UNESCO funds initiatives to boost creative industries and urges decision-makers to include culture in their recovery plan

10 February 2021

The Intergovernmental Committee of UNESCOs 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions had met last week. This meeting occurs as COVID-19 has caused a crisis in culture that is both profound and unprecedented.

The pandemic has revealed fundamental challenges, particularly the precariousness of artists, and the risk of standardization of cultural products if cultural diversity is not promoted. In 2021, as the world celebrates the International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development and recovery plans are being negotiated around the world, UNESCO called on States not to ignore culture.

Indeed, the Committee approved funding for initiatives that will boost the cultural and creative industries in developing countries around the world, during its annual meeting, held online from 1 to 6 February. (see selected projects below)

During the Committee session, a high-level ResiliArt debate took place, celebrating the International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development, Building Back Better through the Creative Economy. Participants discussed how artists and creators are adapting in response to the pandemic, and stressed that they need greater support from governments, and regional and international organizations.

The debate brought together Jean-Michel Jarre (musician and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador), Adberrahmane Sissako (film director) Thomas Steffens, (CEO of Primephonic), Vanja Kaludjercic (Director, International Film Festival Rotterdam), Victoria Contreras (founder and General Director of the Association Conecta Cultura de México) and Alvaro Osmar Narvaez (Secretary of Culture, City of Medelln, Colombia, UNESCO Creative City of Music).

List of selected projects:

Each project will receive more than $70,000 from the International Fund for Cultural Diversity (IFCD). With this years attribution, the IFCD will have supported 120 projects in 60 developing countries with over $8.7 million since 2010.

Evaluating Jamaicas Cultural and Creative Industries, proposed by the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), will map the countrys cultural industries to create a sustainable system of cultural governance in Jamaica. Through a gender perspective and an inclusive, community-led approach, the project foresees an economic assessment of the cultural and creative industries and the design of a national strategy to develop the sector.
Cultural Nests, supporting indigenous cultural start-ups, proposed by Mexicos Centro de Investigación en Comunicación Comunitaria A.C., will promote six indigenous start-ups in three states in Mexico through training programmes, seed funding, a pre-incubation process, and the creation of an e-commerce site.
Strengthening civil society engagement in cultural policy development in Cambodia, proposed by Cambodian Living Arts, will create a new association to represent the cultural and creative industries in Cambodia with the aim of strengthening the capacity of civil society and of those working in the cultural and creative industries, as well as supporting policymaking and advocacy.
Strengthening the contemporary dance scene in East Africa, proposed by Tanzanias Muda Africa Organization, will benefit 45 dance artists, particularly women, in Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania through the creation of a network and web portal, which will provide choreographic capacity building and undertake policy advocacy.
Building the capacities of women and young creators for an inclusive cultural policy in Honduras, proposed by the Asociación Mujeres en las Artes Leticia de Oyuela, will support civil society participation, create a national committee and a knowledge-sharing platform. It also foresees the organization of national encounters.
Gender equality for cultural diversity, proposed by the Association Independent Cultural Scene of Serbia, will undertake mapping, training and mentoring activities to support women starting their own businesses in Serbia. It will also create a cultural and creative industries network.

Honduras and United Republic of Tanzania will benefit from the support of the International Fund for Cultural Diversity for the first time this year. Selected from 1,027 applications from 102 countries, the projects will enhance the development of evidence-based cultural policies and measures, boost cultural entrepreneurship in indigenous communities, widen the engagement of civil society, women and youth in cultural policy-making processes, and support the mobility of artists. The projects are intended to strengthen the resilience of the cultural and creative industries, which have been severely hit by COVID-19, and to make culture more accessible to all.

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Find out more about UNESCOs work to promote the diversity of cultural expressions here

Find out more about IFCD-funded projects here

Find out more about UNESCOs celebration of the International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development here

Permanent link: http://en.unesco.kz/unesco-funds-initiatives-to-boost-creative-industries-and-urges-decision-makers-to