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Cultural Economy Development Agency, CENDANA (Malaysia, 2017)

CENDANA is positioning itself as an umbrella body with enough resources and expertise to reach and improve the cultural sector of the creative economy. With a large and growing amount of data, CENDANA can see the big picture and diagnose the effects of one part of the ecosystem on another, funneling help where needed. As a government initiative, it is assured of being able to work for a meaningful amount of time. This allows for the required initial experimentation to begin this vast undertaking.

#BASKL Arts Excursion Programme; The Arts Education programme is an initiative by CENDANA under its ‘Energising the Arts’ strategic pillar which aims to help create more demand for the arts by making arts more easily accessible. It is carried out in collaboration with the Ministry of Education (MOE)

CENDANA will connect creators, regulating bodies, private investors or businesses, policymakers, and consumers. To nurture these entities individually to be healthy while keeping an eye on the larger goals and continually refining strategies based on evidence.

Through its efforts, CENDANA aims to transform Malaysia into the cultural destination that it should be.

Officially launched in September 2017, CENDANA aims to shape Malaysia's vibrant, sustainable, and ambitious cultural economy. CENDANA was tasked to develop and promote Malaysia's cultural sector under MyCreative Ventures Sdn's guidance. Bhd. (a wholly-owned company of the Minister of Finance Incorporated) and reports to the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia. With a specific focus on Visual Arts, Performing Arts, Independent Music, and recently Craft,

CENDANA is guided by three strategic pillars:


A strong foundation and increased public access are essential for a healthy cultural economy. This means increasing opportunities for artists, securing additional investments in the arts, cultivating trade relations where necessary, and stimulating demand for Malaysian arts. CENDANA aims to increase demand for the arts by making art more easily accessible. It will create monthly public art programs and ensure existing programs are communicated to a broader audience through a centralized online portal for cultural events and pointed PR campaigns. It will also increase private-public collaborations to encourage growth and investment in the landscape.

In addition, a seed pilot project — the CENDANA Education of the Arts Programme — will be implemented to encourage the growth of student potential through the arts and to deepen their understanding of Malaysian arts and culture.


CENDANA will introduce the Arts Funding Programme, increasing the quality and opportunities for Malaysian works. This ranges from aid in new works, mentorship, collaborations, venue presentation, and more to training and professional development provided for artists, arts organizations, and cultural entrepreneurs. It also includes supporting accounting and legal peer services, dedicated low-cost spaces, investments in capacity-building programs, and working with local partners to build international residencies in Kuala Lumpur. Key venues will be identified to develop the management of programming and space and for exposure to various regional networks.


CENDANA will review and refine existing policies and frameworks and advocate for the sustainability of efforts to develop Malaysia’s cultural economy. This entails taking a data and evidence-based approach to outline a 5-year plan in collaboration with public and private stakeholders. The contributions of arts and culture to the economy in terms of total value added and employment will also be tracked and measured. Existing policies will be reviewed and tightened, with the National Cultural Responsibility Funding Policy as a significant proposal. The first few years of CENDANA's work will be spent on seed projects and setting up task forces and systems to implement the plans laid out in the KL as a Cultural and Creative City report. On the ground, the first round of the Arts Funding Programme will be rolled out near the end of 2017. Local economies should already see some stimulation from cultural activities by the fifth year. More vital talent should be available and retainable, with jobs being created within the economy and its ancillary businesses. These efforts will initially be concentrated in Klang Valley, positioning it as a cultural destination and increasing domestic and international visibility.



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