HE President Adama Barrow is cognizant of the efforts that Gambian artists especially the female artists in the economic upliftment and the production of works to reflect Gambian values and norms, says Minister of Tourism and Culture, Honourable Hamat NK Bah on the 18th May during the launching of the Study on the Status of female artists in the Gambia.
The event also coincided with the closing ceremony of the UNESCO Aschberg project titled Improving The Status And Condition of Female Artists at the National Center for Arts and Culture in Banjul.
According to the Tourism Minister, the government through the NCAC conducted a survey to assess the status of female artists in 2022 as part of US $30,000 funded by UNESCO. The survey which is the first of its kind aims at improving the status and condition of female artists. He stated that 100 female artists and cultural professionals have also undergone training in matters like copyright, networking, and marketing of cultural goods from experts during a week-long training session held in December 2022.
“The digest of the first countrywide study of its kind which interviewed 500 female artists throughout the country late 2022. The study looked at education and training, level of internet use, income levels and employment status of the respondents. This important study will garner our utmost scrutiny so that we can outline correct strategies to support our female artists in line with Government desire to support women in all sectors” he disclosed.
The Director General of the National Center for Arts and Culture, Mr Hassoum Ceesay said The Gambia’s 2005 Convention Quadrennial Reporting(QPR) made it to qualified to apply for this UNESCO Aschberg in a bid to improve the status of Gambian artists. The project, Ceesay added, has also granted NCAC the necessary for the creation of the country’s first National Endowment Fund for Artists.
“The project outcomes such as the Regulation you will soon sign will help our artists get regular funding for their programs, and then improve their economic and social status. This is a great day for Gambian arts and culture. For close to 2 decades, we have never been able to operationalize the National Endowment Fund for lack of Regulation. Now, it is all here,” he affirms.
The ceremony was attended by a host of other dignitaries including the acting National Commission for UNESCO and guests, the Aschberg Foundation, media and female and male artists