National Arts Council Members revealed

WINDHOEK – JUNE, 4 – The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture (NACN) announced the appointment of new members recently.

Minister Katrina, Hanse-Himarwa singled out new members who will serve for a three year term administering the National Arts Fund, effective from 01 April 2019 to 31st March 2022.

The new Council is comprised of various public and private representatives who went through an induction on 17 May 2019 at the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture (MOEAC) offices.

It includes public nominees and former Council members Patrick Sam, a consultant and arts advocate and Shareen Thude, Manager of the Craft Center, who retained their positions of Chairperson and Vice Chairperson respectively, as well as representatives of the MOEAC, Sanet Steenkamp, Executive Director and Ervast Mtota, Director of Arts.

Furthermore, the new publicly nominated members will be filled by Dalicia Olivier who is responsible of Stakeholders and events and Meatco, Leitago /Narib, Entrepreneur and Owner of NAWALife. The alternate members are Petsy Neiss from the International University of Management, Ambrosius Sindano a School Principal from Nkurenkuru and Martha Amutenya, a Teacher from Ondangwa, Felix Haingura Youth representative and Veno Kauaria, Deputy Executive Director Life Long Learning, Arts and Culture, as well as M’kariko Amagulu, Deputy Director in the Directorates of Arts, both from the MOEAC.

According to Thude, who was also the previous vice-chairperson, being on the Council again will provide the opportunity to build on the strong foundation already built over the past three years.

/Narib stated that his mission on the Council is to bring it closer to the artists and to ensure information sharing is improved, as well as come up with sustainable funding methods that will see artists creating their own wealth, as well as for others.

While Amutenya, spoke to the need for the arts to be recognized and valued, and therefore for the council to consider art teacher training, which was echoed by Sindano who stated, “Arts is neglected, the Arts Council needs to raise the importance of arts in formal school so that youth have an option to improve learned practical skills with more education in future.”

Moreover, the National Arts Council of Namibia (NACN) is established through the National Arts Fund (NAF) Act No 1 of 2005, which makes provision for the establishment of a Council to act as an advisory body to the Fund. As per the Act, the Council should be composed of seven main members, but it also makes provision for the appointment of alternate members. For the main positions two are filled by the representatives of the MOEAC, one from the Ministry of Finance, while the rest are through public nomination.

Subsequently, over the course of February and March 2019, through the use of the local mass and social media, to reach interested parties, the council received a total of 32 nominations, which were screened and assessed with regard to key competencies that would be essential to the future development of the NACN.

All nominees proved that they had something to offer, but only six could be selected as main members, each with alternate members, however pending nominations of representatives from the Ministry of Finance.

The Council’s mandate is to develop local arts through funding and providing support services to Namibian artists and art organizations, on a representative basis, while adhering to the principles of access, equity, quality and democracy.  –