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Friday, December 16, 2011


The Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) and UJ Arts & Culture (University of Johannesburg) have entered into a dynamic new partnership.

The joint venture, supported by the University’s Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture, will see the launch of a new arts and culture conference next year which will be aimed at South African practitioners. The conference dates will be announced in January 2012.

“We are very excited about this new partnership,” says Brenda Devar, ACT’s Chairperson. “The real value of a South African arts and culture conference lies in the opportunity it presents to network and engage socially whilst exchanging information, knowledge and views on the sector. It is vitally important that the arts do not work in isolated pockets, that we build bridges to connect and integrate the diverse environments in which we function,” she adds.

The inaugural conference will take an in-depth look at the state of arts and culture in South Africa by providing a platform to present research which has been conducted during the past three years. South African arts, culture and heritage organisations are invited to submit expressions of interest to present research at the conference by writing to ACT’s General Manager, Pieter Jacobs, at The closing date for submitting expressions of interest to present research is January 31, 2012.

According to Ashraf Johaardien, the new Head of Arts and Culture at the University of Johannesburg, “ACT and UJ Arts and Culture are uniquely positioned to partner and present this conference. Our combined networks and knowledge base, as well as UJ’s state of the art facilities on our Kingsway and Bunting Road campuses, give us the tools and facilities to create a broad and inclusive platform for an in-depth audit of the state of the arts in South Africa.”

He explains: “By surveying the recent research conducted on the arts and culture landscape we aim to unpack critically important issues facing individual artists, cultural workers and arts organisations in South Africa today.”

A limited number of bursaries will be made available to arts, culture and heritage practitioners from outside Gauteng. ACT will administer these applications as well as the conference registrations which will open early in 2012.