Cendana aids recovery with sustainability, innovation, accessibility


The Cultural Economic Development Agency (Cendana) will utilise its Budget 2022 allocation for the recovery and rebirth of the creative sector post-pandemic.

Cendana founder Izan Satrina (picture) said the agency plans to focus on three areas, namely “Dynamism and Innovation”; “Sustainability and Inclusion”; and “Market Access” which are based on public surveys and consultations.

“Upon confirmation of the budget breakdowns, we hope to continue supporting the sector to meet challenges so that jobs can be protected, while high quality work can be created and promoted to the public,” she told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) recently.

Izan believed that the creative sector, which was the most affected by the pandemic, is responsible for bringing joy to the people and is important for mental and emotional health.

“Cendana is committed to demonstrating the impact of the arts, capturing its strength, overcoming challenges, and nurturing the soul of the nation.

“RM22 million has been approved for the benefit of 8,000 cultural artists,” she said after announcing the 54 partners for the three-month Art in The City (AITC) 2021.

AITC is Cendana’s flagship programme to showcase the artists, make arts more accessible and raise awareness about the sector.

Currently, Kuala Lumpur; Batu Pahat, Johor; Kuching, Sarawak; Ipoh, Perak; Melaka; and Butterworth, Penang are taking part in the event but Izan assured that more cities will be joining soon.

“Activities that have taken place include the Kuala Lumpur Creative Economy Forum, corporate art and culture tax workshop, and open art classes featuring cultural icons such painter Jailani Abdul Hasan,” she added.

A part of AITC 2021 is Kuala Lumpur Weekend (KLWKND) which aims to bring families closer through art and appreciate the city’s history, art, design, culture and heritage.

It will include several major ‘festival village’ clusters located in The Godown KL, City Hall Theater, Art Market, REXKL, GMBB, Museum Telekom as well as several other locations in the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC).

The highlights for AITC 2021 are “The Light Project”, “The Symposium of Reflection and Reimagining: National Cultural Congress 1971” (Dec 11 to 12) and “SENSORii” (Dec 1 to 28).

To make arts accessible to all, Cendana has made all the programmes free of charge and collaborated with Grab to offer promotional discount codes.

Mobile service Yoodo will also be promoting the programmes through marketing services with selected “influencers” while Prasarana will be promoting the programmes on its buses.

This multi-stakeholder collaboration, including the Creador Foundation, Think City, Meta (formerly Facebook), TM Foundation and various networks is to empower and deliver the narrative and enlivening the various creative layers of KLWKND.

AITC 2021 is also being held in conjunction with the International Year of the Creative Economy for Sustainable Development.

MyCreative Ventures (MyCV) group chairman Ts Noor Azmi Mat Said the cooperation between private and public sectors in empowering the arts and culture sector underpins tradition, heritage, and national pride. 

“This is in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for all stakeholders in any industry, especially the arts and culture sector as one of MyCV’s milestones,” he said.

The launch was officiated by Communications and Multimedia (KKMM) minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa.

Through KKMM, Annuar expressed his commitment towards the arts and culture sector which plays an important role in Malaysia’s economic growth at the national and global levels.

“It is time we give priority to arts and culture as an invaluable national treasure. 

“Hopefully, more of the country’s top leaders would accept the importance of arts and culture in enlivening the spirit and soul of the country,” he said in his speech.

To further encourage the involvement of the private sector in the arts scene, KKMM through Cendana will get approval for the National Arts Fund where the private sector can contribute to the development of an inclusive cultural and creative arts ecosystem, arts education and  capacity building of arts and culture workers.

This is hoped to take off next year.


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