PRISMA Announces 13 Programmes That Will Benefit M'sian Artists & Cultural Workers

Administered by CENDANA, the programmes offer funding, performance opportunities, and more.

Cover image via Temple Of Fine Arts Inner Space Dance at Darbar Festival London/CENDANA (Provided to SAYS)

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This Spotlight is sponsored by The Cultural Economy Development Agency (CENDANA).

The Cultural Economy Development Agency (CENDANA) was launched in September 2017 as part of the government's efforts to develop the arts and culture sector in Malaysia

Since its inception, CENDANA has created job opportunities for more than 7,200 artists and cultural workers and upskilled more than 1,800 practitioners.

The COVID-19 Impact on the Arts Report showed that 93% of Malaysian artists and cultural workers had been negatively impacted by the pandemic, with 70% having lost all or most of their income. Therefore, it is critical that CENDANA continues to sustain the sector, so that artists and organisations can continue to work and nourish the imagination of Malaysians nationwide, both during the crisis and in the period of recovery.

Amir Alif, Lover Boy video clip supported by the Create Now Funding Programme

Image via CENDANA (Provided to SAYS)

In response to COVID-19, the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia’s announced the Malaysia Creative Industries Stimulus Package (PRISMA) to support and encourage sustainability of Malaysia's creative industry amid the pandemic

Minister YB Dato’ Saifuddin Abdullah, Ministry of Communications and Multimedia Malaysia (MCMC)

Image via Cultural Economy Development Agency (Facebook)

"This is a difficult time for all, but we hope that the PRISMA allocation of RM89.2million will help sustain 9,000 practitioners and create 40,000 job opportunities in spaces, arts organisations, production houses, bands and theatre groups whose work are loved by Malaysians.

32 programmes are carved out to support Malaysian workers in namely film, music, digital creative content, visual arts, performances and crafts," Minister YB Dato’ Saifuddin Abdullah said.

Part of the PRISMA package includes programmes administered by both MyCreative Ventures and CENDANA. In an effort to support the arts sector through this pandemic, these recovery initiatives will assist them in ensuring continuity to their activities and encourage sustainability of the art scene and wider creative industries as they adapt and stabilise in line with the new normal.

So if you're an artist, performer, musician, craft-maker, or from the creative sector, you are encouraged to check out what's available and apply to these funding programmes and the various opportunities available!

Have a look at CENDANA's recovery initiatives introduced under PRISMA and see if they apply to you:

1. Arts Organisation Resilience Funding Programme

Arts Organisation Resilience Funding Programme 2021

Image via CENDANA

Registered artistic organisations, associations, and societies across the performing arts, visual arts, independent music, and craft sectors will receive support for arts continuity, development for resilience, and supporting sustainability. The aim of the funding programme includes supporting the practice and operations of Malaysian arts organisations nationwide.

Grant Value: Up to RM150,000 per arts organisation for the duration of 12 months.

Application Dates: 1 March 2021 - 31 March 2021

2. Arts Venue Recovery Programme

Arts Venue Recovery Funding Programme 2021

Image via CENDANA

This programme will prepare, train, and transition performing arts, visual arts, independent music, and craft venue owners nationwide to be ready in preparing a safe and healthy environment for the audience as well as participants whilst supporting basic operating expenses.

Grant Value: Up to RM35,000 per participating venue for a duration of six months for rent, utilities, and marketing costs.

Application Dates: 9 March 2021 - 9 April 2021

3. Create Now Funding Programme

Create Now Funding Programme 2021

Image via CENDANA

This programme aims to support Malaysian artists, arts organisations, and collectives in the artistic development of short, new, or adapted digital work that has not been released to the public.

Grant Value: Up to RM1,500 per individual artist/cultural worker as well as artisans and craft-makers and RM3,500 per collective/arts organisation.

Application Dates: Currently ongoing till 23 March 2021. A second cycle will be open from 4 May 2021 - 4 June 2021

4. Visual Arts Showcase Funding Programme

Visual Arts Showcase Funding Programme 2021

Image via CENDANA

This programme encourages the development of the visual arts sector through initiatives like an art exhibition, residency programme, documentation, publication, or innovative presentation via the use of technology relating to contemporary expressions of Malaysian visual art; research, networking, facilitation of art projects, capacity building as well as mobility and the promotion of Malaysian-made works.

Grant Value: Up to RM30,000 for the duration of the project.

Application Date: Starts 22 March 2021

5. Performing Arts Presentation Funding Programme

Performing Arts Presentation Funding Programme 2021

Image via CENDANA

This programme aims to support growth of the performing arts sector through the creation of work, development of practice, building networks, facilitation of arts projects, upskilling initiatives, as well as mobility and promotion of Malaysian-made showcases. The funding programme enables and encourages multidisciplinary collaborations, expansion of quality creations, creating greater access to the arts, and development of the sector.

Grant Value: Up to RM30,000 for the duration of the project.

Application Date: Starts 1 April 2021

6. Adiguru CENDANA


Image via CENDANA

Adiguru CENDANA aims to sustain the development and ensure continuity of traditional art forms from diverse communities of Malaysia, as well as to create awareness, encourage transfer of knowledge and documentation work, in addition to supporting partnerships between regional economic corridor development and these local communities.

Adiguru CENDANA will open for a call for applications and nominations nationwide to recognise persons of different traditions and heritage, who possess to a very high degree the knowledge and skills (with more than 12 years of experience) required for performing or re-creating specific elements of the traditional art forms.

Grant Value: Up to RM30,000 for the duration of up to 12 months.

Application Date: Starts 1 April 2021

7. Independent Music Funding Programme

Independent Music Funding Programme 2021

Image via CENDANA

Independent Music Funding Programme supports the creation and adaptation of Malaysian independent music content. The programme’s aim is to expand the range of high-quality works for audiences in Malaysia and to encourage local practitioners to push the boundaries of their music.

Grant Value: Up to RM30,000 for the duration of the project.

Application Dates: 6 April 2021 - 6 May 2021

8. Visual Arts Inspire Funding Programme

Visual Arts Inspire Funding Programme 2021

Image via CENDANA

For mid-career artists with more than 12 years of experience, the Visual Arts Inspire Funding Programme supports them to enhance their capacity as practising artists by providing them an opportunity to participate in a creative exploration process and research excursion to assist in their artistic process.

Grant Value: Up to RM15,000 for the journey and research, and up to RM30,000 for the follow-up exhibition.

Application Date: Starts 1 June 2021

9. ACE Workshop

ACE Workshop 2021

Image via CENDANA

ACE Workshop is a series of capacity building opportunities that contribute to the professional advancement of Malaysian artists and cultural workers working in performing arts, visual arts, independent music, and craft sectors.

Participation for these online workshops are free. Dates for the workshops will be shared on CENDANA’s website and social media platforms.

Application Date: The first workshop/sharing session was held on 16 February 2021. There are ongoing workshops taking place. Please check CENDANA's Facebook page for upcoming workshops in March 2021.

10. Panggung Rakyat

Panggung Rakyat

Image via CENDANA

Panggung Rakyat is a digital platform that promotes and celebrates our traditional culture. It offers an enriching and in-depth entertainment experience to foster a sense of togetherness through engagement and interaction for audiences.

The programme invites traditional performers from all around Malaysia to perform for the public to appreciate and celebrate. It is scheduled to be aired in May 2021.

11. Seni Untuk Semua

Seni Untuk Semua

Image via CENDANA

Seni Untuk Semua is an educational art show that will be featured on TV Pendidikan channel as well as RTM and CENDANA’s digital platforms, focusing on local arts practitioners sharing with viewers the basic skills in making art.

Viewers will enjoy the various stages of art-making step by step in a cool and fun manner. It hopes to inspire the wider public to create art together with their children in the comforts of their own homes.

Those keen to perform or teach arts online can get in touch with CENDANA at [email protected]. The programme will be aired in May 2021.

12. Art in the City Public Art Commissioning Programme

AITC Public Art Commissioning Programme 2021

Image via CENDANA

This programme provides an opportunity for Malaysian individual artists or cultural workers, collectives, and organisations, in addition to community art-based groups nationwide to create and organise public art initiatives such as performances, exhibitions, murals, public sculptures, installation art, light installation, video projection, street art, workshops, and more.

Grant Value: Up to RM100,000 per project.

Application Date: Starts 1 June 2021

Note: The 13th programme, Craft Industry Choice Programme, has recently closed submissions, but there are many other programmes available for you to explore.

Find out more about PRISMA's programmes at CENDANA's website and explore other opportunities for the wider creative industries here.

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