Amid the corona virus pandemic that continues to seriously affect institutions and countries around the globe, the director general of the National Center for Arts and Culture (NCAC) has acknowledged government's support to the country's arts sector.
Hassoum Ceesay, speaking in an interview with The Point on Tuesday at his office in Banjul, disclosed that so many of artistic performances were seriously affected as a result of the global pandemic.
"This also includes museums, heritages sites etc that has created a lot of difficulties for people like tour guides, women sellers."
DG said that with the intervention of government,the arts and culture sector has received close to five million dalasis (D5M) as Covid-19 Relief Fund.
"This fund was distributed to artistic associations to support their associations. In addition, part of this Covid-19 relief package distributed to individual artistes who are registered with us."
The Covid relief package, he explained further, has contributed greatly to the sector during the pandemic as it has ameliorated the pain and the sufferings the sector has encountered.
He added that NCAC in December trained over 30 youths on tour guiding in various heritages sites across the country, so that after the pandemic,they would be able to gain employment as tour guides.
"Also, we are working with UNESCO to involve Gambian artistes to create artistic work like songs, dance, comedy, film, drama and poems to help in sensitizing against Covid-19 and also to encourage people to go towards the vaccination. The project will start this April and all the artistic associations will be involved. There is a prize for the artistes who created the works that helps to sensitise the people against the pandemic, and also to encourage people to go for vaccination."
As The Gambia prepares to host the OIC 2022, DG Ceesay noted that they have put forward proposals to their partners to support artistes, heritage sites, and culture sector in terms of capacity building.
"We are also working closely with the artistic associations and they are now busy preparing for their work plan for 2022, and one of them is the Music Union which has already submitted their work plan."