THE National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) has urged government and local authorities to invest in arts and cultural infrastructure.
NACZ said this in the wake of the closure of Harare’s premiere arts and entertainment, Book Cafe, which closed its door at the beginning of the month after failing to raise enough capital to run the place.
Artists from across the country and beyond reacted with shock at the closure of the venue.
The arts council also expressed shock at the closure of Book Cafe, saying it gave many Zimbabwean artists a platform to showcase their talent. Many artists cut their teeth in the industry on that platform.
“National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) is shocked by the closure of Book Café. Book Café was one of the Harare venues whose objective was to promote and develop arts and culture in Zimbabwe.
“Most current Zimbabwean artists have in one way or the other benefited from Book Café’s activities which included live musical shows, poetry, stand-up comedy, literary readings, crafts, discussions and film screenings,” said Cathrine Mthombeni, NACZ Communication and Marketing Officer.
The council said it was ready to assist the Book Cafe management but “will be guided by the information and vision of the Book Café proprietors and owners.”
“The closure of this most vibrant venue is a serious blow to the arts and culture sector in Zimbabwe and the nation at large.
While we many take solace in Mr Tomas Brickhill’s statement that, it is not going to be the end of the story as they will “re-strategise and restructure the business” in order to open the new chapter of this strong brand, NACZ thinks there is scope to engage the Book Café Management so as to find how the sector can help in saving this Zimbabwean heritage,” said Mthombeni.
Mthombeni said the council is committed to the establishment of a national arts centre.
“Council remains hopeful that our request for establishment of National Arts Centre in Zimbabwe preferably in Harare will receive its due attention. Book Café was actually playing the role of a national arts centre in Harare,” she said.
“NACZ is urging the government and local authorities to invest in arts and cultural infrastructure including venues as well. Availability of venues for arts and cultural activities will ease one of the challenges artists is facing of limited decent platforms where they can express their assorted talents.”Advertisement