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September 23 2016


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In September 2016, Arterial Network’s Cultural Management programme rolled out in Mbabane, Swaziland, and continued to grow from strength to strength in Nigeria.

Arterial Network’s Cultural Management programme is geared towards creative entrepreneurs. It targets artists, arts administrators, managers, cultural officers, cultural planners and practitioners in Africa who feel the need to improve specific skills such as ability to write successful funding proposals, marketing their cultural products and strategic management of their projects and events. The programme aims to promote continuing professionalisation of the sector and limiting the dependence on foreign expertise through local workshops and courses. Arterial Network’s Cultural Management programme is funded by Stichting DOEN and AFRICALIA.

Presented by Arterial Network Swaziland, the Cultural Management programme kicked off in Mbabane from 8 - 9 September 2016. Twenty participants from 16 Swazi arts organisations began with a workshop presented by punto.sud focusing on ‘Arts Fundraising’ at the Swaziland Theatre Club in Mbabane. The foundation shared tools and key concepts for fundraising, also detailing various experiences and offering expert information about best practices for the Swazi context, as well as looking at various challenges that arts organisations face. Maswati Dludlu, Arterial Network Swaziland’s national coordinator, described the atmosphere as “vibrant and very exciting.”

The Cultural Management programme in Swaziland continues until the 23rd of September 2016.

After hosting successful Cultural Management workshops in Lagos and Port Harcourt, the CORA/Arterial Network Nigeria team have returned to Lagos to host review sessions at the local British Council. This series of events was designed in order to address participants’ challenges using original Nigerian case studies. The review sessions were split into three modules, Project Management, Arts Fundraising and Arts Marketing, and reunited the original workshop participants after a 2-month break.

The Project Management review session (2-3 September) featured some of Nigeria’s top cultural practitioners who presented case studies on their various projects in order to highlight problems they have experienced and provide tools for finding solutions. Facilitator, Adesola Alamatu, focused her opening presentation on the topic of risk management, encouraging those present to ensure that all projects have an insurance strategy and ensure that all contracts for a big project are thoroughly read and approved before signing.

The list of experts present included Jahman Anikulapo (Programme Chair, Committee for Relevant Art (CORA),organiser of Lagos Book and Arts Festival (LABAF) and Arterial Network Steering Committee Member), Theo Lawson (CEO, Freedom Park, Lagos), Dayo Keshi (Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture), Ojoma Ochai (Director of Arts, British Council and Chair of Lagos Theatre Festival (LTF) Board), Olabisi Silva (Director, Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA), Lagos), Audu Maikori (President, Chocolate City Music group), Stephanie Linus (Multiple award-winning Nollywood star and film Director) and Femi Odugbemi (Co-founder/ Executive Director iREP International Film Festival).

The Fundraising review session was held on the 9th of September, and opened with a general review by facilitator Ayodele Ganiu, who focused on the issue of budgeting and credit history maintenance.

Following this, the Director-General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), Afam Ezekude, presented the status of the ongoing reforms of the copyright system in Nigeria. Mr Ezekude was invited by the programme team after they identified copyright issues as a key inhibitor of industry growth for the arts.

Two financial institutions were also present in order to pledge their commitment to supporting the growth of the creative industry in Nigeria, namely Access Bank Plc and Heritage Bank Plc. Access Bank Plc presented their Access Nollyfund fund - the Bank’s financing programme worth ₦1 billion, designed for licensed production companies and independent producers to part finance Nigerian film projects. For their part, Heritage Bank Plc analysed the needs of creative industry practitioners and their financial advisory role in order to assist practitioners to identify appropriate financial solutions.

To wrap up the programme in Lagos, the Arts Marketing Review was held on the 16th of September 2016, where the facilitator Malaika Toyo addressed challenges identified from participants’ feedbacks. Through a presentation titled ‘Malaika’s 13 Rules for Art Marketing,’ the facilitator emphasised the need to design the right product, take competition seriously, and be customer oriented, among others.

Two case studies were presented to give participants practical insights into successful Nigerian art projects which have leveraged on effective marketing strategies. Tokini Peterside, Founder/CEO of TP Collective, in a presentation titled ‘The Big M: Marketing and Money,’ shared her success story of marketing Half of a Yellow Sun, the award winning film adaptation of the novel by renowned Nigerian author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Ugoma Adegoke, Director of Lights Camera Africa!!! Film Festival, also gave participants valuable insights into the marketing strategies behind the festival widely believed to be the most prominent public film festival in Nigeria that celebrates the best of African and independent cinema

Thanks to a consistent PR campaign, CORA/Arterial Network Nigeria have managed to rack up an impressive number of media mentions about their hard work, some of which you will find listed below:

5 September 2016, Asiri Magazine: “The True Story of Freedom Park is a story of Patience and Hard Work” Theo Lawson

18 September 2016, The Guardian Nigeria: CORA, Arterial Network… Articulating project management skills in culture sector

21 September 2016, The Guardian Nigeria: Financial institutions promise better relationship with creative industry

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