Written by Anne Wanyoike.
The 1st of March marked the launch of the Panga Sanaa program at Sarakasi Dome. The Fellowship is designed mainly for action-oriented leaders of creative sector associations in Kenya, aimed at strengthening the structural and operational capacities of participating associations, particularly the Film, Music, Digital and Visual Arts categories.
The program shall be carried out within 9 months, with a major focus on key areas including; Advocacy tools & tactics for policy reform, campaigning for shared goals & aspirations, business modeling & sustainability, essentials of strategic planning, branding & strategic communications, good leadership & governance, value added services for members among others.
During the launch, one of the curriculum designers Miss Alix Masson remarked “We came together with the aim of creating more room for Kenyan creatives to step up and do the work that needs to be done, within the sector, for we realized that policy alone is not enough…” “Sustainability and thought leadership are among the gaps which this Fellowship will bridge, while being aware that the artists themselves have to connect the dots, in service of the greater creative economy. “she added.
The unique approach that Panga Sanaa hopes to execute is to take the leaders through three stages namely incubation, dialogue and consolidation. While the creative sector has long been ostracized from organized action and policy frameworks that may create guidelines within itself, designing avenues for incubating the creative associations, ensures that they are empowered to focus on matters governance, systems and structures, in-sector collaborations and member services, while challenging them to chart a cause towards individual and organizational development.
At the dialogue stage, the program will explore tools and avenues, in a bid to engage with the government directly and raise intricate issues that need to be addressed, in the promotion of the Arts. Finally, the consolidation stage will see the outcomes reconciled in attempt to gauge the success of the program, its internalization and implementation.
In attendance was Mr. Kiprop Langat, Director at the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage who hailed ‘Panga Sanaa’ as a necessary intervention remarking “The government has launched a cultural and creative industries framework that is aimed at boosting existent artists and creating more room for the participation of new players…” He exhorted the attendees.
Speaking at the launch, the fellowship’s resident policy expert, Prof. Kimani Njogu highlighted the need to look at policy as a tool for action, legal regulation and best practices, while highlighting that strong policies enable sustainable funding of the arts and culture economies, as well as optimizing creative work environments.
The associations shortlisted include, Photographers Association of Kenya (PAK), Art Society of Kenya(ASK), Kenya National Visual Artists Association (KNVAA), Alliance of Slum Media Organizations (Africa Grassroots Media Alliance), Association of Animation Artistes Kenya (AAAK), Filmmakers in Kenya Association (FIKA), Kenya Association of Music Producers (KAMP), Kenya Musicians and Performers Association(KEMPA), Entertainment and Arts Journalists Association of Kenya (EAJAK) and Association of Visual Artists and Collectives (AVAC).
The program is supported by GIZ (the German Development Cooperation, Kenya Office) in collaboration with Goethe Institute, Masson Associates, Sarakasi Trust and shall be hosted at the iconic Sarakasi Dome, Ngara.