AS usual the Namibian government has proven that the arts industry is simply not a priority. According to the Ministry of Finance fiscal projection, a total of N$ 20 892 000 is projected to be spent for arts, but the bulk of the money is allocated to two specific art disciplines, namely visual arts and theatre.
The National Arts Gallery (NAG) received a total of N$ 9 231 000 and the National Theatre of Namibia (NTN) received N$ 7 950 000. My question is; where does this money go? The NAG only represents mainly visual arts, and NTN mainly supports theatre productions. The National Arts Council, (NAC) which in my opinion is supposed to get the biggest chunk is getting a mere N$ 3 379 000.
This is a joke, to add insult to injury, only two other non-governmental institutions are receiving some cash, namely the John Mwafangewo Arts Centre and the Otjiwarongo Arts Centre with a combined total of N$ 332 000.
The Namibian government should honestly start taking arts seriously, because arts is very important in shaping a nation and evoking social change. The government has to realise that arts can create jobs and produce tax revenue.
A strong arts sector is an economic asset that stimulates business activity. People like to live in good and beautiful places, full of culture and arts.
In addition, cities rich in arts, museums, monuments and theatres promote tourism and economy in general.
In many parts of the world, arts have been shown to be a successful and sustainable strategy for stimulating rural areas and populations struggling with poverty. Arts such as music and theatre are steady sources of income for any country.
One such country is New Zealand, where the government supports new artists by lending them money to kick-start their careers, which in turn enables the state to collect taxes on the revenue earned by these artists.
Government should also understand that arts fosters young imaginations and simplify children’s success in school, because it provides critical thinking, communications and innovation skills.
The arts industry is definitely under-appreciated by the government, it is clear that even the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) is failing to move on with the times. Watching NBC and comparing it to other African television networks is very sad, the amount of local entertainment content is virtually nonexistent. An institution such as NBC constantly gets bailed out by the government, because there are not enough innovative minds there to come up with new ideas that could generate income.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015