Launch of Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) Project Ensures Conservation of Tunisia’s Musical Heritage

The Center for Arab and Mediterranean Music (CMAM), under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture, in collaboration with U.S. Embassy Tunisia launched the Conservation of Musical Instruments project at the Ennejma Ezzahra Palace in Sidi Bou Said. This three-year project, funded by CMAM and the Department of State’s

Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) will allow CMAM to ensure the long-term conservation and enhancement of its unique collection of over 300 musical instruments whose diverse origins testify to the richness of Tunisia’s musical heritage. Chargée d’Affaires a.i. Natasha Franceschi joined the Chief of Cabinet at the Ministry of Cultural Affairs Lassaad Said and the interim Director of the CMAM Mohamed Ali Hammami  for the inauguration of the launch,

The 2022 – 2025 AFCP project will focus on refurbishing 80 of the instruments that are in most dire need of conservation.  The restoration of these priority instruments will support further training programs for local conservation experts by bringing international expertise to Tunisia. The project’s goal is to rejuvenate these instruments, using their historic pasts to inspire a new generation of music lovers.

This project contributes to the promotion of Tunisian creative industries and the creation of professional prospects for Tunisian youth.  The project will also support regional outreach so that Tunisia’s diverse musical heritage inspires creativity and innovation.  Through U.S. Embassy Tunisia’s partnership with the CMAM, new exhibition content and digital displays will be developed providing support for music-related events that stimulate local creative economies. This three-year project is valued at over $450,000 with $170,000 in contribution from the CMAM, and $285,000 from the United States government.

The CMAM project is the U.S. Embassy’s third ongoing AFCP project in Tunisia, in addition to our cultural heritage projects in Oudhna (2018) and El Jem (2019). Since 2001, Tunisia has been the site of eight AFCP projects totaling almost one million dollars in support of the country’s diverse cultural heritage.