Cultural Economy Development Agency to honour traditional arts masters, boost local cultural traditions

Milad Hassandarvish
·3-min read
Adiguru Cendana Programme is focused to support artists in specialised areas such as oral traditions, music, dance, theatre, storytelling, visual arts and craft.  —  Picture courtesy of Cendana
Adiguru Cendana Programme is focused to support artists in specialised areas such as oral traditions, music, dance, theatre, storytelling, visual arts and craft. — Picture courtesy of Cendana

KUALA LUMPUR, April 14 — The Cultural Economy Development Agency (Cendana) and cultural organisation, Pusaka, have inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to further boost the traditional arts scene in Malaysia.

The MoU marked the initial point of collaboration between both organisations to work towards enhancing sustainability, visibility and preservation of the masters of the traditional arts or those who are experienced and committed practitioners of the traditional arts in Malaysia.

The collaboration will see both parties implementing the inaugural Adiguru Cendana Programme, which is one of the components in the Communications and Multimedia Ministry’s Malaysian Creative Industries Stimulus Package.

The programme’s focus is to support those working in specialised areas such as oral traditions, music, dance, theatre, storytelling, visual arts and craft.

The event was witnessed by MyCreative Ventures chairman Noor Azmi Mat Said.

Commenting on the initiative, Noor Azmi said he was pleased to see the joint collaboration come to fruition to ensure services and planning coverage includes the rural creative practitioners too.

“We hope it will be a long-lasting partnership to demonstrate our commitment to the traditional and rural creative communities in Malaysia.

“The effort is part of MyCreative Venture’s vision in growing Malaysia’s Orange Economy which is in line with the Shared Prosperity Vision in revitalising the economy post Covid-19 pandemic,” he said in a statement.

Cendana founding chief executive officer Izan Satrina Mohd Sallehuddin said the collaboration will help ensure the effort is undertaken in a respectful, informed, culturally relevant and inclusive way.

“As a public-funded cultural economy setup, and as part of the arts communities, we must continue to recognise the past, present and the future contributions of our Adigurus and those who champion the traditional arts from generation to generation in Malaysia.”

Adiguru Cendana has launched a nationwide call for applications and nominations this month, calling professionals who possess an exceptionally high degree of knowledge and skills required for the practice and transmission of traditional arts forms.

The applications and nominations will be evaluated by a selection committee of experts from relevant fields of culture and the arts.

Successful masters will be notified in June 2021 and programmes are set to start from mid-July onwards — utilising a grant of up to RM30,000 over the period of 12 months.

The programme will subsequently feature a component programme called “Contemporary and Traditional Immersive Programme Residency”, to invite applications from the wider creative practitioners to engage in a week-long immersive residency with a master from the Adiguru Cendana Programme.

Pusaka founder-director Eddin Khoo also welcomed the partnership with Cendana and emphasised the urgency of safeguarding traditional arts in local communities.

“The traditional arts of Malaysia are living repositories of deep knowledge, worldviews, aesthetic concepts, and the collective memory of our people.

“They encapsulate the creative ‘semangat’ (spirit) of our communities, and reflect the processes of cultural confluence that has shaped all aspects of Malaysian life, hence, we need to acknowledge the mastery and genius of our traditional arts communities, and agencies like Candana should be facilitators of this genius.”

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