MASERU – Lesotho creative and cultural organisations are invited to apply for support from the Sound Connects Fund. Sound Connects Fund is a multifaceted initiative aimed at accelerating development and increasing the capacity of the cultural and creative sectors in Southern Africa, from 2021 to 2024.
The Music in Africa Foundation (MIAF), in partnership with the Goethe-Institute, has launched a €4m (about M68 million) funding programme geared towards supporting creative in Southern Africa.
The fund will award grants worth €2 850 000 and offer a robust capacity-building programme (to the value of €570 000) to eligible creative and cultural industry organisations in nine SADC countries, namely; Angola, Botswana, eSwatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
The Sound Connects Fund is implemented by the MIAF in partnership with Goethe-Institute South Africa. The Siemens Stiftung, a founding partner of the MIAF, is also a partner of the fund.
“The ACP-EU Culture Programme (Southern Africa) – Sound Connects Fund is an incredibly crucial initiative that will make a huge difference across the creative industries in Southern Africa. We are calling on all eligible organisations to seize this opportunity and propose sustainable programmes that are aligned to the clear goals of this initiative,” says Eddie Hatitye, director of the MIAF.
Using the theme of sound as a strong connecting factor across creative industries in the region, the fund will support multiple disciplines including, but not limited to, performing arts, animation, film, gaming, photography, videography and visual arts sectors.
The initiative will strategically seek to support projects and activities that facilitate the rapid production and distribution of high-quality goods within and outside the region, increase capacities among professionals, support rapid mobility and exchange among creators, enhance access to new markets, develop visual literacy (especially among underrepresented groups), promote advocacy aimed at protecting the interests of creators and support the existence of sustainable financing structures.
Calls for applications are announced annually via the Music In Africa portal. At least 35 grants, each ranging between €35 000 and €180 000, will be awarded between 2021 and 2024. The first call for grants applications opened on June 17 and will close at midnight on Sunday, July 25. The second and third calls for grant applications are scheduled for 2022.
Eligible organisations include the ones in arts, education institutions, associations, industry bodies, hubs and incubators, media houses, civil society and other relevant registered entities.
Grant applicants will, therefore, be challenged to look at sound not only in relation to music but also in related sectors such as sound in videogames and animation films, sound in audio-visual arts, sound as a supporting aspect of the fashion industry like fashion shows and sound in the digital creative sector.
The MIAF is a Pan-African, non-profit organisation based in Rosebank, Johannesburg, with satellite offices in East, West and Central Africa.
MIAF’s mission is to support the African music sector through promoting knowledge exchange and creating opportunities and capacity for music professionals.
The Foundation does this in two ways: digitally via the Music In Africa website (www.musicinafrica.net) and offline through training programmes, artiste mobility programmes, workshops, concerts, lobbying, conferences and other related initiatives.