The chairperson of the National Arts Council of Namibia (NACN), Patrick Sam, has blamed their failure to deliver on the artist ‘s plight to lack of resources and power. In the same interview with unwrap.online, he further said that the council, whose duty is to fund the development of the arts, culture and heritage in Namibia over the years, had their funding reduced due to incidences of corruption and mismanagement. Regardless of this, the council has aimed at making sure there is funding for art projects. “What is critical is the fact that we don’t have the power and resources. This is not a private company; it is a public agency – and when it comes to public agencies, there needs for one to have the ability to understand where the power lies, and this includes asking whether we are capable of working with a lot of money. Public demand must be sung and heard for arts, culture and heritage for a difference to be made and seen,” he stated.
“Today we have established strategies as a public investment fund to use arts, culture and heritage as a vehicle for human development. We have funded organisations where the returns of our investments are not today; we invest for medium to long term rewards,” he said. Speaking on the recently-announced arts Covid-19 relief fund, Patrick Sam said there were delays due to the systemic process; however, creatives will be able to apply as of 15 July 2020. He stressed the money is for artwork by artists.
“We had to sit with the reality of ensuring that creatives from all corners of Namibia are able to apply for the grant by working with the constituency officers and regional counsellors and make sure that all online platforms are tried and tested. We want to make sure that during the pandemic, there is enough artwork produced and creatives with artwork that is inspiring and those with integrity will be prioritised,” he said.