New initiative to boost Rwanda’s creative industry through capacity building

Participants from the theatre sector in a training session. Courtesy photos.

Rwandans in the art creative sector might soon see a turnaround in their careers, thanks to a new project that is training at least 100 artists from different categories in the creative art industry, including, drama, visual arts, music, theatre and dance.

Dubbed, ‘Strengthening the cultural and creative industries in Rwanda, the training is organised by Ishyo Arts Centre, in partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), and facilitated by Korean Trust Fund.


The project aims at creating capacity building among artistes from different categories of Rwanda’s creative art industry, with the objective to equip them with skills on how they can make their careers dependable.


The first phase of training started two weeks ago  in Nyarutarama, a Kigali city upscale suburb, with musicians, and an ongoing session for artists in theatre, who are being trained by international professional players in the creative art business, with local trainers acting as co-facilitators. The project will run until late September, this year.


Carole Karemera, Creative Director  of Ishyo Arts Centre, speaks to participants during the training in Nyarutarama, on Monday. Courtesy.

Carole Karemera, Creative Director of Ishyo Arts, told The New Times, that from the training, she hopes to have a new community of artists capable and willing to develop well-structured and well produced creative projects.

“During the mapping of the project last year, artistes expressed their interest in learning  how to do business in the art industry, how to survive, how to explore what they do, how to be paid when they write a song, how they can find which film to can act in… everybody wanted these kinds of skills. We need to know how we can develop creative arts projects together now that we will be having the same understanding of everything,” she said.

RALC Executive Secretary, James Vuningoma, addresses participants at the event.

Although she believes there is a lot of untapped talent in the country, she insists that they lack enough skills to develop their talents, and to make a living from it.

“They need to know the rules since many artistes don’t know how to contract themselves and how much to ask. There so many things that can be developed but are not well structured,” she added.

Currently, artists are being trained in theater production skills while creating an art piece.

“Many artistes can write, play or perform, but they do not know how to look for funding, how to find rooms to rehearse, hot to communicate to market their art products, they don’t even know when and where to tour and find your audience. That is what production decides of what we do here in Rwanda is the weakest and that is what we basically want to respond,” she said.

Upcoming singer Weya Vitora is among the trainees.

Dr. James Vuningoma, the Executive Secretary of Rwanda Academy for Languages and Culture (RALC), urged Rwandan artistes to make the most of the opportunity for the sake of the development of the creative art industry’s development in all categories.

“The government is really seriously putting efforts in the art industry because Rwandans are the wealth of this nation. The government can’t support everyone at the same time. It’s a journey. It is important that the training project is targeting artistes from all possible categories to make sure that no one is left behind. We are blessed that they can become trainers to other artistes in the future,” Vuningoma said.

“What Ishyo Arts is doing is to create a group of people and empower them with capacities and skills in this field. Its just the beginning, but I hope this is going to open doors to more opportunities once the training is undertaken,” he added.

Weya Viatora one of the 19 participants being trained in the theatre category said that she is looking forward to learning a lot from the trainings.

“We have been sharing our experiences with different experiences so we can be on the same page. But now that we are lucky to have experienced professionals in our trainings, I am looking forward to learning much about how we can create a theatre piece until I turn it into a successful project. With that, our professions can be home of opportunities,” she said.

Participants from the trainings will be training other artistes who missed the training.

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