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Wednesday, September 23, 2020


The Arts & Culture Trust announces the ACT | Nedbank Development Grants in Music winners.

“Amid the chaos and uncertainty of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) is delighted to bring some joy and opportunity to the successful applicants of the ACT | Nedbank Development Grants in Music. It has been an exceptionally difficult and challenging year for artists and arts organisations and the trust feels humbled to offer assistance in some way towards the professional development of new artistic works,” says ACT CEO Marcus Desando.

In 2018, the ACT Professional Development Programme supported projects in the fields of visual art and dance, followed by literature in 2019, and theatre at the beginning of 2020. For this grant cycle of 2020, the ACT looked for projects with a focus on music and encouraged applications for interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary works that have music as a core component.

The six-week open call period for the ACT | Nedbank Professional Development Grants in Music resulted in exciting and high-quality applications and it has been a pleasure and a challenge for the trustees to make the final selection.

ACT would like to congratulate the successful candidates in the two categories:

Established grants

-       Imbila and other African Tales, Bongani Ndodana-Breen for Africa Arts Group NPC - Johannesburg, Gauteng

-       The Digital Indaba 2020-2021, Camron Andrews for NewMusicSA - Digitally, across South Africa

-       Lockdown Legato, Jana Hattingh for Suidoosterfees - Cape Town, Western Cape


Emerging grants

-       A Life of Our Own Design EP, Lulutho Ngcongolo for Zwelibanzi Productions (Pty) Ltd - Johannesburg/East London, Gauteng/Eastern Cape

-       Lwando Sessions, Samantha Bekebeke - Woodstock, Western Cape

-       Meet The Musicians, Rory Appleton for Sledgehammer Studio - Cape Town, Western Cape

-       Hlakanyana Music Development, Zolani Shangase for Madevu Entertainment - Johannesburg, Gauteng

-       uMakhweyana (A dying artform), Mthokozisi S'thembiso Hlela for Duduza Media (Pty) Ltd - Durban, KwaZulu-Natal

-       Udaka we Lali, Ludwe Mgolombane - Peddie, Eastern Cape


A total of nine grants were awarded for this open call; six grants for emerging or mid-level artists and organisations at R30,000 each, and three grants for established artists and organisations, at R80,000 each.

Desando adds: ‘It is especially important in these times of national lockdowns, with the scary and desperate period of the Covid-19 pandemic, and especially for arts and culture practitioners, that we at the ACT are able to continue with the investment in the creation of artistic expression in South Africa. I would like to thank all the applicants, whether successful or not, and ask that we all keep safe and well'.

The ACT Professional Development Programme has been helping South African artists for 25 years with the support of the Nedbank Arts Affinity. It has helped over 800 organisations and projects nationwide, with a total of more than R23 million. “Artists need the support of organisations and businesses and we are most appreciative of the ongoing support we receive from Nedbank,” says Desando.

Tobie Badenhorst, Head of Group Sponsorships and Cause Marketing at Nedbank, says: “Music has the power to fill us with courage, hope and love, which we need more than ever during this protracted pandemic. It is so fitting that works of music are the focus of this grant cycle and we warmly congratulate the nine recipients. We look forward to seeing what you will create and to be experiencing this celebration of music from throughout South Africa.”

To link direct to the Arts & Culture Trust’s site, click on the ACT logo to the right of this article or visit