Morocco/ 8.1 Support to artists and other creative workers  

8.1.3 Grants, awards, scholarships

A. Supporting Theatre Groups

The government authority in charge of culture allocates appropriations to Moroccan theatrical groups and institutions to support production and promotion.

The Conditions for Granting Support: Support is granted to each theatrical group or institution that possesses elements of modernity and professional quality, assuming that:

  • Its administrative profile includes all the required documents authorising it to work in theatrical production.

  • The person in charge of it has spent five years in theatrical work or business associated with it. Alternately s/he graduated from the Higher Institute of Dramatic Art and Cultural Revitalisation or a similar foreign higher institute and has one year’s experience in theatre or business associated with it.

  • Either it or the person responsible for it is recognised for his/her production and creativity in the field of theatre or related business.

  • Has carried out all of the obligations resultant from former support, where appropriate.

  • It commits to providing at least 10 shows in accordance with the detailed production and promotion schedule referred to in Article 5 below. During its tours, the institution or the group must commit to present its shows in at least three regions.

  • The text must be composed, translated or quoted in formal Arabic or a Moroccan dialect.

  • The project shall be subject to administrative and transparency rules, as well as literary and artistic guidelines that contribute to the development of Moroccan theatre.

  • The project will assign the tasks of writing and directing to experienced authors and directors who are recognised as such.

  • The distribution of tasks will not reduce job opportunities for Moroccan dramatists of various specialisations.



Residencies in the Paris City of Arts

Nominations are open for Moroccan artists to reside in the City of Arts in Paris. Since 1993, the MoC has provided four workshops under the Hassan II Foundation for Fine Arts. The City of Arts in Paris has since its initiation in 1965 received artists from various countries, providing them with space to settle, meet, work, and study.

Length of stay: The residency program—supervised by the MoC and the cultural attaché of the French Embassy in Rabat—targets the professional Moroccan artists, authors, and script-writers to benefit from a three- to nine month residency. The selection committee withholds the right to determine length of stay, depending on the nature of the candidate’s project.

Artistic specialisations: Fine art (dyeing, sculpture, artistic carving), photography, video, design, cinema, music, dance, literature (fiction, poetry, scriptwriting).

Residency requirements:


  • Each artist accepted to the City of Arts benefits from a workshop and a grant provided by the French government.
  • The resident artist is subject to the City of Arts’ domestic law.
  • The artist can submit a proposal for financial support from a cultural institution in greater Paris (i.e. creative space or a professional corporation related to the specialisation of the creative artist) during residence.
  • Travel expenses: The MoC absorbs the costs of artists’ travel to and from Paris.
  • To evaluate the outcome of the residency: The outcome of the artist’s residency will be evaluated by the MoC and the French Embassy’s cultural attaché upon the residency’s completion. The artist must submit a report to the MoC and the cultural attaché within a month of his or her return to Morocco. The selection committee will then review the outcome of the artist’s residence.


Support Policy of the Ministry of Culture

1. Supporting Reading and Publishing:

To alleviate some of the financial burden placed on Moroccan publishing houses, in 2002 the MoC began covering 50% of printing costs and reducing selling prices by the same percentage.

This support, organised by Decree No. 2.00.354 (1 November, 2000), included granting theatre and writing subsidies. Applied decision No. 1224-02 (31 July, 2002) determined the mechanism for granting subsidies to support book publication.  Around 132 printings (110 books and 22 magazines of up to 56 issues) were approved by a specialised reading commission between 1999 and 2002. MoC financial support reached MD 2.9 million, which went to the publication programs of 31 enterprises and institutions.

The MoC also continues to purchase 100 copies of each Moroccan book to stock public libraries.

The Ministry makes every effort to support publication projects addressing the most prominent features of Moroccan society, and informs readers and researchers interested in their own identity and history. MD 657,000 was given to support the release of six volumes (Volumes 11-16). These volumes included The Landmarks of Morocco, supervised by the Moroccan Association for Editing, Translation and Publishing. MD 350,000 was given to an eight-part book (both hardcover and paperback) entitled An Investigation into the Far West by Al-Nasseri.

According to statistics, the public reading network in Morocco consists of 375 collections distributed among different actors, with a capacity of about 12,500 seats and about 1,000,000 documents.

Moreover, reading convoys contribute to supporting youth interest in reading in remote villages and the countryside. The Ministry has set aside 320,000 dirhams in the 2012 budget for updating the documentary inventory of these five convoys, while local groups are responsible for the cost of fuel and compensating these convoys in accordance with agreements. 

As of 2013, a new perspective will be developed for cultural and technical support in general, and for cultural and artistic events in particular, prepared by the Ministry of Culture which was approved by decree No. 2.12.513 passed on 13 May, 2013. 

Authorised by Ministry in 2013, and through a mixed committee it has been informed of 345 files submitted for the sake of obtaining support to disseminate publications and leaflets. The Committee approved 178 files with an amount estimated at 3.182.000 dirham, these projects focus on following domains:

  • Book publishing;
  • Publishing cultural magazines;
  • Launching and updating electronic cultural magazines;
  • Participating in national and international book fairs;
  • Developing and modernisation of bookshops;
  • General reading and sensitisation;

The authorised Ministry is ambitious, through the 2014 budget, it extended the general reading network by allocating funding increases to 18.5 million dirham, by developing public pooled funds, in the framework of partnership, including mediating reservoirs in the city of Tangier in the framework of the Large Tangier Project. This was alongside the rehabilitation and equipping of 8 public reservoirs in Tamara, Arford, Tangier, Shafshawn, and another 4 treasuries in  Saragneh Castle, Shishawa, Benkrir and al-Sanawbara.

Book Awards:

Morocco organises several prizes for books:

The Grand Award of Merit
Initiated by the Ministry of Cultural Affairs in 1986, it honours the people of Morocco for their cultural, scientific and creative productions, as well as their services to Moroccan culture.

Moroccan Book Prize
The Morocco Book Prize, initiated by decree no. 2.74.564 (4 September, 1974), includes the following categories:

The Morocco Prize for Literature and Arts

  • Section One: literary creativity
  • Section Two: literary and artistic studies

The Morocco Prize for Science

  • Section One: The Morocco Award for Humanities and Social and Legal Sciences
  • Section Two: The Morocco Award for Science and Technology

The Morocco Prize for Translation

The MoC selects the Morocco Book Prize committee every year, as well as members of specialised sub-committees for the different categories of the prize. The prize is considered the most prestigious in the field of Moroccan culture and literature.

Sub-committee members are selected on the basis of their scientific, literary and artistic qualifications, depending on the category over which they adjudicate.

Prize winners receive:

  • A certificate
  • A souvenir
  • MD 70,000.

On 10 September, 2008, the Ministers of Culture and Finance signed a decree amending the prize’s regulations. The award was raised to MD 120,000, and new awards were created for poetry and narrative, and special amendments were passed regarding jury composition.

The government council on 8 November, 2012, approved a draft decree to further develop the Morocco Book Award. This draft intends to develop the award in a way that ensures that it achieves the success and promotion it deserves, as a significant cultural moment that constitutes a date on which cultural circles can celebrate. It is also an occasion to honour Moroccan writers and acknowledge their efforts and sacrifice.  

The amendments also deal with proposed languages of classification, primarily the Arabic and Amazigh languages, along with the Hassaniyah dialect. It designates two prizes for both the humanities and the social sciences, as a result of the many fields covered by these sciences. 

The draft also deals with storing the work of Moroccan writers published abroad into the Kingdom of Morocco's national library, and increases the number of committees for the Morocco Book Award from five to six, as well as providing for flexibility in the date the award is given. 


Hassan II Prize for Manuscripts and Documents

This annual award:

  • Searches for privately-owned manuscripts and documents.
  • Enriches the public treasury with microfilm copies of these manuscripts and documents.
  • Enriches the collection of historical sources on Moroccan life, Islamic traditions, and other branches of knowledge.

The total prize value is estimated at MD 111,000.

Argana International Prize for Poetry

Granted by the House of Poetry, in partnership with the Moroccan Deposit and Management Fund.  Previously, the prize has been won by foreign, Arab, and Moroccan poets, including Mahmoud Darwish, Saadi Youssef, and Tahar Ben Jelloun.


2. The Project to Support Moroccan Music

Beginning on 8 January, 2009, the Moroccan government moved to grant financial aid to Moroccan musicians. A committee was established to review support requests. Each year, about fifteen projects benefit from nearly MD 300,000 support.  The committee is comprised  of poets, composers, singers, distributors, critics, and representatives of artist unions.  In 2012, the committee used a MD 4.5 million budget to support 15 projects from 32 nominations received. 

Except that decree for supporting song will be, in turn, subject to modification within a larger perspective for cultural and technical support in general, and for cultural and artistic events in particular, prepared by the Ministry of Culture and approved by draft Decree No. 2.12.513, passed in May 2013.

In 2013, the Ministry of Culture, received 135 files to support projects in the domain of music, and choreographic performing arts, whereas 25 files were approved with an amount rising to 3,713,360 Dirham, these projects are distributed according to the following fields:

  • Music production
  • Promotion and distribution of musical products
  • Organisation of events and festivals at local, regional, and international levels
  • Participation in local, regional, and international cultural events and festivals
  • Artist residencies


Choreographic Performing Arts

It is worth noting, that in 2014 the Ministry launched a project for rehabilitation of conservatories by developing an agenda for distribution and arrangement of those affiliated with the Ministry, so as to complete construction work of the National Higher Institute for Music and Choreographic Arts in Rabat. This was alongside establishing conservatories at a regional level as referential institutes after all others are subject to comprehensive rehabilitation.

3. Support of Fine Arts

As for supporting cultural and technical projects for visual and the fine arts sector in 2014, 94 files were reviewed of which 24 files have gained approval with an estimated amount of 2,362,000 Dirham, these projects are concerned with:

  • Artistic creativity and artistic residencies
  • Publishing artists’ monographs, fair catalogues, as well as catalogues of electronic magazines and websites specialising in visual and fine arts
  • Organise fairs and saloons specialiing in visual and fine arts
  • Participate in fairs and saloons of contemporary art
  • Visual creativity and particularly electronic activation and interactive art, drawn tapes, artistic photography and 3D visual installations.

It is worth mentioning that the Ministry of Culture, outside the field of project support, allocated in 2013 around 2,000,000 Dirham for organising exhibitions of fine arts in various affiliated galleries and fairs.

Theatre Support Sector:

A specialist committee examined 65 technical and cultural project files specific to the theatre sector, in 2013, and approved31 projects with an estimated amount of 1,810,000 Dirham. These projects are concerned with the following fields:

  • Theatre tours
  • Artistic residencies and locations of professional formation
  • Organisation and participation in festivals and theatrical events
  • Street theatre

Chapter published: 05-05-2016