The Solidarity Fund for Artists and Cultural Organisations in Africa (SOFACO) has launched the third call for projects that help artists and cultural actors to cope with the COVID-19 crisis. 

SOFACO was initiated in 2020 by the African Cultural Fund, a Malian pan-African organisation. It supports activities and projects for the creation, production and dissemination of works and capacity building in the following fields:

  • Music.
  • Dance.
  • Theatre.
  • Storytelling.
  • Visual arts (traditional plastic arts, photography, digital art, design, fashion and decorative arts, as well as all pre-production, production, post-production, dissemination and distribution activities in the film and audio-visual disciplines).

The call applies to all African countries, and projects can be submitted in the following categories:

Professional grants 

The professional grant is a subsidy to help a cultural organisation cover all or part of its operating expenses that it cannot afford due to the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Requests for assistance to creation

Creation assistance has to do with any creative or artistic innovation project adapted to the context of COVID-19 in Africa.

Eligibility

To be eligible, applicants must:

  • Be an artistic, cultural organisation operating in Africa, with at least five years of experience (proof of legal existence to be provided).
  • Submit a document showing the artistic career, process and an overview of the artistic works of the organisation (three pages max).
  • Submit a resume of the head of the organisation.
  • Submit a letter of recommendation from at least one recognised reference person in the field of competency of the organisation (pointing out the need and urgency to provide financial support to the organisation).

Selection criteria

Applicants will be selected based on:

  • Originality/innovation/creativity of the project or concept.
  • Technical quality of the application.
  • Financial quality of the project.
  • The relevance to the current African or regional context and the COVID-19 context (situation of vulnerability of the cultural organisation about the health crisis).

Funding

SOFACO grants under this call will not exceed an amount of $5 000 per cultural organisation. The funding covers a period between a minimum of four months and a maximum of six months.

The fund will sign a grant agreement with the beneficiary, which will include information on the activities to be carried out, the grant amount, the disbursement schedule and the delivery of implementation reports.

Funding to the selected projects will be disbursed in two instalments:

  • 80% of the grant upon signing the grant agreement.
  • 20% of the grant, at mid-term and upon submission and approval of the narrative and interim financial reports.

How to apply

  • Interested applicants must complete an online funding application form available here.
  • Applications can be submitted in English or French.
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered.
  • The applicant will receive an automatic acknowledgement email once the application has been received.

The application deadline is 20 May (GMT).

The results will be published on the African Cultural Fund’s official website.

View the original call here.