It is good news that the government has instituted the endowment fund for arts. The fund will immensely benefit artists and filmmakers because the fund will support artistic excellence, innovation and creativity, among others. It will encourage Bhutanese artists to exercise their imaginations and develop their creative capacities.
Art gives society shape and voice. They are the vitally important components of culture to say the least. It is important so that our artists receive the support they need to explore and refine their talents. Otherwise, development of arts, as crucial as it is, will not come to a head. Our attempts to conserve and promote our cultural identity will not be easy.
What is significantly important now is that we have a clear funding policy and guidelines. Without such guiding principles and mechanisms, the fund may not benefit those who work to improve creative expressions of the society. How the endowment fund should be used or allocated and who can avail of the fund should be made clear.
The fund will enable our artists to organise art camps both at home and abroad where professionals can exchange ideas and skills. The fund could be used also to send up and coming artists to study art through scholarships.
The reality today is that Bhutanese artists find it difficult to exhibit their work. Such challenges and lack of support make our artists feel daunted. This will have a serious implication on the society’s culture and tradition.
Lack of skills sharing could mean the full potential of art is not reached. Already, we have lost many a good artist. It is because of lack of support for artists that we are facing shortage of painters and woodworkers today. Even if our filmmakers produce good work, they are not able to take them beyond the borders.
The endowment fund for arts will be the cornerstone for the development of artistic talents in the country. It has been a long time coming.