For the domestic arts scene, rebounding from the pandemic outbreak is going to take a massive effort. The past two months has been nothing but meltdown news on the arts front, interspersed with the Government seemingly downplaying the challenges faced by the arts community.
Right now, every little bit counts to help the arts community. Many arts practitioners are still hopeful, and are making plans to rebuild and recover.
The news that the Krishen Jit Fund will be calling for submissions soon is a welcome one. Now in its 15th year, the fund, which is supported by Astro and the Creador Foundation, has been supporting Malaysian artists in realising their projects.
“From 2006 to 2019, the Krishen Jit Fund has supported 64 grantees for a wide variety of work, amounting to a total of RM456,000. We are humbled and deeply grateful, that in these strange and tough times, we are still here,” says Krishen Jit Fund manager Marion D’Cruz, who is also a founding member of Kuala Lumpur's Five Arts Centre.
"Arts workers always need support. From all sectors of society. From the government, corporations, donors, audiences, friends, family. More so now, when we are losing so much," she adds.
D’Cruz reveals a call for applications will be out by June 10, with the closing date for applications on Sept 15.
“In view of the present situation, where many things are so fluid, we have extended the closing date to give more people more time to think about what projects they might be able to do, ” says D’Cruz.
She adds that in light of the new normal after the pandemic, the Krishen Jit Fund will be adding a few questions in the application forms. There, applicants will have to consider how to run their projects, while taking into account public health safety issues such as sanitisation, and social distancing.
“Most importantly, we will look at the project and proposal. How interesting, relevant, potent it is, and how the project will be run with the safety measures. It will affect the selection process but at the end of the day, I have absolute confidence that artists will rise to the occasion, and come up with good projects, ” she says.
The Krishen Jit Fund coming through in these times is a positive sign for the arts scene, which has been badly affected by the pandemic. On March 27, the Inxo Arts Fund 2020, organised by the Inxo Arts and Culture (L) Foundation, announced it was suspending this year’s programme, which was meant to be RM100,000 in grants meant for 10 arts projects.
D'Cruz sees the morale-boosting value of ensuring the Krishen Jit Fund is made available.
“At this time, when everything is so uncertain, I feel it sends a concrete message of hope to artists. We are still here. You can still apply, ” says D’Cruz.
“We are extremely grateful to our funders, who have a strong belief and faith in the validity and potency of the arts for nation building. And build this nation we must.”
The Krishen Jit Fund was created in 2006 to encourage and support creative work in Malaysia. The fund is dedicated to the late theatre legend Datuk Krishen Jit, whose pioneering work was about celebrating original Malaysian creativity in as varied and alternative ways as possible, in all the areas of the arts.
The fund is distributed into grants ranging from RM1,000 to RM10,000 each for projects in dance, theatre, film, video, publication, visual arts, music, animation, education, training and interdisciplinary work.
Facebook: Five Arts Centre.
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