national Arts Festival Banner

Monday, February 23, 2015


Deadline for Cluster 4: February 27, 2015

The ACT | UJ Arts & Culture Conference, taking place from March 8 to 10, 2015, offers great opportunities for entrepreneurs working in creative industries.

As an exciting addition to this year’s conference programme, creative entrepreneurs will have an opportunity to learn the art of the perfect pitch. Participants will then have a chance to put this theory to the test in a Live Pitch session, competing against fellow delegates for project funding totalling R100,000.

“This year’s conference has a strong thematic focus on the creative entrepreneur, and we would like to help ‘creatives make it happen’ in practical ways as well,” says Arts & Culture Trust CEO Pieter Jacobs.

The presentation offered during the ‘Pitch Perfect’ session, presented by business guru Michael Rubenstein, will help the business-minded and inspired creative hone their idea-selling skills. Tying in with the conference’s overall purpose, the workshop will be utilised to present attendees with practical methods to maximise their own ideas, and how to put these into practice within their respective environments.

Pieter Jacobs adds, “The practical application of theory is vitally important to the learning process, as personal experience often leads to a deeper understanding of a concept. ACT and Nedbank Arts Affinity are delighted to give conference delegates an opportunity to put their new pitching skills to the test.”

Michael Rubenstein has spent the last 20 years in various marketing roles including a 13 year stint at the SABC (South Africa Broadcasting Corporation) and 6 years at financial services company, BankservAfrica. His passion is around services marketing and B2B marketing with a special interest in building brands. He is currently a marketing strategist at BrandQuantum a brand consistency business and is also a social entrepreneur – mentoring and guiding various arts organisations on business, marketing and creative strategy.

Sponsored by the Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) and Nedbank Arts Affinity, three grants to the value of R10,000, R30,000 and R60,000, will be made available to the winning projects.

Delegates registered to attend Cluster 4: ‘LEARN IT powered by Business and Arts South Africa’, or attending this cluster as part of the full conference package, are eligible to participate in the programme. Applicants are required to complete an online application form via the website, no later than February 27. Candidates will then be required to participate in the ‘Pitch Perfect’ training session that will be presented as part of the conference.

Shortlisted projects will be given three minutes to pitch their ideas during the Live Pitch that follows that afternoon, where individuals and representatives of organisations and/or businesses will have the opportunity to sell their creative project idea(s). This will be followed by a Q&A from the panel of judges, and the winners will be announced at the closing party that evening.

The 2015 conference presents an invaluable chance for people working at different levels and in different contexts in the sector, to meet and learn from one another. By engaging with entrepreneurs, artists, manufacturers, consumers, policy makers and implementers, the conference will showcase alternative ways of cultivating business ideas in a contemporary South Africa.

The ACT | UJ Arts & Culture Conference is presented by the Arts & Culture Trust, UJ Arts & Culture and British Council Connect ZA, with support from the Department of Arts and Culture, Business and Arts South Africa (BASA), SAMRO Foundation, Pro Helvetia, the European Union, the SA-UK Seasons 2014 & 2015; and media partners Classicfeel magazine and UJfm.

The conference will run from the 8 - 10 March 2015, based at the University of Johannesburg (UJ). Tickets are now available via Ticket prices range from R200 for one cluster, to R1,000 for a full conference pass (Clusters 1 to 5). Student passes are R350 for attendance of clusters 2 to 5. To stay up to date with information and opportunities, click on the conference advert at the top right hand side of this page or visit @actujconference #creativesmakeithappen