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IDB extends deadline for $10K cultural grants

The Cultural Center at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has extended the deadline to apply for grants worth up to $10,000.

The program, geared towards nations in Latin America and the Caribbean, has received a disappointing number of applications from The Bahamas. The new deadline, set at February 11, gives more Bahamians the opportunity to apply.

Nathalie Bethel, an IDB representative at the country office, said she will submit as many as seven proposals to receive final consideration at the bank’s Cultural Center in Washington D.C.

“This is an opportunity to compete for micro financing,” she said.

“Especially with what is now going on in the country, this is a way to get youth

involved in projects. People are always saying they don’t know what the bank offers. In this sense, it’s helping with the promotion of cultural development.”

Mandated with restoring and preserving cultural heritage, and improving education and forms of artistic expression, the grants are included within the IDB’s drive to help countries on the road to prosperity and development.

The degree of financing for the projects will range from $3,000 to $10,00, Bethel told Guardian Business.

“One issue we’ve had is the concern over requirements,” she added. “Having a minimum of five years of operating in some capacity has been a challenge. The guidelines stipulate only legally registered non-profits with five years of experience may apply.”

The project also requires that the venture has an amount of money no less than one third of the amount requested and an explanation of how the funds will contribute to the project’s sustainability over the long term.

Funding expires at the end of each year. The IDB further stipulates at least two-thirds of the project must be completed within the calendar year in which the funds are received.

Submissions must include a title, project description, its duration, the person responsible for the project, the overall cost and a section detailing its sustainability.

According to Bethel, examples of applications made so far include after school programs for film and drama, establishing clubs or safehouses for disfunctional youth, a Junkanoo museum, and proposals concerning agriculture and other aspects of arts and culture.

The selection committee will announce the winners at the end of May.

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