Minister announces recipients of RM10million in grants to support the arts community

By , in Nation on .

KUALA LUMPUR, 5 April 2021 – YB Dato’ Saifuddin Abdullah, Minister of Communications and Multimedia today announced that more than 3,000 arts and cultural workers will be benefitting from a share of RM10 million as part of the RM150 million vital financial boost from the PENJANA plan for the creative industries.

The CENDANA Recovery Initiatives, which is administered by the Cultural Economy Development Agency (CENDANA), was created to support performing arts, visual arts, independent music, and craft sectors via 7 funding programs that aim to support:

• individuals, collectives, bands, and organizations for whom grants will make a difference in terms of recovery from the pandemic; and
• those who have had their operations impacted due to the pandemic and who have had limited ability to reopen due to restrictions.

Successful individuals, collectives, bands, and organizations will receive different grant sizes depending on their applications and targeted programs:

• Small grants of up to RM 3,500 to support short, new, or adapted work online;
• Up to RM 30,000 for various programme implementations;
• Up to RM35,000 for arts and culture spaces to support rent and utilities;
• Up to RM100,000 to make art part of our urban spaces; or
• Up to RM150,000 to support practice and operations (for registered arts organizations).

“Malaysia’s arts and culture communities provide an incredible amount of good for Malaysia and support thousands of jobs. This is a difficult time for all, and we know many are struggling to recover from the COVID-19 impact. The CENDANA Recovery Initiatives will provide some needed support to spaces, arts organizations, production houses, bands, and theatre groups who provide jobs which many Malaysians depend on,” Dato’ Saifuddin
Abdullah said.


The awards ceremony honored more than 500 beneficiaries with 35 awarded recipients present at the event and other awarded recipients honored virtually. They include:

• 45% from Create Now Funding Programme;
• 17% from the Craft Industry Choice;
• 11% from the Independent Music Funding Programme;
• 10% from Performing Arts Presentation Funding Programme;
• 8% from Arts Venue Recovery Programme;
• 5% from Arts Organisation Resilience Funding Programme; and
• 4% from Art In The City Public Art Commissioning Programme

The awarded artisans are predominantly from Sabah, Sarawak, Kelantan, Perak, Johor, and Kedah with 38% creating Made In Malaysia products, 35% in Heritage Preservation, 11% in Contemporised Craft, 9% Endangered Craft, 5% in Craft Training and 2% in Innovation Craft.

The awarded recipients who consist of artists and cultural workers are predominantly from Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Pulau Pinang, Johor, Perak, Sabah, and Sarawak. They include 49% individuals, 28% collectives and 23% organizations.

The announcement was made at a media conference organized by CENDANA at the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPAC) which was attended by YB Dato’ Saifuddin Abdullah, Minister of Communications and Multimedia, and beneficiaries of the CENDANA Recovery Initiatives, both at the event and through LIVE stream. The event also included a dialogue session between beneficiaries and the Minister, an awards ceremony for the beneficiaries, and a performance by Malaysian singer Sean Ghazi and
his fellow collaborators.

Izan Satrina Mohd Sallehuddin, Founding CEO of CENDANA, said, “The past year has presented unprecedented challenges to the arts and culture communities and they have risen to the occasion in every possible way”.

“Efforts like PENJANA, the announcement of the Budget 2021 allocation, and PRISMA-KKMM efforts are incredibly important for the whole arts and
culture sector, as 93% of the practitioners are negatively impacted by COVID-19. Threatened with devastation by the effects of the pandemic, we strive to help protect jobs and create opportunities for many workers in the arts and culture sector”.

“Therefore, we welcome, and are grateful for this critical commitment by both Ministry of Communications and Multimedia and Ministry of Finance as we join forces with the wider arts and culture communities to stabilize the sector.”

Noor Azmi Mat Said, Chairman of MyCreative Ventures Sdn. Bhd. expressed the importance of looking at the bigger picture in the development of the local creative industries including the arts and culture sectors.

“We are only just scratching the surface with the PENJANA Plan for the Creative Industries.

MyCreative Ventures and CENDANA aim to further vitalize the creative economy or the Orange Economy as we begin to see signs of recovery from the ongoing global pandemic.

With the United Nations naming 2021 as the International Year of the Creative Economy for Sustainable Development, we want to be part of developing our own Orange Economy by supporting creative practitioners and enterprises, from regulatory support, market access, provision of technology, financing tools, capacity building, and infrastructure support,” he said.

“Congratulations once again to MyCreative Ventures and CENDANA for the effort and most importantly to the various beneficiaries today who inspire us daily with the work that they do”

“We at KKMM are very grateful for that and hopefully, many more will benefit from the various efforts under KKMM which include the RTM Transformation Plan, Internationalising the Malaysian Creative Industries as well as the recently launched Malaysian Creative Industries Stimulus Package or in short PRISMA,” Dato’ Saifuddin Abdullah said.

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