Opportunities for Maldivian artists have been expanded by the Maldivian Artists Directory, an internet platform for artists to share, showcase and market their talents and interests. The directory was developed by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture with the support of the United Nations Development Project (UNDP) Male office and the National Centre for the Arts (NCA).
Artists who meet directory criteria may register on-line with a resume and contact information. Criteria vary by artistic category, and may include publication to an internet forum and community involvement. Artistic categories are performing, music, literary, visual and traditional.
“We believe the Directory will also provide opportunities for artists to better market themselves and their products as well as seek interested audiences and those wishing to commission artworks or invest in arts projects,” the ministry said in a press release.
The ministry intends for the directory to “help in defining a distinct Maldivian identity as manifest in the arts practices and traditions of the Maldives, both old and contemporary,” while making these cultural aspects more accessible to tourists.
The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture recently joined International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACC), a network connection arts councils and ministries worldwide.
In June this year, the Arts Development Fund was set up by the Ministry of Finance and Treasury. Criteria to award funding and other support was also set up, and the ministry will be helping local artists organize fund raisers.
Plans for an arts council are underway, however the ministry has delayed submitting the act stipulating these plans to Parliament “because of the present climate which we foresee as more conducive later in the year.”
The ministry has asked President Mohamed Nasheed to appoint a council with the minister’s advice. Of the appointments, however, those for theatre and drama, film making, literature, visual arts, music and crafts will be appointed independently.
Applications for the directory are available on-line.