Freedom Vibes Academy Monthly Mentoring Session Report
Following the commencement of the second phase of the Freedom Vibes Academy (Monthly Mentoring Sessions), the first Mentoring Session was conducted virtually with the Academy participants via Zoom on 15th April 2023 from 12noon -3pm. Details of the interactive mentoring session are detailed below:
Ayodele Ganiu opened the April 2023 mentoring session by introducing the concept of Funding Arts for Social Change to familiarize participants with the information needed to access financial resources needed to fund their artistic works developed for advocacy purposes. Sharing tips from Arterial Network toolkits and his years of experience in leveraging the power of the arts for advocacy and social change, the mentor shared practical knowledge that helped participants understand the principles of Arts Continuum which categorize works of art into three in choosing the right funders – (1) Art for Art’s Sake (2) Art for Social Change (3) Art for Economic Development. For the purpose of the Academy, the mentor advised participants to deepen their understanding of the principles of Art for Social Change to successfully find the right funders for their artistic projects which center on freedom of expression and democracy.
This interactive session featured the Mentor of the Month Femi Odugbemi, a writer, filmmaker, television producer, and founder/executive producer of Zuri24 Media, a content production company in Lagos. Odugbemi is a voting member of both the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Oscars) and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (Emmys). He is one of the few filmmakers from the African continent who is elected to both the Film and TV international academies. Femi has brought to screen some of Sub-Saharan Africa’s television drama series. He is a former President of the Independent Producers Association of Nigeria (ITPAN), (2002-2006) who has produced series of works of arts including the migration story, MOVEMENT JAPA (2020) and his more recent work, the political drama series COVENANT (2022/23).
The mentor guided and mentored participants on best practices in the creation of works of art for social change from the perspectives of filmmaking and storytelling. The participants had a very engaging, intellectually laden, and memorable experience with the Multiple Award-winning mentor who had carved a niche for himself in the local and international creative industries. He enriched participants learning using many of two examples from his works – COVENANT, a political drama series and MOVEMENT JAPA, the migration story occasioned by bad governance.
He further shared with participants how his socio-political artistic contents have helped shape the Nigerian society positively.