Commonwealth Foundation helps Further Arts to continue supporting Vanuatu artists after 2015 disaster

The Commonwealth Foundation has visited Further Arts and the Nesar Studio, three years on from providing funding to replace the media hub facilities, badly damaged during Cyclone Pam in 2015.

The category five cyclone ravaged Vanuatu, destroying or damaging 90% of buildings in the nation’s capital. Among them was Nesar Studio, which is part of Further Arts and is known for the vital support it provides to local artists, musicians and the creative industry in Vanuatu.

Further Arts refurbished Nesar Studio with a grant of £20,000 from the Commonwealth Foundation.

The funding made it possible to re-equip the studio with laptops, cameras and audio-recording equipment.

Further Arts was also able to deliver career development training for studio members about film and television production, as well as photography and graphic design. 

The project gave rise to three post-disaster documentaries that told the stories of ni-Vanuatu who survived the storm and experiences rebuilding from the devastation.

Two television programmes were also produced between July and October 2015.

Viviane Obed, General Manager, Further Arts, said:‘We’re grateful to the Commonwealth Foundation for responding as quickly as they did after the storm. In less time than we could’ve hoped for, we were up and running our programming again at Nesar Studio. Since refurbishing the space, we’ve been able to deliver a home to more than 200 local media artists and help give voice to their expression.’

Marcel Melto, Nesar Studio Member and Port Vila resident and artist, added:‘Artists need access to space and support to produce. When this is lacking, it impacts our creative community and creative output. I’ve been a member of Nesar Studio since we established it in 2013. It’s great that Further Arts was able to rebuild the space and provide artists with these much-needed opportunities again.’

Comfort Osilaja, Grants Manager at the Commonwealth Foundation, said:‘The Commonwealth Foundation grants programme facilitates people’s participation in democracy and development. We know that creative expression is often at the heart of social transformation, and we are proud to have contributed to the re-establishment of Nesar Studio and the space it provides for the community to develop their skills and create messages to share with their communities and beyond.’


Photo supplied