NCAC Launch Women Arts Fest, Excellence in Arts Award


By Ndey Sowe

The National Center for Arts and Culture (NCAC) in collaboration with a civil society organisation called Network of Women in Arts, opened the women arts exhibition on Wednesday 8th March 2023, at Alliance Franco.

In commemoration of this year’s International Women’s Day 2023, the Network and NCAC hosted the women art exhibition and women of excellence in art award, to celebrate the day.

According to the Network, the exhibition is scheduled from the 8th to 11th of March 2023, and in line with the celebration, they will host the first edition of the Women of Excellence in Arts Award to recognise and celebrate women who have immensely contributed to the development of arts over the years. That the event hopes to draw government attention on the need to create a comfortable environment for women in the arts to network and build their capacity, and to provide them with the platforms to exhibit and showcase their talents.

Matty Jobe, founder of the Network said in 2022, the NCAC in collaboration with UNESCO-NATCOM-Gambia and with support from the MSDG, launched the Network of Women in the Arts at the national museum, Banjul, whilst commemorating International Women’s day. She explained that the network seeks to create and promote creative experience for women artists through partnerships to provide leadership advocacy, capacity building and promoting connections among Gambian women. She added that the Network’s main mission is to forge inclusive work cultures where women’s careers thrive and celebrate women’s achievements in the arts.

The fest which comes in the form of an exhibition is meant to showcase Gambian works by women from fashion to handicrafts and locally made and packaged products with a step forward in a longer-term cultural experiment that hopes to affect the way Gambians interact with art on a daily basis, and by addressing issues such as patronage culture, art, accessibility and innovation in the arts. And the excellence award is dedicated to celebrate the incredible achievements and contribution of women in the arts, from poetry to fashion, writers to painters, for the younger generation to experience their stories and be inspired by their creativity.

NCAC Director Hassoum Ceesay, said the gesture is timely and just, because the day is celebrated all over the world to highlight the role of women in society. He said women play key and critical roles in the arts and cultural sectors.

“I wish to say that NCAC and our Ministry values and salutes the strong role of all female artists in the sector, and there is hope for you also,” the renowned historian added. 

Other speakers include the Minister of Youth and Sport Bakary Badjie; representative of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and Ms Justine, Director of Alliance Francise. There was also a poetry performance and music entertainment by Mariama Cham.