Posts Tagged ‘prince claus foundation’

By Marcus Gora

Art is a game of innovation and creativity and this does not end just in making artwork. It should extend to everything you do. This has been the ideology and drive behind First Floor Gallery Harare, since its very conception, when it re-invented a run down room next to a tailors’ workshop in downtown Harare, into the city’s first contemporary emerging artist run gallery. Since then First Floor Gallery has taken on many other firsts for visual art in Zimbabwe – from being the first to take visual art into a nightclub with a painting on stage music and poetry jam at The Basement Nightclub, to being the first gallery to send an exhibition of Zimbabwean contemporary art to Bangkok, Thailand.

At a time when most visual artists are barely making ends meet, First Floor Gallery Harare has made a commitment to professionalizing the emerging artist community and developing their local and international careers to build sales and develop a collector base, which will ensure that artists can make a living from their art, like all other professionals.

Zimbabwe’s Book Cafe, flagship venue of Pamberi Trust, is a laureate of 2011 Prince Claus Awards. It is amongst the most prestigious global awards in culture, presented annually to individuals and organisations in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean for outstanding achievement in culture and the positive effect of their work on the wider cultural or social field. Quality is a sine non qua for an Award.

The award has been described as “a momentous achievement for Zimbabwean performing arts, and for Book Cafe”, which becomes one of the first live performing arts venues of this kind in the world, built on a platform of freedom of expression and focusing across music, poetry and theatre with public discussion, film and multi-disciplinary arts, to win the acclaimed global award. Book Cafe was awarded the prize for its role in “culture and development”.