Kenya: Meru, China Sign MOU to Empower Local Artists

21 September 2020

The Meru County government has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Africa China Culture and Art Gallery aimed at empowering artists in the region to improve skills and get better visibility for their art.

Governor Kiraitu Murungi said the partnership will see accomplished artists train budding talent in Meru and offer them avenues to display their work nationally and internationally.

His administration will set up five studios and exhibition halls at Kinoru Stadium and near the Njuri Ncheke shrines in Nchiru to encourage art.

Speaking during the signing of the MoU at the county headquarters, Mr Murungi said he wants art to become an important sector in Meru, adding that he is keen on seeing local artists earn good money from their work.

"We are not looking at culture in the traditional way - people just enjoying themselves - we want to see this as a business. We want our people to earn money out of art and our culture. We want art to be a source of employment, job creation and cash generation for our youth," Mr Murungi said.

Professional trainers

He said the plan is to get professionals to train the artists so that they can sharpen their skills for them to be more competitive and marketable.

Some of the areas the youths are being asked to explore are music, film and photography, carving, painting, drawing and fashion and design.

Mr Murungi said a number of artists who will excel in annual art exhibitions to be held locally will be taken to China to showcase their work through the gallery.

Africa China Culture and Art Gallery's Duan Hongliang said he was impressed by the array of items showcased at the county headquarters and pledged to work with the county government to provide platforms for exposure of the artists.

County Youth Affairs, Sports and Culture Executive Koome Miriti said Meru has the potential to come up with a thriving music and art industry that will offer employment to thousands of youths.

"There are plans to establish Wasanii Sacco which will ensure more artists are reached and involved," he announced.

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