Cendana Recovery Initiatives awards grants to 150 beneficiaries in the arts

Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah (second, right) seen at the Cendana Recovery Initiatives grant giving ceremony at KLPac on April 5. Photo: Bernama

Good news for the arts scene in Malaysia. The Cendana Recovery Initiatives programme, driven by the Cultural Economy Development Agency, awarded grants to 150 beneficiaries from the arts and culture industry recently.

A total of RM1.7mil was given out to beneficiaries from various sectors of the creative industry.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah and Izan Satrina Mohd Sallehuddin, the founding CEO of Cendana, attended the grant giving ceremony at KLPac on April 5.

The Cendana Recovery Initiatives was created to support performing arts, visual arts, independent music and craft sectors via seven funding programmes.

“The Cendana Recovery Initiatives will provide some needed support to spaces, arts organisations, production houses, bands and theatre groups who provide jobs which many Malaysians depend on, ” said Saifuddin.

“Efforts like National Economic Re-Generation Plan (Penjana), the announcement of the Budget 2021 allocation and PRISMA-KKMM efforts are incredibly important for the whole arts and culture sector, as 93% of the practitioners are negatively impacted by Covid-19," said Izan.

“Threatened with devastation by the effects of the pandemic, we strive to help protect jobs and create opportunities for many workers in the arts and culture sector, ” she added.

The grants ranged between RM3,500 to support short, new or adapted work online and RM150,000 to support practice and operations (for registered arts organisations).

The 150 beneficiaries were awarded via seven funding programmes under the Cendana Recovery Initiatives.

They include the Create Now Funding Programme (45%), the Craft Industry Choice (17%), the Independent Music Funding Programme (11%), the Performing Arts Presentation Funding Programme (10%), the Arts Venue Recovery Programme (8%), the Arts Organisation Resilience Funding Programme (5%) and the Art In The City Public Art Commissioning Programme (4%).

“At a time when we were in dire need of funding to see us through the pandemic, Cendana offered a glimmer of hope.

“We are grateful to be a recipient of Cendana’s Arts Organisation Resilience Fund 2020 which will go towards some of our operational costs as well as help with two productions," said Datuk Faridah Merican, KLPac’s co-founder, referring to the RM120,000 grant the performing arts venue received.

“However, we are not at the end of the tunnel yet as KLPac still needs to raise more than RM500,000 of its annual RM3.3 million need for 2021, ” she added.

KLPac suffered a financial loss of close to RM2mil since the implementation of the movement control order last year.

Another grant recipient is traditional arts organisation Pusaka which received a total of RM150,000 under the Art In The City Public Art Commissioning Programme for Malam Pusaka Di Ruang Kota.

The project is a series of cultural evenings to take place in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, featuring traditional performances led by masters of living traditions.

Pauline Fan, Pusaka's creative director, said the grant will allow the organisation to run workshops, performances and talks for urban audiences to engage and interact with cultural custodians from the grassroots.

“The main objective of this series is to nurture public education through meaningful engagement with Malaysia’s intangible cultural heritage," said Fan.

“This public arts series also aims to bring back a sense of community to Malaysia’s arts and culture scene that has been detrimentally affected by the pandemic, ” she added.

The Cendana Recovery Initiatives programme is part of the RM10mil allotted under the RM150mil Penjana Plan for the creative industries. A total of 575 individuals, groups and organisations have benefited from this since last June.

More info: www.cendana.com.my.

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