Minister Kirsty Coventry visits art spaces

YOUTH, Sport, Arts and Recreation Minister Kirsty Coventry yesterday took time to visit art spaces and interfaced with artists in Harare with the aim of formulating policies and laws that empower and protect players in the sector.

She was accompanied by the chief director in her office, Dr Benson Dube, director of arts, culture promotion and development, Dr Biggie Samwanda among other arts stakeholders.

The minister conversed with creatives and arts administrators to familiarise with their work, and discussed issues affecting the arts industry.

Speaking at the Zimbabwe College of Music, Minister Coventry said the tour sought to give her a better understanding of the arts industry.

“The purpose of this visit is to listen to practitioners as to what the challenges they are facing so as to formulate policies and laws that empower and protect them,” she said.

The tour kicked off with a visit to the Zimbabwe College of Music where she was greeted by the institution’s brass band. She toured their auditorium, workshop and music studio where Dr Dube could not resist showcasing his mbira and guitar playing skills.

Her next stop was Tambira Lab, a recently established arts hub where the delegation met various creatives, including the space’s co-founder Kumbulani Zamuchiya, who narrated their operations.

“Our space is there to provide linkages between local artists and the international world through various projects, including the Zimbabwe Culture Centre of Detriot, an online portal that links the country’s creatives with those in the United States of America,” he said.

Other creatives operating at the hub include Avac Arts, an online market for sculpture, and Youth Against Alcoholism and Drug Dependency, a non-governmental organisation that uses art as a tool against drug abuse. Fashion designer, Godknows Nyakuridyisa, who uses recycled clothes to create trending designs, also interfaced with the minister.

At her next stop, Patsime Trust, Minister Coventry toured the newly built Jason Mphepo Little Theatre. The minister’s last stop was the Mbira Centre in Eastlea.

The founder Albert Chimedza took time to narrate the history of the centre, its achievements, and the various works they are conducting. Minister Coventry endorsed the forthcoming annual Mbira Festival, which will be held on September 14 at Mukuvisi Woodlands in Harare. Today, the minister will be visiting art spaces in Msasa, Chitungwiza, Mufakose and Mbare.

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