Government launches sh.100 million artists stimulus fund

Sports CS Amina Mohammed.Artistes are set to benefit from a sh 100 million kitty set aside by the ministry /COURTESY

Over 20,000 artists across the country are set to benefit from sh.100 million, in a new initiative geared towards supplementing existing government efforts in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The campaign dubbed ‘Together At Home’, is spearheaded by the ministry of sports, culture and heritage, and will see artistes, actors and musicians get paid for producing works that entertain and educate Kenyans on the safety and health precautions to stop spread of the deadly coronavirus, the ministry’s cabinet secretary Amina Mohammed, said in a statement.

The fund is also in line with a government commitment to cushion Kenyans in the creative industry from the economic impact of the virus.

The artistic productions, Amina said, will be carried through various platforms set up by the ministry such as “KULTURE TV” and other collaborative media outlets.

“The Kshs.100 million is therefore not a reservoir of free funds but a provision to educate, innovate, sustain and improve our output as a sector,” Amina, explained in the statement.

Apart from the 20,000 artists, Amina said the three month initiative starting from May to July, would also benefit 80,000 other Kenyans related or working with the beneficiaries.

The program will be rolled out and supervised through collaborative efforts by several ministry agencies including the department of culture, Kenya Cultural Center, National Museums of Kenya, Kenya Film Commission and permanent presidential music commission.

Interested artists will await the criteria for engagement that will be released after heads of the agencies meet.

Last month, president Uhuru Kenyatta issued an executive order directing the ministry to avail Kshs.100 million to cushion those in the creative industry during the difficult COVID-19 period.

The order elicited mixed reactions with many questioning the criteria that would be used to identify the artists to benefit.