By Etuka Sunday
A group under the umbrella of Potters Gallery Initiative has called on the Federal Government, specifically the Ministry of Information and Culture to ensure that people living with disabilities are captured in the planned Creative Industry Intervention.
Director, Potters Gallery Initiative, Donald Unanka made the call yesterday in Abuja at a Media Round Table to herald the coming of the Abuja Digital Arts Ability Festival 2020.
Potters Gallery Initiative is a non profit organization that promotes creative enterprise and strengthening the voice of persons living with disability.
Briefing newsmen, the Director said, “I want to use this medium to call on government through the federal ministry of information and culture to create a space to effectively mainstream issues of persons with disabilities into the arts and creative industry, and also to include our members in the planned intervention for the industry.”
Recall, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in August inaugurated a 5-man Implementation Committee with the mandate to design an implementation plan on immediate and short term relief for the creative industry in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The committee was also to design a policy framework for tax relief for various sectors in the creative industry and work out a detailed implementation plan for a long term intervention for the overall development of the creative industry in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, Donald Unanka said, majority of the people with disabilities lost their sources of livelihood to the Coronavirus pandemic therefore, finding new ways of doing business becomes more compelling.
Mr Donald said, “doing business in the digital space has become a new opportunity and the only way out for our talented disabled artists to showcase their skills to the world.
He said, Potters Gallery Initiative in response to the challenge and in consultation with partners and stakeholders, developed a new strategy to organise a digital festival in December to celebrate the international day for people with disabilities.
He said with the kind support from the international relief fund of the German Federal Office and Goethe Institute, the Abuja Digital Arts Ability Festival would take place in December as part of activities to celebrate international day for persons with disabilities.
According to him, the support would help the disabled artists to engage in the digital space to showcase their works directly from their homes and studios.
Mr Donald said, Potters Gallery Initiative would use two months to properly plan the festival, adding that other activities lined up before the festival include training of the festival team members on digital and social media marketing to properly prepare them for the task ahead.
He reiterated that the major goal of the festival was to showcase and promote the artistic ambition of people with disabilities in all genres of the arts and cultural space.
In a presentation, “Art as Tool for Social Change”, the Programme Director, Maurice Gupar said, the lives of people with disabilities matter therefore, should be treated with dignity.