By: Landing Ceesay
The National Centre for Arts and Culture (NCAC) has received a D500, 000 grant from ECOWAS-UNESCO Anti Covid-19 Campaign Fund.
The Five-hundred thousand dalasi is earmarked for a campaign against the spread of the coronavirus through awareness raising in the country from 5th May to 16th June this year.
More than a dozen Gambian artistes are expected to participate in the campaign with the theme: ‘Keep Safe by Masking, and Stay Alive by Getting Vaccinated’.
“The ECOWAS-UNESCO Anti Covid-19 Campaign Fund is meant for West Africa to work with various artistic associations as well as the press to implement an arts-based riposte to the deadly pandemic,” Hassoum Ceesay, Director General, NCAC said in a dispatch sent to this medium.
Ceesay, said the joint response by ECOWAS and UNESCO to support Member States in mitigating the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has orchestrated a global campaign of prevention and vaccination.
He continued that the National Centre for Arts and Culture (NCAC) of The Gambia therefore sought support from the ECOWAS-UNESCO initiative to implement a creative and innovative communication campaign which will contribute to raising awareness on COVID-19 among the communities.
“The campaign will be done in Gambian national languages using the talent of Gambian artists. The NCAC will engage the Writers Association of The Gambia; The Gambia Theatre Association, The Gambia Dance Association, The Gambia Film Producers Association, and The Gambia Music Union who will task their members to create messages relevant to Covid-19 prevention and vaccination acceptance. Operating under the #ArtsGambiaagainstCovid19, the social media publicity component will be of utmost priority,” Hassoum explained how the campaign will be rolled out.
The NCAC Director General said the activities during the campaign the artistic messages will be ready for consumption by the public through electronic media.
“Our aim is to ensure that Gambian artists have an opportunity to create against Covid-19, and also to earn an income from their creation. There is also a Covid-19 relief component to this activity. The NCAC is working with artistic associations because we want to support them to be strong and viable. Now that all of them have elected new executives, and have benefitted from the Government Covid-19 Relief Fund late last year (2020), we hope this partnership will help to bring the associations closer to artists, and make them more relevant and responsive to their members,” Ceesay concluded.
The National Centre for Arts and Culture (NCAC) is a semi-autonomous institution in The Gambia established by an Act of Parliament in December 1989. The said Act is now out-dated by the NCAC Act of 2003. The institution’s function is to preserve, promote and develop Gambian arts and culture.