ACT and Nedbank funding makes an impact

Arts and culture organisations, associations, cooperatives, networks, individual artists and practitioners have until 31 March to apply for funding.

The Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) Professional Development Programme, funded by the Nedbank Arts Affinity, 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 and develop sustainability.

The outcomes of some of the projects the trust has recently funded is testament to the fact that modest grants could have a significant impact when allocated to the right kind of project. While it is common knowledge that projects and organisations compete for a relatively small pool of funds available for the development of arts and culture, the alignment of goals and objectives is crucial. The trustees have been very successful in handpicking those projects where our contributions could have the biggest impact and we commend our beneficiaries for their accomplishments,’ says Pieter Jacobs, Chief Executive of the ACT.

Every time clients transact on their Arts Affinity accounts, Nedbank makes a donation on their behalf to ACT, at no cost to the client. These funds are disbursed through the trust’s Professional Development Programme and often support artists and arts and culture organisations at a time when they need it most.

Among the projects that received support in the previous funding cycle is the uHlanga New Poets Series that supported the livelihood of rural-based author, Thabo Jijana, whose collection of poetry was published with an ACT grant. A publisher and distributor also benefited from the project, which enriched the small local publishing industry. ACT and Nedbank invested in the employability of three previously disadvantaged artists from the Northern Cape by making funding available to the Garage Dance Project, which developed their dancing, teaching and arts management skills. The Baxter Theatre’s residency programme afforded two young artists an opportunity to hone their writing and directing skills over a 12-month period, which enables them to seek employment as professionals, or to create their own work. Development programme support has also enabled the publication of arts journals, arts management training and the development of new South African work.

While eligible applications from different entities and all regions of South Africa are accepted, organisations with section 18A certification will be given preference, as well as applicants from ACT’s list of underserviced areas including the Northern Cape, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, North West, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.

For more information and to submit an application, please follow this link http://www.act.org.za/news/2016/development-grants.html. The current funding cycle closes on 31 March 2016, with results announced in May, and the second funding cycle for 2016 will close on 30 September, with results announced in November.

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