Artists Relief Fund

Art has shown to have the ability to inspire, persuade, console, communicate, educate and record. The Artist Fund would like to provide artists with the opportunity to partake in their community in a time of turbulence, in the inimitable way they know how. Artists are underestimated development actors who will at last have the chance to play a role in their environment by keeping up their own morale to continue creating art. Motivated artists can mobilize to take care of one another and those around them when prospects look bleak.

  • Project Name
    Artists Relief Fund
  • Project Phase
    2021 to 2022
  • Funding
    This project is co-funded by SDC.
  • Thematic focus
    Voice, Inclusion & Cohesion
Artists have been recognized by the Artists Fund as development players who have the ability to come together and mobilize in a way that creates lasting ties between them. These ties are a sort of safety net for present and future tragedies.
It’s been a time of crisis for everyone around the world because of the pandemic. Myanmar was double struck by chaos where the country was subjected to new, unexpected leadership.
It is because of this that Aung Soe Min, who has been a prolific partner of Helvetas for 3 years during which he executed arts and cultural programs that have reached thousands, decided to conceptualize a way to recognize and boost artists. Relief efforts for artists are very few and far between in a country that does not have a widespread social welfare system.
Artist Fund as its name suggests, is a fund for artists. 160 subgrants of $1000 are awarded with the aim to allow artists to continue creating and producing even during difficult times, while expressing their cultural identity and contributing to social development.
What other positive results may arise from identifying artists as valuable parts of their own communities and their society at large:
  • Contributions to their own households and with what remains, their community
  • Creation of a solid local network among artists
Art has shown to have the ability to inspire, persuade, console, communicate, educate and record. This particularly turbulent time in Myanmar has shown that artists are needed as they transmit messages of resilience and share hope in song through poetry, through narratives, on canvas, on paper, in performance, with colour, with imagination, with novelty and importantly with ceaseless enthusiasm.
Artists deserve a relief funds as much as any other disadvantaged population to be able to be prolific when things are at their toughest.

Artist grantees' artworks

© Hla Shwe
© Hla Shwe
© Khaing Maung Win
© Khaing Maung Win
© Maung Myint Aung
© Maung Myint Aung
© Soe Naing
© Soe Naing
© Han Tin Swe
© Han Tin Swe
The overall goal of the Artist Fund is to contribute to the livelihoods of artists by empowering them with the financial tools to continue making their art in unpredictable times.
 This will be achieved by:
  1. A fund is established with a long-term institutional and financial plan.
  2. A sub-grants scheme is put in place where 1000 USD per grantee is awarded to 160 artists in two cycles.
  3. An arts ecosystem is created, constituting artists from various demographics and backgrounds which enables them to continue working on their art in difficult times.

Learn more about our work

Our Working Principles and Approaches

We strive for a fairer world in which everyone can fulfill their basic needs. We support people in taking charge of improving their livelihoods sustainably.

Our Topics

Helvetas’ work impacts livelihoods: water, food and the environment. Thanks to trainings and capacity building people better determine their living conditions.

Voice, Inclusion & Cohesion

In many countries where we work, men and women are unable to claim their rights and participate actively in decision-making processes.

Private Sector Development

Youth need access to reliable, fairly paid jobs to break the cycle of poverty. Helvetas creates partnerships and promotes policies that build more inclusive economies.