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Monday, March 24, 2014


The Arts and Culture Trust (ACT) heralds its 20th year with changes to the format of its funding programme, refining its practical vision towards greater sustainability for the industry.

The newly structured Professional Development Programme, funded by Nedbank Arts Affinity, is designed to support the development of a reliable, sustainable and vibrant arts and culture sector in South Africa. The programme makes provision for support of activities that increase job opportunities for and develop sustainability of South African arts and culture organisations, associations, co-operatives, networks, individual artists and practitioners.

Applicants will have two opportunities during the course of a year to apply for once-off grants, whilst three-year grants will be allocated during the first funding cycle in 2014 and again towards the end of 2016.

Three-year grants will be made available for arts and culture organisations, associations, co-operatives and networks for activities that specifically improve their business management development skills and activities that would impact the organisation positively within a three-year period.

ACT Chief Executive Officer, Pieter Jacobs, explains: “Multi-year support for arts and culture organisations is scarce and many organisations find it increasingly difficult to maintain the infrastructure that supports arts programming and production. We believe that multi-year support, that is not necessarily ring-fenced for a single project, will facilitate better planning, which is often not possible due to ad-hoc short-term support or inconsistent flows of income.”

Once-off grants of up to R60,000 each will be awarded in each funding cycle. Arts and culture organisations, associations, cooperatives, networks, individual artists and practitioners are eligible to apply for a range of activities that support their professional advancement on an ongoing basis; and stimulate the industry through the development of cutting-edge professional South African work.

"In celebrating 20 years of playing a strategic role on the arts and culture development and funding landscape, we take delight in some of the positive changes the Trust has inspired since the concurrent birth of our democracy in 1994.” says Maseda Ratshikuni, Head of Nedbank Cause Marketing. “Since ACT's inception, more than R20 million has been disbursed to more than 800 projects across South Africa. At the same time the Trust's investment portfolio has tripled. It is encouraging to know that fulfilling our founding vision of the organisation, of being a perpetual Trust fund for the support of arts and culture, is within our grasp.”

“As we consider our past successes, we also need to gauge the impact of our strategies” says Jacobs. “Significant shifts in the economic environment in the last few years have made it critical for us to assess our actions and ensure that our contribution remains not only relevant, but has the maximum impact possible!

For more detailed information and to apply, see ACT’s website,

The current funding cycle closes on March 31, 2014, with results announced in May.