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Thursday, February 18, 2021


Applications Close: March 3, 2021

The newly redesigned and dynamic ACT Building Blocks Programme, geared towards developing entrepreneurial-minded arts practitioners, has proved so successful that a second national interaction has been funded by the NAC for 2021. This open call will run from February 17 to March 3, 2021.

The Building Blocks Programme is one of ACT’s most impactful programmes in empowering a large number of arts and culture practitioners across South Africa to bolster their professional and business acumen with an arts-specific framework. In early 2021, ACT presented the updated Building Blocks curriculum to arts and culture practitioners from across South Africa. The new curriculum addresses current challenges and offers tangible business solutions for sustainability in the arts and culture sector.

The Building Blocks Programme is a capacity building programme with a focus on small (micro-business) to mid-level organisations and arts practitioners in the form of Masterclasses focused on:

-Digital Skills


-Governance and Monitoring & Evaluation

-ABCD (Asset Based Community Development) in the arts

The master class learnings will be applied to a current project that the individual or organisation is conducting through assignments given throughout the course. Each participant will also receive individual mentoring on the development of the project that was put forward in the online application to the Building Blocks Programme.

Through the Building Blocks programme ACT strives to increase the capacity and sustainability of South African arts and culture organisations and practitioners, small and mid-level creative enterprises and entrepreneurial artists. The Building Blocks Programme will strengthen the operational infrastructure of the programme participants by providing technical assistance and relevant developmental tools through Masterclasses and mentoring and in so doing serving the creative sector holistically.

The Building Blocks Programme is a robust and rigorous business developmental programme requiring participants to conduct themselves professionally and with a level of commitment towards curriculum completion.

ACT CEO Marcus Desando says: “ACT has committed itself to consistently delivering opportunities to impact the arts and culture sector through skills development and empowerment-focused activities. The ACT Building Blocks makes it possible for us to achieve this and we are proud that the development of this programme has become a regular activity for us an organisation.”

Applications Open: February 17, 2021

Applications Close: March 3, 2021

Outcomes: April 2, 2021

Application Details:

Complete the online application form:

Important: Due to capacity only five (5) companies/organisations/artists from each province in South Africa will be selected to participate.

Only South African nationals may apply and projects must take place in South Africa. Allocation of programme slots is at the discretion of the ACT board of trustees. The decision about all applications for participation is final and no further correspondence will be entered into.

The Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) is South Africa’s premier independent arts funding and development agency. The primary aim of ACT is to increase the amount of funding available for arts and culture initiatives, and to apply these funds to innovative, sustainable projects that make a meaningful contribution to society. Through structured funding programmes ACT provides support to all expressions of arts and culture, including literature, music, visual art, theatre and dance, and the support extends to festivals, community arts initiatives, arts management, arts education and arts administration. For more information visit the Trust’s website. Follow ACT on Twitter or like the ACT’s Facebook page.

The National Arts Council was established in April, 1997 through an act of parliament (Act no.56 of 1997). The vision of the NAC is to promote, through the arts, the free expression of South Africa’s cultures. The NAC offers financial support to arts organisations and individuals involved with projects in dance and choreography, literature; multi-discipline; theatre and musical, theatre, visual arts and craft.

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