New Project • Enhancing cultural and creative industries in the Pacific ➤ A/Prof Verena Thomas

A new project aimed at increasing capacity and sustainability of cultural and creative industry initiatives in national economies has been recently launched by the African Caribbean Pacific (ACP) – European Union Programme.

The Project titled “Enhancing capacity for the sustainability of Cultural and Creative Industries in the Pacific”(Pacific CCI)  is a 3-year project providing financial support, technical advice, mentoring and capacity building support to artists and cultural producers from the  Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Republic of Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

The project is implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC) in partnership with the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) with financial contribution of the EU and support of the Secretariat of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States.

As part of the first phase of the project, an open call for expressions of interest (EOI) was made on June 12 for creatives, artists, cultural producers, local businesses, national culture and art agencies and institutions from the ACP-Pacific region.

According to Dr Frances Vaka’uta, Team Leader Culture for Development from SPC’s Human Rights and Social Development (HRSD) Division, the Pacific CCI project seeks to increase the contribution and recognition of the culture and creative sector to economic revenue and commercial engagement in the region through a grant scheme.

“This project recognises that Pacific arts and culture are unique and can make a significant contribution to national economies while developing sustainably to safeguard cultural practices and traditions for future generations and supporting creative innovation” Frances Vaka’uta said.

“So far we have received more than 400 submissions following Phase 1 of the EOI process (which closed on 11 July) from 15 targeted countries including Timor Leste,” she noted.

Frances Vaka’uta also explained that the first set of grantees will be selected specifically based on the grant scheme priorities such as the creation of high-quality goods and services; improved access to national, regional and international markets; increased visual literacy education and improved access to sustainable financing and reduction in dependency on international financing arrangements.

 She added that shortlisted applicants from the EOI process will be taken through information sharing sessions and a grant writing workshop before they submit their formal proposals for the grant scheme.

Associate Professor Verena Thomas, Team Leader of the collaborating team from Queensland University of Technology said that:

“This project is an opportunity to recognise the creative and cultural industries as key drivers for sustainable economies across the Pacific, to create stronger networks and to communicate the creative and cultural knowledge of the Pacific to the world. We are excited about working closely with artists, creative enterprises and institutions to explore our connections, share our experiences and learn from each other.”

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