The Culture Fund envisions a thriving Zimbabwe that is confident in its innovation and creativity that is nurtured through a culture of open dialogue and creation of knowledge accessible to all its citizens. The Culture Fund plays a leading role in gearing the country towards becoming a creative society benefiting from a creative economy. It supports the cultural sphere through results-based programming. The Fund is a non-profit Zimbabwean Trust overseen by a secretariat and an independent board. Expert advisors selected in different areas are called in from time to time to assist in enhancing programming options.
The Culture Fund works within Zimbabwean society having been established in 2006 by arts and cultural stakeholders with the support from the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida). Since its launch, it has received over 5 400 applications from 58 districts for grants in 6 categories: film audiovisual multimedia, literature and languages, performing arts, fine arts and crafts, cultural industries and cultural heritage. An open call for grants and technical support applications ensures broad and impartial access for applicants both across the country and a wide spectrum of genres. This allows the Culture Fund to gauge the country’s creative pulse and identify areas in need of support. Over the last 4 years it has distributed over 500 grants to worthy beneficiaries of which 42 percent were women.
The measurable impact of the Culture Fund’s work include the following; undertaking a seminal Baseline Survey that has among other things, provided much needed statistical data on the contribution of the culture sector to the Zimbabwean economy; setting up of a Resource Centre providing research facilities and free internet access to artists; refurbishing the National Archives audiovisual archives refrigeration systems enabling the preservation of Zimbabwe’s heritage; holding intellectual property rights and creative entrepreneurship workshops that empower the sector; annual funding for around 20 platforms for artistic expression through festivals; hosting annual arts and culture indabas and the PA system programme has benefitted many institutions and groups.
Major strategic partners of the Fund’s programmes have included the following; the National Arts Council through the support from its country wide office network, the Ministry of Education Sport Arts and Culture in the areas of policy, government departments involved with culture and heritage, the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) through its sustained institutional funding, the Royal Netherlands Embassy for equipping the Resource Centre, the British Council’s Creative Entrepreneurship Programme that has benefitted more than 120 artists and the African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation in the rights awareness programmes. Many other stakeholders have contributed to enabling the Fund to transform the cultural landscape in Zimbabwe over the last few years.
Culture Fund will focus its programmes along the following strategic goals over the next few years;