THE CRY OF 6 GAMBIAN LOCAL VISUAL ARTISTS FOR GRANTS
WE NEED HELP !
Rotarian Dr. Olumide Oludare Egunlae
BA,ED. M.Div. D.ExCom
The call for support for African artists of all kinds is very important in the 21st century. We African Visual Artists are under-recognized or let me say are not recognized at all in our own Continent by our own Governments.
President Donald Trump called for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for survival of Art. President Lyndon B. Johnson also said that an “advanced civilization” must value the arts: not just for their own sake but for the tremendous returns that they pay forward to society.
This means Art is not profitable by itself, If you want art to exist and bring benefits and profits to any community, you will agree that art should be funded as we fund other essential human needs. Art needs a support structure just as Michelangelo and Rembrandt survived because they had patrons.
The above statements show the roles and the importance of the arts in the Western World. The contrary is the case in Africa especially our own country.
Our lawmakers in Africa could not understand the positive economic impacts that the arts have on our communities, economy and educational systems. If they had realized the importance of art education and practices, they would have voted more funds into it and its practitioners like the western world leaders.
The Canada Council helped 2,055 individual artists, groups and arts organizations who are engaged in Art Projects and activities with $144.8 Million Dollars in 2015 and 2016.
The Gambian Government and people are not left out in the neglect of Art and artists. They are unable to see the healthy and reliable returns investments that arts and culture could bring to the Gambian community .
The arts have certainly been not well supported by both the Government and private sectors. Hardly will you see a successful artist without relying on some other forms of businesses and occupations. African artists have little or no hope of tomorrow.
Visual Artists in Africa earn amongst the lowest creative incomes, despite devoting more time to their practice than other artists and occupations. Since I was in High School to my Doctoral level, I have never heard about grants for artists in any African country.
THE ROLES OF ART IN OUR SOCIETY/COMMUNITY
Funding of Arts should be the priority of any Government as it (ARTS) stands as the back bone of all subjects in schools and community especially our country The Gambia. The Gambia earns its economy from tourism which is being powered by Arts and Culture.
This sector under tourism has the target of being a major foreign exchange earner, a major employer of labor, and income distributor, a catalyst for sustainable rural development and poverty alleviation. Modern works of art are relevant to the potential of arts and culture for export trade and promotion primarily because they have begun to enjoy international recognition and patronage.
In schools Art Education enables students to become creative arts practitioners. Students learn to develop the necessary imaginative, intellectual, theoretical and practical skills to equip them for continuing personal development and professionalism.
Art informs and provides visual, tactile and more practical learning environments. In the primary and secondary level of education, art teaching is in the service of general development of the pupils, which actually starts with drawing and illustrations in demonstrations of events which are supposed to be read out.
Art is a visual and universal language whose statement records man’s response to a multiplicity of environmental stimuli. Other subjects require visuals and illustrations to back up the process of learning. Students performed better using visuals and illustrations to learn than those who learnt without them.
The roles of art to the society are numerous: art promotes our cultural heritage and creates identity. Art is very useful in everyday life and indeed so much with us, around us and within us. Art in Education is very important part of our educational system. Therefore, it should be given adequate consideration and serious funding.
WE NEED IMMEDIATE FUNDING.....
In view of the aforementioned roles highlighted and the great efforts the average Visual artists put on his works and the socio-economic importance of the arts, one would understand the need for art to be funded.
As arts has a key role to play in the growth and development of the Gambian economy, the Government needs to effectively render her commitment to funding it and the practitioners (especially the non-profit organization's visual artists ) to enable the foundation achieve its goals and roles to the Gambian communities which it serves.
The 16 artists, good members, donors and fundraisers (from United States of America,United Kingdom and Germany) of the Adonai Art Foundation, The Gambia, struggled to raise only $3,000.00 dollars on their own without grants from any arm of Gambian Government in three years. The funds had been spent on our programs. The art materials of these Artists who worked selflessly and tirelessly for the survival of the less privilege are exhausted against their own survival.
I count it worthy and very necessary at this point to tell and call whosoever reading this page to stand up and rescue Adonai Art Foundation, The Gambia from falling and closing down for lack of finance or capital. We have invested a lot of time, capital and efforts on 16 professional artists and several projects and it will be very dishearten to see our vision and mission not fulfilling for lack of support and capital...we need your little contribution for funding these artists for Art materials. This will enable us to continue donating our art works out in exchange for funding from donors and philanthropists all over the world.
PLEASE SAVE OUR SERVICES TO SAVE SOME SOULS IN OUR COMMUNITY. GOD BLESS YOU AS YOU RESPOND TO THIS CALL. YOU WILL NEVER BE DISAPPOINTED.
THANKS FOR READING THIS REQUESTS.