The Botswana Chapter of Arterial Network, Africa’s leading creative and cultural economy network, is set to be launched. Arterial network is an African civil society network active in the continent’s creative sector to develop and promote the arts and culture (music, dance, theatre, literature, heritage, film, visual arts, craft, etc) in their own right, as well as in a manner that contributes to democracy, human rights and development.
Arterial Network was launched as an informal network at a conference “Revitalizing Africa’s Cultural Assets” on Goree Island, Senegal, in March 2007. With the adoption of a Constitutional Framework and the election of a Steering Committee at its second biannual conference in September 2009, Arterial Network became a more formalized structure.
“We are excited about this development because Botswana has always been sidelined at Arterial Networks regional, continental and international events,” said Thabiso Mashaba, the Finance and Sponsorships Director of the Black Audio Fire Investments.
In essence, the Botswana Chapter will lobby government on policy related matters to create better macro conditions with regard to policy and funding for the arts. It will also undertake research, and collect and distribute information to the local arts/creative sector about international, continental, national and local arts opportunities and developments.
Mashaba said the chapter will educate the arts sector through reading groups, seminars, conferences on arts and policy issues and about their rights as well as support creative African nationals from other countries living in Botswana.
The primary objectives of the Arterial Network are to build and further develop effective, sustainable national, regional and continental networks within and across arts disciplines. In addition to collect and distribute relevant information, data and documents to empower civil society arts and culture organizations in African countries and regions.
Mashaba called on artistes to join the network so as to create an organization that would ensure the development of arts and culture in the country. Full membership is open to all African organizations, creative industry companies, educational institutions, festivals, research agencies, cities and districts, national, regional and continental membership-based organizations.
Associate membership is open to organizations, companies, festivals, educational institutions, research agencies, individuals and other entities working actively in the arts and in the design and creative industries in the African Diaspora.
Honorary membership is available to high profile individuals and other entities in Africa, in the African Diaspora or internationally, who support Arterial Network and/or who Arterial Network seeks to be associated with.
Mashaba said as it is a civil society network, governments and government departments may not be full, associate or honorary members of Arterial Network, but may attend the events and benefit from training and other events provided by them.
The chapter will be launched on 1st July 2012 in Gaborone.