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Thursday, November 5, 2020


The Arts and Culture Trust presents an innovative and imaginative solution to the challenges faced by many South African arts practitioners - the ACT Tlholo Project 'Uncovering Solutions 2020', sponsored by Nedbank

Definition: Tlholo /tlhōlo/ {Noun} a Sesotho word that means victory. 1. An act of defeating an enemy or opponent in a battle, game or other competition.

The ACT Tlholo Project recognises the innate ability of creative minds to find innovative solutions to tough times and problems and to overcome the obstacles at hand with ingenuity and wit. It is a platform that seeks out, highlights and encourages the sharing of grassroots, practical solutions to current challenges faced by arts and culture practitioners, particularly in the rural, remote and under-resourced areas of South Africa.

The Tlholo Project will evolve over four phases, gathering expertise from industry leaders as well as the lived experiences from arts practitioners to design tailored solutions for context-specific issues. Asset-based Community Development (ABCD), the arts value chain and constructive and creative business models will be interrogated and shared in a useful resource kit that will be available on the ACT website and YouTube channel.

To ensure that the resources reach as many arts and culture practitioners as possible, the ACT Tlholo Project 'Uncovering Solutions 2020' is leveraging strategic partnerships with community radio stations in all nine provinces to promote and host vital conversations about solutions for the African context. In addition, the project will enlist highly skilled facilitators from the Sibikwa Community Arts Centre to drive through concepts and learnings in a way that speaks to our stakeholders.

The ACT Tlholo Project 'Uncovering Solutions 2020' aims to do the following:

 -Provide a platform that highlights artist-driven solutions.

-Facilitate conversations and sharing of ideas and solutions.

-Encourage experimentation (presentation of new practices) and feedback (relevance and applicability to context).

-Leverage the network of arts and culture practitioners around the country to share solutions and develop solution-based thinking.

-Provide means of accessing the tools, stories and best-practice resources generated through the ACT Tlholo Project for arts practitioners working in rural, remote and under-resourced areas in South Africa.

-Inspire more resilient and self-reliant arts practitioners with creative and sustainable solutions.

Marcus Desando, ACT CEO, says: “The pandemic and national lockdown has certainly allowed us to see that we do not have all the answers but that sometimes the solutions can be right in front of us. That is why we initiated the ACT Tlholo Project, so that we can source from the actual practitioner on the ground how we can bring about change and respond to the current reality and its challenges.”

ACT wants to start a new conversation, underpinned by the concept of radical self-reliance.

The four phases of 'Uncovering Solutions 2020' will involve the following:

 -Profiling artists and organisations (from ACT alumni and beyond) who have developed solutions and best practice.

-Creating capacity for the sharing of expert knowledge and business models with and for artists.

-Creating podcasts based on the stories.

-Creating resources (videos and PDFs) that are easy to share in multiple languages to complement the podcasts.

Tobie Badenhorst, Head of Group Sponsorships and Cause Marketing at Nedbank, says: “Under extreme Covid-19 conditions, our artists and arts and culture professionals and communities had to reassess how to survive and sustain themselves completely. They have needed to adapt rapidly, and redefine and reinvent how they create and produce. Through the ACT Tlholo Project we want to share collective learnings and approaches that can help our artists going forward, and breathe new life into our arts, culture and heritage industry in every part of our country.”

The ACT Tlholo Project 'Uncovering Solutions 2020' will start in November 2020 and end in February 2021. Check the details in the invitation included here.

Follow on Facebook and Twitter or visit the ACT website for more updates on the coming open call.

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