PPAF and FACE launched country’s first music residency program, Heritage Live, aims to equip indigenous artists with the business acumen and focuses on skill development.

The program will help the vulnerable musicians to generate sustainable income and play a pivotal role in preserving the endangered local culture.

The opening ceremony of the Art Residency Program was held at Lok Virsa – National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage on Sunday. Senator, Faisal Javed attended the inauguration ceremony as the chief guest and lauded the efforts of PPAF & FACE for the unique initiative.

Speaking on this occasion, Faisal Javed said, “Artists are the face of a nation, if we want Pakistan to prosper then we must work towards the empowerment of our artist community.

I would like to congratulate both PPAF and FACE for taking a step in the right direction. The Art Residency Program will enable us to show the true positive image of Pakistan. This program will help artists understand the digital platforms; the digital world as we all know is a diverse world. It will not only allow them in creating a mark for themselves but will give them global acknowledgement.”

CEO PPAF, Qazi Azmat Isa, also highlighted the organization’s vision of reducing poverty and helping the vulnerable communities through innovative interventions. “PPAF is at the forefront of preserving indigenous culture and helping vulnerable communities. There are two main reasons for starting this residency program, firstly we intend to create livelihood opportunities for artists in far flung areas of Pakistan, areas which have not been tapped before. Secondly we believe that artists are our identity and it is vital that we give them the social recognition they deserve. Therefore this program will help us to generate employment opportunities for our artists and enable them to increase their reach across Pakistan.”

The Art Residency is a unique extension of PPAF’s mandate and commitment to poverty alleviation, as the selected musicians face many economic problems. The Art Residency is to test a systematic approach for graduating poor musicians out of poverty by leveraging their skills in art more effectively and equipping them with other non-music skills.”

Zeejah Fazli, Founder of FACE, said, “Foundation of Arts, Culture and Education (FACE) aims to strengthen communities through art and cultural interventions since 2014 and is now the largest cultural organization working on mega projects such as FACE MUSIC MELA, INDUS BLUES and WOMART.PK. One of the newest additions to the list now is first-time music residency program Heritage Live in collaboration with Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund. Through the program we aspire to empower the indigenous musicians of Pakistan and preserve instruments and sounds that are on the verge of extinction.”

The Residency started from August 16, 2020 and will end on September 02, 2020 at Lok Virsa Islamabad. Total of 20 indigenous musicians have been selected for the program. 10 maestros and 10 apprentices will go through an extensive training program by four mentors and finish with each pair recording a song. Four thematic areas will be covered through thetraining mainly, musical training, business training, personality development and technological skills.

These musicians have been selected from across the country and represent marginalized communities. They play some of the rarest instruments including Sarinda, Burindo, Raanti and Chardah, the sounds of which have long been forgotten.

The 10 maestros who are part of the program are Bujla Bugti (Nur Sur Player ) – Balochistan, Sattar Jogi (Murlee/Been Player) – Sindh, Zulfiqar Faqeer (Borindo Player) – Sindh, Ejaz Sarhadi (Sarinda Player) – KP, Rozi Khan (Ishpoin player) – Kalasha KP, Ajmal Laal Bheel (Raanti Player) – Punjab, Attaullah Chambal (Naqqara player) – Punjab, Gulshan Jahan (Vocalist) – Punjab, Wahid Allan Faqir (Aik Tara) Sindh and Gulbaz Karim (Chardah) – Gilgit Baltistan

The program will guide musicians on how to utilize digital platforms like Youtube and Instagram for income generation and to build personal brands and negotiation skills.

As one of the largest sources of pro-poor spending in the country, the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund is the lead agency for poverty reduction in Pakistan. It embodies the spirit of public-private partnership to address the multi-dimensional issues of poverty with a view to achieving social and economic change. PPAF outreach extends throughout Pakistan as it has partnered with 130 organizations working in over 100,000 villages/settlements with more than 574,500 community organizations and common interest groups at the grassroots level in 144 districts.

FACE is a platform that encourages artists and artisans to create relevant and socially viable works in their communities, while providing avenues to engage and connect with wider audiences and build revenue streams. Through publicly accessible programs and collaborative multimedia productions FACE provides a platform for the generation and exchange of ideas leading to positive social change.