Arts agency Cendana gets RM15mil allocation

Welcomed move: Izan says the allocation is a big boost to the pandemic-­hit arts industry.

PETALING JAYA: Some 5,000 arts and culture practitioners will benefit from a RM15mil allocation for the Cultural Economy Development Agency (Cendana) in Budget 2021.

The national arts body’s founding chief executive officer Izan Satrina Mohd Sallehuddin said the allocation was a big boost to the pandemic-hit arts industry.

“This is an encouraging announcement for Malaysian arts and culture, and demonstrates a positive understanding by the government on the important role of art in all our lives and the life of the nation, despite this unprecedented crisis.

“This allocation affirms the government’s commitment to place arts and culture at the centre of government policy and is a further endorsement of the ambitions laid out in Shared Prosperity 2030,” said Izan.

She revealed that 93% of Malaysian artists and cultural workers surveyed recently said they had been negatively impacted by the pandemic, with 70% of them having lost all or most of their income.

According to her, the RM15mil allocation would allow Cendana to move forward with confidence, and provide continued and critical support to artists in all sectors.

“This enables artists, cultural workers, collectives and organisations who work in the studio, on stage or in the street to sustain their operations and create works of excellence; and allow people across the country to have access to high-quality arts experiences,” said Izan.

She also said she looked forward to working with ministries and government agencies to provide the much-needed support for arts and culture.

Last year, Cendana was allocated RM5mil.

Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said the allocation under Budget 2021 would benefit over 5,000 practitioners in the field.

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