FoAC is geared to lead in the implementation of cultural development activities in a number of areas specifically focusing on:
- Training in the areas of arts and culture;
- Fundraising for the promotion of arts, culture and cultural industries;
- Establishing venues for the performing and visual arts;
- Organizing and facilitating arts and culture festivals;
- Organizing conferences and other forums to discuss challenges and opportunities in the fields of arts, culture and cultural industries;
- Establishing and extending networks with international organisations, both governmental and non-governmental involved in promoting and advancing arts and culture;
- Sensitizing stakeholders on the importance of copyright, related rights and cultural industries to development;
- Providing equal opportunities to all those involved in arts, culture and cultural industries without discrimination of any kind;
- Promoting the diversity of cultural expressions and intangible cultural heritage in Malawi
Here is a list of some of the current projects:
- Annual Cultural Indaba
Malawi is rich in cultural diversity. This rich and untapped cultural resource needs to be appreciated and developed so that it provides spiritual, material and artistic stimuli to the ongoing effort towards poverty reduction, employment creation and sustainable socioeconomic development.
In 2003 the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture through the Department of Culture, with support from Africa 2009 organized a national workshop entitled “Culture the Spearhead for National Development”. The workshop brought together officials from most government departments and other stakeholders in the cultural field to discuss the central role that culture plays in their specific mandates as they contribute to national development. Developments in the context of globalization and the new information and communication technologies, and considering that the culture is still given low priority in national development, have made it necessary to follow-up on this initiative. In this regard local cultural experts found it imperative to organize a forum that will bring together cultural experts, cultural custodians, producers, investors, literary figures, policy makers and civil society representatives to begin to examine and reexamine the challenges and opportunities in the cultural sector.
FoAC plans to organize a National Cultural Indaba to discuss the rich cultural resources of the country. While a date is not yet set fo r the indaba FoAC is currently mobilizing support for the initiative and hopes to organize it before end of 2018.
The proposed Indaba also takes inspiration from the Pan African Cultural Congress (PACC) which took place from 13 to 15 November 2006 in Addis Ababa under the auspices of the African Union, with a view to foster exchange of views, ideas and experiences thereby create a common understanding on the way forward in reviving African cultural values and making culture serve the larger cause of the African Renaissance. The PACC was preceded by an AU Heads of State and Government Summit held in Khartoum, Sudan in February, 2006 which also discussed Culture and Education. These meetings show the growing importance of culture as an important component and contributor to national and regional development and integration.
It is expected that the National Cultural Congress/Indaba shall bring together about 150 cultural practitioners, administrators, traditional authorities and cultural industry investors from within and outside Malawi.
Lilongwe Annual Food Fair
FoAC plans to organize an event that will bring together in Lilongwe 15 ethnic communities and 10 communities within the city representing 10 countries from around the world in a food fair. The fair will be the first one ever to be held in Lilongwe and will become an annual event. The fair will showcase the food and dietary traditions from various communities resident in Malawi, create an opportunity for residents of Lilongwe to taste and appreciate the diverse food cultures available in Malawi and encourage dietary diversification among Malawian citizens. The activity will target 15 accessible ethnic communities in Malawi namely: Chewa, Yao, Lhomwe, Ngoni, Sena, Tonga, Tumbuka, Senga, Nkhonde, Nyakyusa, Mambwe, Namwanga, Sukwa, Wandya and Ndali.
Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH)
Within the cultural industries database FoAC intends to create a one stop databank of intangible cultural heritage (ICH) of Malawi. Currently there is no online databank on ICH and even tangible heritage artifacts that can be found in Malawi at the moment. FoAC intends to fill this gap with a robust databank within the cultural industries databank.
Establishment of cultural industries annual market
The aim of the cultural market is to increase the visibility of creative and cultural industries and their market potentials, to raise awareness of the importance of creative industries for economic growth and promote initiatives and creative entrepreneurs at the local level for CCI. All creative arts will be accommodated in the market spaces that will be negotiated with the City Council throughout the city of Lilongwe. FoAC is currently putting together a concept and consulting the City Council and other stakeholders as well as fundraising for the project.
Children’s Annual Arts Festival
Children deserve to grow up in a space that encourages them to be creative. The annual arts festival for children will consist of showcasing their creative work and will be preceded by workshops and creative hubs in all the creative arts fields. FoAC is currently putting together a concept and consulting the City Council and other stakeholders as well as fundraising for the project.