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Monday, June 22, 2015


Deadline for submissions:  August 21, 2015

Some 17 developmental projects have been selected for ACT Professional Development Programme support.

Funded by Nedbank Arts Affinity, the Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) Professional Development Programme 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 and artists with a range of once-off and multi-year grants.

The projects that will add a splash of colour and a dash of excitement to the country's creative landscape span across the artistic vista – from visual arts, theatre, multi-discipline, music to literature. Projects from Limpopo to the Western Cape, and the Garage professional training programme from the Northern Cape; the Baxter Artists in Residence programme in the Western Cape; the Midlands Meander's Artist Subvention Fund in KwaZulu-Natal as well as a theatre piece based on Njabulo Ndebele's The Cry of Winnie Mandela novel will receive ACT grants.

“These projects represent a spectrum of exciting and progressive art voices that are in the vanguard of the South African performing arts sphere. We also delight in the fact that they make things that really matter happen by providing much-needed employment to our artists while creating a sustainable platform for future growth, training and development,” says Faith Phoshoko, Head of Sponsorships and Cause Marketing: Nedbank.

The diversity of the projects feed into the rich tapestry of South Africa's multi-cultures and showcases some of the best in fringe disciplines.

The Artists Subvention Fund in KZN: The aim of this project is to double the number of financially-secure artist members of the Midlands Meander by 2020 – and to ensure that artist businesses are sustainable. The Midlands Meander provides artists in the KZN Midlands with a powerful marketing platform. Artists would benefit from all marketing activities offered by the Midlands Meander.

Other projects with KZN links are as follows:

uHlanga New Poets (Western Cape & KZN): While uHlanga and its editors have published magazines and anthologies of poetry in the past to critical acclaim, the only thing that can truly launch a poet’s career is the publication of an anthology. The careers of young writers as bonafide poets will be launched through this medium.

Critter: Eastern Cape (Western Cape, Gauteng & KZN): Critter is online publication for arts reviews, critique, analysis and news. This includes performing art, visual art, literature and design. It seeks to unify disparate arts bloggers to create a single creditable site for South African arts related content.

Prufrock Magazine (Western Cape, Gauteng and KZN): This magazine publishes young and new South African writers of fiction, poetry, journalism and personal essays, as well as illustrations, photography and other media to illustrate the pieces. It published in Xhosa, Zulu, Baca, Afrikaans and English, and will to continue to publish more pieces in indigenous South African languages.

The Open_Theatre Toolkit (Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Gauteng & KZN): Currently working with Arts Township International, the timeline is to have the Toolkit available by February 2016, with weekly tweaks and monthly updates for optimisation. Considering the potential of this software to allow small teams to work effectively, organise their management and marketing systems and increase their footprint in their local communities across borders, it will spark a new paradigm in arts management.

"It is exciting to see how the programme has grown. ACT is not only pleased by the diversity and quality of applications received but also by the increased interest from applicants who are based outside the urban centers. Seventeen projects have been selected by the ACT Trustees from among more than 540 applications received in this funding cycle. We are tremendously excited about announcing ACT and Nedbank Arts Affinity's support for these projects,” says Pieter Jacobs, CEO of ACT.

The next funding cycle of the ACT Professional Development Programme is currently open. The closing date for submissions is August 21, 2015. For more information visit