I&M Group has reaffirmed its commitment to promoting the arts with the intention of supporting the growth of the creative economy in East Africa. I&M Group has over the years invested over Ksh. 120 Million through the collection of art pieces and partnerships with artisan groups in Kenya.
Moving forward, I&M Group plans to consolidate its support efforts of the arts by providing financing and advisory support.
Speaking during the launch of The I&M Art Experience, I&M Group Executive Director Sarit Raja Shah noted that the Group has been a strong advocate for the arts over the years, providing platforms for both established and young artists to exhibit their work and nurture their careers.
“I&M Group recognizes the importance of the arts ecosystem in Eastern Africa and is seeking to support the growth of the Creative Economy in Eastern Africa, under the creative theme “The Art of Progress” through the expansion of its current activities and providing more avenues for artists in Eastern Africa to thrive. By shining this spotlight and facilitating the successes of the industry, the bank aims to not only support growth but also inspire the next generation of artistic talent in the region,” said Mr. Shah.
The Group has curated a collection of captivating art pieces by local East African artists, which adorn various I&M Bank offices, creating an inspiring ambience for customers and staff. The I&M Art Experience Coffee Table Book; a 123-page publication – documented 98 art pieces from 57 artists that the Bank has invested in over the last 25 years. The coffee table book includes a brief synopsis of the artist and their work.
The launch event was a feast of artistic excellence with an immersive art gallery showcase of paintings by the talented artists featured in the book, sculptures and beaded artworks from the MAA Women’s Group and I&M Foundation collaboration. The event brought together esteemed guests, including artists, bank customers, and stakeholders of the wider art community.
During the event, the I&M Group also unveiled a art piece that depicts the creation of an aluminum panel. It was designed by the Loisaba Conversancy and handcrafted by the Samburu women from the Chiu Mamas and Kirimon Ladies’ groups to give birth to the beautiful piece of art that sits at the front entrance of the I&M Group Headquarters, 1 Park Avenue.
Creative businesses are becoming significant drivers of economic growth and job creation, both nationally and globally. According to a study conducted by the British Council and HEVA Fund, the creative sector has contributed a remarkable 5% to the national GDP as of 2017.