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FT launches award for artists in emerging markets

The Financial Times and OppenheimerFunds yesterday announced the launch of the FT/OppenheimerFunds Emerging Voices Award, a global initiative designed to recognize artistic talent across more than 100 emerging market nations.

The winners in three categories – fiction literature, film-making and art – will be announced next September and each receive a $40,000 award.

“These awards will recognise the most exciting writers, film-makers and artists coming out of emerging markets in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America. The growing importance of these regions, both economically and culturally, is recognised in the coverage of the Financial Times and through our specialist publications such as the Confidentials andBeyondBrics,” said Michael Skapinker, FT associate editor and chair of the judges.

Justin Leverenz, Director of Emerging Market Equities at OppenheimerFunds, added: “There is a remarkable structural shift in the world, propelled by economic progress in the developing markets and the advancing ubiquity of the internet. More connectivity and greater heterogeneity of voices in the business, science and arts communities are leading to a new Renaissance. As an influential investor in the world’s developing markets, we want to help amplify extraordinary artistic voices in these countries by providing a platform for the discovery and advancement of this exceptional talent.”

“For more than 50 years, OppenheimerFunds has served investors with high conviction, active management and a long-term global perspective,” says Art Steinmetz, CEO and President of OppenheimerFunds. “In the emerging world, we focus on identifying innovative and entrepreneurial companies, and now we are excited to partner with the Financial Times to recognise noteworthy artists across these countries.”

The Emerging Voices Award will be open to residents or passport holders of emerging nations in three categories:

1. Africa: Works of fiction published in English

2. Asia-Pacific: Films in any language with English subtitles (required)

3. Latin America and the Caribbean: painting, drawing, sculpture, installation, mixed media.

The panel of judges will recognize outstanding talent in each region, with the award given to the nominee whose work exemplifies their art form and best represents the voice of their region.

Shortlisted entrants from each category will be announced in June 2015. All shortlisted participants will be flown to New York for an awards gala in September 2015 where category winners will be announced.

The initiative is supported by an extensive global marketing programme focusing on engagement through social media, arts institutions, embassies, and the FT’s editorial reach.