Twenty-three projects by Mauritian artists including two Rodriguans will be receiving financial grants under the National Arts Fund (NAF) to the tune of Rs 9 million ranging from Rs 70 000 to Rs 800 000 for the realisation of their projects.
The Minister of Arts and Culture, Mr Prithvirajsing Roopun made this announcement yesterday during a press meet at the Hennessey Park Hotel in Ebène in the presence of other personalities.
He recalled that the NAF launched its first call for projects on 25th July 2018 under four Arts Grant Schemes namely the Emerging Talents Grant, the Production Grant, the Capacity Building Grant and the Research Grant. He pointed out that the NAF received 56 applications out of which only the 23 projects were selected following different screening stages. The projects are as follows: five projects under Emerging Talents Grant, 15 projects under Production Grant, and three projects under Research Grant.
The Minister underlined that the NAF has been set up under the aegis of the Ministry of Arts and Culture to give a new thrust to the Mauritian creative arts industry through financing of creative arts projects, schemes and events in relation to arts development such as music recording, concerts, and sales and exhibition of art works. To this regard, he indicated that Budget 2017-2018 had earmarked Rs 50 million to finance these activities.
Furthermore, Minister Roopun dwelt on new budgetary measures 2018-2019 whereby Government is increasing subsidy for the production of CDs from Rs 30,000 to Rs 40,000 and is also extending the VAT Refund Scheme to cover musical instruments purchased by local artists registered with the Mauritius Society of Authors. The objective, he underlined is to support artists by better integrating them in the mainstream of economic development and at the same time optimising the potential of the creative sector for economic growth, job creation and social inclusion.
He also spoke on the Artist Bill which he indicated will be introduced in the National Assembly early next year. The Bill, he said, will contribute to improving the economic and social working conditions of artists, and define the legal status of professional artists.
Speaking of the Grant Schemes, Minister Roopun highlighted that cinema under the category performing arts is being included in the second call for proposals. The aim, he said, is to finance local production given that the cinema industry is a potential pillar of the Mauritian economy as well as to identify the young talents in the country.
The second call for proposal is opened from 31 October 2018 to 23 November 2018. Applications form and guidelines for the NAF Grants is available at the National Arts Fund Office, 1st Floor Renganaden Seeneevassen Building, Port-Louis, and on its website http://culture.govmu.org.