Access Bank pledges support for African artists
Access Bank Group has renewed its commitment to the growth of contemporary art in Nigeria through the sponsorship of Art X Lagos International Fair for the sixth time as a Gold Sponsor.
Through this collaboration with Art X, Access Bank has brought to life its passion for helping Africans tell the African story through creative and innovative ways in line with the bank’s philosophy to offer ‘More than Banking’.
The four-day event took place at the Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos. The Bank reaffirmed its commitment through its impactful presence at the 2021 edition of the Fair during, which the 2019 winner of the Art X Prize funded by Access Bank, Etinosa Yvonne, showcased her deeply insightful and thought-provoking project titled: ‘It’s all in my head’.
The immersive multimedia project, curated through research, conversations and photography layered with text, was embarked upon by the artist in her quest to explore the coping mechanisms of survivors of terrorism, and extreme instances of conflict and cruelty in Nigeria. The exhibition presented the layered portraits as holograms in a bid to make the survivors ‘physically’ present in the space, employing sound to bring their stories to life.
Beyond providing funding and mentorship for the Art X Prize winner, Access Bank also -showcased its creative spirit through the debut of the ‘ENIYAN’ mask installation at the Fair in collaboration with fast-rising contemporary artist Yusuf Aina.
Speaking on Access Bank’s collaboration with Art X during his speech on the opening night of the fair, Group Managing Director, Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe, said that Art X has continued to be a platform through which African art is soaring and achieving global recognition.
He also pledged the Bank’s continued support toward the empowerment of African artists. “For us at Access Bank Group, the idea behind collaborating with the Art X Lagos fair was to ensure that we empower African artists with a platform to showcase their works and change the narrative around Nigeria positively.”
The Access Bank Art X Prize is our way of providing funding and mentorship for emerging African artists.”
Wigwe further expressed immense satisfaction with the exponential growth of the Fair over the years, extending kudos to the Founder, Tokini Peterside and her team who made the convergence of the art community possible. He acknowledged that she had performed phenomenally ‘by creating a strong convening platform in Art X.’
In her remarks, Peterside expressed appreciation to the Bank for its good deeds, and for consistently throwing its full weight behind the fair year on year.
She said: “Access Bank’s sponsorship of our fair is a testament to the fact that there is always support from Nigeria and proof of the bank’s belief in our vision.”
Meanwhile, the bank, through its W initiative, has concluded a community engagement programme to create awareness for the Lagos State Employee Trust Fund (LSETF) W initiative loan package created for women in business.
The LSETF W-Initiative is aimed at providing funding for women entrepreneurs in the State to achieve their growth objectives and create jobs for the youths.
LSETF-W Initiative Loan was specially created by the Access Bank W Initiative program in partnership with the LSETF to provide low-interest loans for female businesses to flourish in the state.
It is a financing scheme for female traders/MSMEs operating in Lagos state regardless of their state of origin. This means applications from non-indigenes who are resident in Lagos and own at least 50 per cent ownership in either start-ups, micro-enterprises, or small and medium enterprises will be accepted for consideration.
One of the objectives of Access Bank is to be the bank of choice for women, particularly women in business by providing them with access to finance.
Accordingly, the bank, through its W Initiative, partnered with the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund to launch the LSETF W Initiative loan.
To further expand the reach of this offering, W Initiative and the LSETF teams embarked on a comprehensive community engagement across four local governments in Lagos to create awareness about the availability of the product, processes as well as requirements involved.
The sessions were held at Balogun Market, Alimosho LGA, Surulere LGA and Oshodi LGA respectively.
Group Head of the W Initiative, Abiodun Olubitan, encouraged women to take the opportunity noting that access to finance would help to grow their business.