The Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) and Foundation for Arts, Culture and Education (FACE) launched country’s first music residency program, Heritage Live, aims to equip indigenous artists with the business acumen and focuses on skill development. The program will help the vulnerable musicians to generate sustainable income and play a pivotal role in preserving the endangered local culture. The opening ceremony of the Art Residency Program was held at Lok Virsa – National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage on Sunday. Senator Faisal Javed attended the inauguration ceremony as the chief guest and lauded the efforts of PPAF and FACE for the unique initiative. Speaking on this occasion, Faisal Javed said, “Artists are the face of a nation, if we want Pakistan to prosper then we must work towards the empowerment of our artist community. I would like to congratulate both PPAF and FACE for taking a step in the right direction. The Art Residency Program will enable us to show the true positive image of Pakistan. This program will help artists understand the digital platforms; the digital world as we all know is a diverse world. It will not only allow them in creating a mark for themselves but will give them global acknowledgement.”CEO PPAF Qazi Azmat Isa also highlighted the organization’s vision of reducing poverty and helping the vulnerable communities through innovative interventions. “PPAF is at the forefront of preserving indigenous culture and helping vulnerable communities. There are two main reasons for starting this residency program, firstly we intend to create livelihood opportunities for artists in far flung areas of Pakistan, areas which have not been tapped before. Secondly we believe that artists are our identity and it is vital that we give them the social recognition they deserve. Therefore this program will help us to generate employment opportunities for our artists and enable them to increase their reach across Pakistan.” The Art Residency is a unique extension of PPAF’s mandate and commitment to poverty alleviation, as the selected musicians face many economic problems. The Art Residency is to test a systematic approach for graduating poor musicians out of poverty by leveraging their skills in art more effectively and equipping them with other non-music skills.”The 10 maestros who are part of the program are Bujla Bugti (Nur Sur Player ) – Balochistan, Sattar Jogi (Murlee/Been Player) – Sindh, Zulfiqar Faqeer (Borindo Player) – Sindh, Ejaz Sarhadi (Sarinda Player) – KP, Rozi Khan (Ishpoin player) – Kalasha KP, Ajmal Laal Bheel (Raanti Player) – Punjab, Attaullah Chambal (Naqqara player) – Punjab, Gulshan Jahan (Vocalist) – Punjab, Wahid Allan Faqir (Aik Tara) Sindh and Gulbaz Karim (Chardah) – Gilgit Baltistan The program will guide musicians on how to utilize digital platforms like Youtube and Instagram for income generation and to build personal brands and negotiation skills.