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The Cultural Initiatives Support Programme CISP Newsletterpdf print preview print preview
09/02/2011Page 1 of 1

The Cultural Initiatives Support Programme

CISP Newsletter

Under the auspices of the National Commission on Culture

The Cultural Initiatives Support Programme under the auspices of the National Commission on Culture and the European Union has successfully disbursed the first CISP grants to fifty beneficiaries in the cultural sector nationwide.

Most of the first 50 recipients of the CISP grant have started working on their projects while a few have actually executed their activities.

This was the conclusion the Project Management Unit of the CISP came to after meeting all northern sector recipients in Kumasi and paying visits to some of the projects in the Ashanti and Brong-Ahafo Regions. The PMU had earlier visited one of the projects in the Volta Region.

Nearly1.600 applications had been received and after going through a rigorous and transparent evaluation process, 50 applicants were successful and received sums ranging between 2,500 and 5,000 Ghana cedis from total of 150,000 Ghana cedis, to support their activities, project and initiatives.

The 50 successful applicants came from all the major artistic discipline and represented all the regions of Ghana. The grants are provided for the following broad categories:

1.                           Cultural heritage – festivals, traditional medicine, documentation of cultural elements, folklore, etc.

2.                           Performing arts – music, dance, drama, combined arts, etc

3.                           Fine art and craft – painting and drawing, sculpture, pottery and ceramics, textiles, beadwork, woodwork, metalwork, etc

4.                           Film and audio-visual art – filmmaking, photography, video, printmaking, etc

5.                           Language and literary arts – literature in the form of poetry, short stories, novels, literary reviews, traditional and oral literature, etc

As part of its work, the programme organizes many activities that support the cultural sector in diverse ways. These include training workshops, sensitisation meetings, networking opportunities and technical activities such as the creation of an inventory of the nation’s cultural assets and initiatives.
















Greater Accra









Upper East



Upper East



Volta Region






Following the successful administration of the first tranche of Small Grant under the CISP, a second call for proposal was launched on October 28 2008 at the International Press Centre in Accra. The launch was chaired by Mrs. Diana Hopeson, President of the Musicians Union of Ghana, MUSIGA and member of the Steering Committee. Other Steering Committee member in attendance were Ms. Ute Moehring of the European Union Delegation in Ghana, Mr. Michael Attipoe of Finance and Economic Planning.

Addressing the press conference, Ms Ute Moehring of the EC Delegation reminded the audience that the EC Ambassador, Mr. Ceriane Sebregondi promised during the launch of the first call that a second chance would come for individuals and organizations to apply. “This is the second chance”, she said. She also praised the PMU for working hard on the first grant and hoped that good quality applications would be sent in by applicants.

Launching the Call for Proposals, the Coordinator Mr. Kwasi Gyan-Apenteng explained that the first call yielded nearly 1.600 applications had been received and after going through a rigorous and transparent evaluation process, 50 applicants were successful and received sums ranging between 5,000 and 2,500 Ghana cedis from to total of 150,000 Ghana cedis, to support their activities, projects and initiatives.

Details of the Call:

*                 The sun of the call GH¢ 300,000 (thirty thousand Ghana cedis), which is twice the money that was available for the Small Grant in the first call. This grant is intended for individuals and organizations whose primary occupation is in the arts and culture field. Applicants would normally be registered with the Registrar Generals, a Regional or District Centre for National Culture, a District Assembly or traditional authority.

The application process begins with the filling of an application form. The application forms can be obtained form the following places:

*                    The CISP office at Du Bios Centre,

Cantonments, Accra

*                    Office of the National Commission on Culture

State House, Accra “Regional and District Centre of National Culture


Application forms are free and anyone who attempts to sell them should be reported to the police. Application forms are accompanied by a copy of the application Guidelines that has all the informational and instructions to guide the applicant in filling the forms properly.

The deadline for the return of application form was December 16 2008.



The grants are provided for the following broad categories:

1.                  Cultural heritage – festivals, traditional medicine, documentation of cultural elements, folklore, etc.

2.                  Performance arts – music, dance, drama, combined arts, etc

3.                  Fine art and craft – painting and drawing, sculpture, pottery and ceramics, textiles, beadwork, woodwork, metalwork, etc.

4.                  Film and audio=visual art-filmmaking, photography, video, printmaking, etc

5.                  Languages and literacy arts – literature in the form of poetry, short, novels, literacy reviews, traditional and oral literature, etc.


*                    After expiry of the call deadline, received applications will be opened and the administrative check will be carried out by the PMU and the NAO.

*                    The detailed evaluation of applications that have passed the administrative check will be done in cooperation with the steering committee and an evaluation committee established by the Steering Committee.

*                    On the basis of the evaluate report, successful applicants will be informed and contracts will be prepared and signed.

*                    The list of beneficiaries have started their work, the PMU will carry out monitoring of project activities and visits where required and appropriate.




A training workshop for Cultural Officers and Administrators came off from 13th – 17th March, 2008 at Glamossay Hotel in Sunyani. The workshop was organized by the Project Management Unit of the Cultural Initiatives Support Programme with support from Yilo Chambers, the Consultants for the Training Programme.

The Chairman for the occasion was Nana Baah Brentuo. The welcome address was given by the Regional Director of the Centre for National Culture, Brong Ahafo. He expressed his gratitude to the organizers for choosing his region for the workshop, and further expressed his profound commitment to assist the organizers in his capacity as the host Director.

The project Coordinator for CISP, Kwasi Gyan-Apeneteng outlined the objectives of the workshop to participants, he emphasized on the urgent need to build the capacity within the culture sector to improve upon institutional linkages and effective networking of all the cultural actors within the sector.

 In his closing remarks, Nana Baah Brentuo thanked the organizers for their initiative to build the capacity of cultural officers and administrators to improve service delivery and efficiency within the sector. He called for the support and cooperation of the participants to make the programme realize fruition.

Participants were drawn mainly from the Culture Sector. The Culture Sector consists of statutory organizations among which are the Centre for National Culture, National Cultural Organizations, Artistic Groups and Associations.

The underlying objective of the workshop was to train cultural officers and administrators in modern and practical aspects of Cultural Administration and Management to improve service delivery, proactive, efficiency and also to maximize productivity at the workplace.

The expectation of the programme was to provide participants with a comprehensive education in aspects of Cultural Administration and Management. The Course Structure provided participants the flexibility to influence their own learning outcomes, develop a thorough understanding of current theories and issues regarding the management of people, resources, change and organizations – and the practical skills to apply.

The training involved choosing from a wide variety of pre-defined Specialisation Tracks in Cultural Administration, Managing Cultural Goods and Services and applicable aspects of Accounting.

The participants were highly motivated arts and culture professional from all over the country. Through study and collaboration with them, they have acquired the Cultural management skill that are essential in today’s global economy. Being Arts and Culture professionals with diverse backgrounds, cultures and business experience all bring different perspectives and a wealth of expertise to the virtual classroom. This unique peer network, along with our training modules have exposed participants to intercultural management skills and global best practices that will help them stand out in any organization.

Participants were made to work independently and in groups to develop greater confidence and improve team-building skills. Further, participants were made to strengthen their communication and critical thinking abilities as they subject their work and that of other course mates to ongoing analysis and evaluation. Armed with new skills and tools, including in a new light and broaden the scope of career development opportunities available to them.

At the end of the training programme, organizers and the facilitators were optimistic that participants had understood how good management practices can help them identify, analyse and exploit world markets and have an appreciation how theoretical cultural models and accounting frameworks can support financial decision-making. It was undoubtedly evident after the workshop that participants had been equipped with practical knowledge that will become the catalyst to make them better administrators in the cultural sector.




One of the objectives of the Cultural Initiatives Support Project (CISP)is to develop a national inventory system that would help us to understand the qualitative and quantitative place of the cultural sector in Ghana’s development. On the basis of this, a technical proposal was developed to define the objectives of the national Cultural Initiatives (CIs) survey as follows:

 *          Develop a database for CIs in Ghana that involve visual artists, performing artists, literary artists and other creative persons

  *           Gather information on individual cultural enterprises to facilitate interventions that would make them contribute effectively to the national development in terms of employment generation and wealth creation and

  *             Inform government policies on the support to artistic groups/ associations and other creative persons.

In order to achieve the above, the first workshop was organize by the Project Management Unit (PMU) at EUSBETT hotel in Sunyani on 16th June 2008 to define thematic areas of data source on CIs and to equip Regional Point Persons (RPPs) and Directors of National Cultural Centre (NCCs) with methodology for data capture.

At the end of the first phase, field survey was completed in one district each from ten (10) administrative regions in Ghana, covering background of cultural practitioners, materials, tools, production, labour, marketing and financial details of the cultural enterprises.  A representative national result was analyzed for Greater Accra, Northern and Upper East regions follows:

It was observed that virtually in every settlement in Ghana, there is one or more people engaged in one creative initiative or the other. Major creative initiatives ventures carried out in each district are in a form of carvers, weavers, bead makers, metal designers, batik tie and dye, potters, leather work, basketry, xylophone makers and performers (figure2). The creative initiatives are mainly sole ownership ventures. It is only in his area of performing arts that we have youth groups and informal associations. Majority of respondents (95%) have not been registered with the Registrars General and they are not recognized business enterprises. It was also observed that most of these cultural enterprises are male dominated except for the area of pottery and weaving where women are majority.

From the national survey, about 51% of the Cultural practitioners are within the age bracket of 16-30 years, married and have been in the business for between 6-10years. Majority (46.7%) had more than four children with about half of them (43%) in school. The survey indicated that about 42.5% of people engaged in these creative initiatives have no formal education (figure 1).

About 33% of respondents are performing artists for which all belonged to a group, with 87% belong dancers. 32% of the performing artists are professionals who perform mainly on ceremonies and festivals. The survey showed that 53% of the creative initiatives are family founded and acquisitions of skills have been mostly through the informal means (49%).

Majority (63.5%) of the practitioners use local materials and produce their own designs (79.8) while most of them (98.7%) have no international exposure. Most performers (95%) used the local language and 51% preserve their productions by memorization.

Most Cultural practitioners were found to engage mainly skilled persons of all ages and sexes in their production. Majority (95%) of their products are sold in the Ghanaian market through shops. It was found that 99% of the respondents need support to enhance their business in various forms as shown in figure 4. On 16th of December 2008, the 2nd phase of the CI inventory/ database commenced with a meeting at ASEMPA Hotel in Takoradi. Summary of major activities discussed for this phase are:

·            Making national CIs inventory system representatives by continuing the survey in two(2) more districts from each region and

·               Creating a relational database which is web-enabled could capture and update field data and information on CIs from time to time.  





The Cultural Initiatives Support Programme CISP has organized a training workshop for scriptwriters form November 28- December 2 at the Akosombo Continental Hotel.

One of the key drawbacks in the cultural sector of Ghana, especially in films and theatre arts is the dearth of quality scriptwriting. As a result of Programme Estimate 3 (PE3) of the Cultural Initiatives Supports Programme made provision to train 30 participants.

The aim of training workshop was to provide participants with comprehensive education in aspects of quality scriptwriting techniques and material gathering / management for African scripts. The Course structure gave participants the flexibility to influence their own learning and creative outcomes.

Participant developed a thorough understanding of current theories and issues regarding the writings for Africans for that matter Ghanaians.

A recent study conducted by the CISP has indicated that the period immediately after independence can be termed “The Golden age of literary Excellence” in Ghana.

It was the period that produced great works by personalities such as Joe de Graft, Efua Sutherland, Ama Ata Aidoo, Kofi Awoonor, Dei Annang, Saka Acquaye and a few others.

 Interestingly enough, all these great successes were chucked in the pre-television era where live stage drama and radio theatre served as the two major popular vehicles for education, information and entertainment.

It has therefore been the expectation of the general public that with proliferation of television radio stations, coupled with the presence of the various theaters.

Under the various regional Centers for the National Culture, not to mention the peak in the enrolment of theater Arts students at all our public Universities and the setting up of the National Theatre of Ghana, live drama performance of the highest quality should automatically be the order of the day, Unfortunately the reverse is reality on the ground .A lot of factors have been identified as being responsible for the absence of quality indigenous Ghanaian films, live stage and radio/TV. Dramas.

Very high among the debilitating factors as a baseline survey conducted by this organization

conducted by this organization suggest the issue of

The paucity and SCRIPT: As the saying goes, “Without the script there is no show”

Amateurish and shallow treatment of themes, The mundane nature of themes that do not truly reflect the cultural and artistic aspirations of the audience .The very low calibre of script writers for stage, Radio, Television and film

The paucity of SCRIPTS: As the saying goes,’ Without the script there is no show”

Amateurish and shallow treatment of themes, The mundane nature of themes that do not truly reflect the cultural artistic aspirations of the audience .The very low caliber of script writer for stage ,television and film.

As away to arrest the decline in the quality of our scripts, the CISP under this PE organized the Script Writers Workshop as an intervention to equip identified Ghanaians script writers with the basic skills in good drama script writing for radio, film, television and stage. A lead consultant, Efo Kodjo Mawugbe, who is the director of programmes at the national theater of Ghana, was engaged to design and execute the programme consisting of a week-long work shop on creative writing. Other consultants were Dr. Osei Agyemang, a lecturer of the School of Performing Arts, University of Ghana, Mr. Kwame Akufo-Anoff of Ghana television, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation.

The workshop was executed with the following aims and objectives:

To sharpen the skills of practicing and talented creative writers in drama (Stage, Radio, Film, and Television)

To produce at the end of the workshop a pilot anthology of the next generation of Ghanaian writers.

Create a network for script writers to interact, exchange ideas and also improve upon their works.

Create a database and for drama scripts and inventory on all Ghanaian playwrights

Set up a mini clearing house that acts as the interface between the creative writer and the publishing or production market.

Sensitizing writers on common terminologies, key institutions, structures, forms and norms that generally comprise culture, Helping creative writers adopt more innovative ways of approaching coverage in the area of culture, Encouraging creative writers to adopt a broader perspective of culture, and encouraging creative writers to share experiences and support one another’s professional development in the area of writing for the stage, TV/Film, and Radio.

It is undoubtedly true that the Scriptwriters workshop will go a long way to enhance and bring a breadth of fresh air in script writing and development in film, television, radio and stage dramas in the country.



                    The Cultural Initiative Support Programme


            Du Bois Centre, PMB CT291, Cantonment, Accra

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