"No Arts, No Votes" Project Takes Off

A group called "Voice of the Arts" have initiated a project dubbed "NO ARTS, NO VOTE", which is aimed at goading policy makers and politicians on, to include in their policies or manifestos ways by which they can help better the arts and entertainment in Ghana. Below is an excerpt of a proposal on the project dropped at our news desk by Kwame Dadzie, an artswriter with Flex newspaper: Preamble: "Voice of the Arts" is a group of non-political, non-religious and non profit-making enthusiastic and opinionated people in the arts and entertainmnet industry with the basic aim of projecting the creative arts and entertainmnet (music, film making, writing, radio, television, fashion, comedy, dancing, painting etc.). In keeping with this, it embarks on its first project christened "NO ARTS, NO VOTE" which is primarily meant to press on presidential aspirants to the 2012 Genneral Elections to feature the arts and entertainment in their manifestos. The Major Worries: This "NO ARTS, NO VOTE" project is necessitated by the seemingly neglect and marginalisation of the arts by our governments. 1.Government budgets seldom feature the arts and entertainment. 2.There has been laxity in the enforcement of copyright laws. 3.Teaching of arts-related subjects in schools, have not been made attractive. Specific Objectives: The "NO ARTS, NO VOTE" project hopes to: *press on presidential aspirants to the 2012 presidential elections, to state in their manifestos and to say on their campaign platforms concrete strategies they would deploy in giving the arts a facelift. *charge the politician to consider the creative arts and entertainment when drawing national budget. *charge the politician to develop inter alia, tangible strategies of enforcing the copyright laws of Ghana, now that the legislative instrument has been passed. *admonish presidential aspirants to set up a special fund for stakeholders in the arts and entertainment industry and to make access to loans easier to showbiz persons via our commercial banks, when they come to power. *charge presidential aspirants to create, when they come to power, a vibrant Arts and Entertainment Ministry, disparate from chieftancy and culture. *charge presidential aspirants to, when voted into power, make the teaching of the arts-related subjects in schools more attactive and effective by employing the services of teachers who are well-versed in the arts and to put in place, measures that would help reduce the marginalization of arts students. Methodology: "Voice of the Arts" seeks to achieve the afore-mentioned aim and objectives through: 1. Multimedia: Newspaper publications, radio and television interviews and the internet. Songs, movies, documentaries and other works of art would also be used to disseminate the information. 2.Forum: Orgainising a forum for presidential aspirants to proffer ideas and debate on ways of pulling the arts and entertainment out of its morass. Membership: "V oice of the Arts" is open to arts writers, musicians, film makers, painters, sculptors, fashion designers, models, recording engineers, dancers, arts writers, poets, novelists, publishers, radio and television presenters, artiste managers, comedians and all showbiz enthusiasts. According to Kwame Dadzie, although he is the initiator of the project he would not like people to see it as his. "I want all stakeholders in the arts and entertainment industry to embrace this project. It's not mine, even though it's my brainchild. Trust me, if all would support it, it would yield massive result for the industry", he said. "Already, my phone is inundated with calls from aficionados in the industry expressing their willingness to be part of the project and sharing ideas as to how this cause can achieve its objectives. This shows that the "NO ARTS, NO VOTE" project is laudable. And for your information, we have opened a group on facebook under the name "Voice of the Arts", please get yourself added and let's discuss the way forward for the showbiz industry", he further disclosed. He further pleaded that the media avail themselves and dedicate their airtime and space to the publicity and fruition of the project.