of about US$900,000.00 supporting development of Zimbabwean arts and culture through the culture Fund over duration of two years.

Zimbabweans or residence of Zimbabwe are eligible to apply as individuals, groups, associations or institutions. The Culture Fund board has scheduled the next round of assessment of applications submitted to the Culture Fund within the 1st quarter of 2015. Submissions of grant applications are welcome throughout the year.

Projects Awarded Grants by Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust Board on 30 September 2014

Name of Project Sida (US$) RDEO (US$) Total
1 Zimbabwe International Film Festival Trust (ZIFFT) 10,000.00 10,000.00
2 Mzilikazi Art and Craft Centre 4,263.21 35,000.00 39,263.21
3 InkululekoYabatsha School of Arts (IYASA ) 10,000.00 10,000.00
4 Jonathan Kaseke (Emerging Visual Artist) 3,000.00 3,000.00
5 Soulborne (Physically Challenged Music Band) 6,000.00 6,000.00
6 Memory Chirere (Shona Poetry Anthology) 1,694.00 1,694.00
7 Bulawayo Theatre Club 3,850.00 3,850.00
8 Emerald Hill Children’s Home (Arts Education Programmes) 3,452.55 3,452.55
9 Bembera Arts Ensamble Arts Education programme 9,946.00 9,946.00
10 Simon Ngundu (Ochestra Pachedu) 6,000.00 6,000.00
11 Nafuna Investments (Animation & Multi-Media) 9,000.00 9,000.00
12 Zimbabwe Prisons and Recorrectional Services 6,000.00 6,000.00
13 Shirley Anne Warhurst (Schools Music Syllabus) 6,125.00 6,125.00
14 Gwarimba Band (Music Crossroads winner) 6,000.00 6,000.00
15 Rudo Idah Chakanyuka (Short Film Production) 10,359.00 10,359.00
16 Shumirai Nhanhanga (English Poetry Anthology) 4,900.00 4,900.00
17 Maxwell Moyo (Community theatre group, Mwenezi) 2,000.00 2,000.00
18 David Murambwi (Publication of ECD Booklets) 4,800.00 4,800.00
19 Cloud Tirivaviri (Cancer Awareness Music Project) 5,235.00 5,235.00
20 Zimbabwe Women Writers Association 9,093.25 9,093.25
21 Phillip Chidavaenzi (NAMA award winning novelist) 2,000.00 2,000.00
22 AmaBooks Publishers (Caine prize award winning writer) 3,303.79 3,303.79
23 Baptism of Fire (Community based festival, Hurungwe) 5,520.00 5,520.00
24 National Gallery of Zimbabwe (NGZ Library equipment) 10,613.00 10,613.00
Total Allocated (Sweden and Denmark Programmes) 114,154.80 64,000.00 178,154.80

Note: Sida (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency) | RDEO Royal Danish Embassy Office _Harare

Grand Total (New Grants): US$178,154.80.

All successful applicants will undergo compulsory grant agreement briefings before disbursement of funds is made enabling sharing grant management best practice and signing of a Memorandum of Grant Agreement. Funds will be disbursed according to approved project work plans. Financial records must be kept for each project and project implementation MUST be properly documented. The Culture Fund monitors and evaluates ALL projects. Those who are in breach of their contract with the Culture Fund may be required to repay the full grant or risk facing prosecution. The Culture Fund only responds to successful applicants and issues a general press release highlighting reasons why other applicants were not successful in the current cycle.