OPEN CALL: 2020 ACT Awards Nominations

2019 Arts & Culture Trust Awards
Maslow Hotel, Sandton.
22 February 2019
Photograph: John Hogg.

The Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) invites its stakeholders and the public at large to nominate individuals for the 22nd ACT Awards. Held annually in recognition and celebration of excellence in South African arts, culture and creativity, the ACT Awards are one of ACT’s flagship programmes and have since 1998 recognised and honoured outstanding achievements and contributions to the sector.

The ACT Awards are divided into two major segments: the ACT Lifetime Achievement Awards and ImpACT Award for Young Professionals. The ACT Lifetime Achievement Awards honour living arts professionals aged over 60 whose extraordinary careers in the arts and lifelong achievements have contributed significantly to the enrichment of cultural life in South Africa. These awards honour contributions in arts advocacy, dance, literature, music, theatre and visual arts.

The ImpAct Award for Young Professionals recognises artists aged no older than 35 who are in the early stages of careers that show promise of making meaningful contributions to the sector in the future. read more…

Take a quick survey for ACT

The Arts & Culture Trust has been in existence for 25 years. In that time, ACT has built a reputation for itself as the country’s premier independent funder of the South African arts, culture and creative sector. We are taking this milestone occasion of a quarter-century of impactful work in the sector to rethink the way that we look.

Keeping the process as transparent as possible, we sent an open call to designers to imagine what ACT will look like in the coming 25 years. We have chosen three logos which we believe are the strongest to come out of this process. Now it is up to you.

Have your say and vote for the logo which you feel best represents ACT now and will do so in future.

Please take part in the online survey here (


The 5th Showbiz Entertainment Africa (SEAfrica) conference is an annual event dedicated to the development and growth of the entertainment industry in Africa. With exhibitions and networking sessions, the SEAfrica conference is the ultimate business meeting place for industry start-ups/small business, talent, managers, entrepreneurs, students and other role players in the entertainment industry looking for growth and to stay ahead of the dynamic and ever changing industry.

The event was launched in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2014 and has supplied its audience with a wealth of insight and information from the esteemed speaker panel of industry experts that it’s hosted throughout the years. SEAfrica has since been a pivotal part of the Joburg International Arts Alive Festival.

read more…


Former Acting Group CEO for SAMRO, Reverend Abe Sibiya, Johnny Clegg, Bronwen Harty – former ACT trustee and Rashid Lombard – ACT trustee. ACT Awards  2016, Lifetime Achievement Award for Music. 21 October 2016 Photograph: John Hogg/ ACT

Johnny Clegg, the barrier-breaking music and culture figure dies at 66

The Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) is deeply saddened by the death of South African music and culture luminary Johnny Clegg, on Tuesday, after a four-year battle with pancreatic cancer.

He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2015 and is survived by his wife of 31 years, Jenny and their two sons Jesse and Jaron.

Clegg’s music career spans over three decades and he has sold more than five million albums worldwide. Besides being an incomparable figure in music, dance and culture, Clegg is also an anthropologist and is sometimes fondly referred to as Le Zoulou Blanc (The White Zulu).

To many South Africans, Clegg’s music was the soundtrack for the new South Africa. His music represented freedom and a united South Africa.

His iconic status earned him numerous awards from various international and local bodies for his contribution to music such as the Order of Ikhamanga from the South African government in 2012 and the Knight of Arts and Letters by the French government in 1991. In 2016 Clegg was also honoured with the ACT Lifetime Achievement Award for music (sponsored by SAMRO) to celebrate his extraordinary career that contributed significantly to the enrichment of cultural life in South Africa.

Marcus Desando, ACT CEO states, “ACT is proud to have had the opportunity to honour Johnny Clegg and his contribution as a barrier-breaking cultural figure. Mr Clegg has had a profound and lasting impact on music, not only in South Africa but world-wide. The music industry in South Africa would not be what it is today without the dedication and fearlessness of Johnny Clegg and his music.”

read more…

Lala ngoxolo mbokodo Nomhle Nkonyeni

David Dennis (l), Nomhle Nkonyeni (c), Eugenie Drakes (r) at the Arts & Culture Trust Awards, 22 February 2019 Image courtesy ACT/John Hogg.

 Nomhle Nkonyeni, who stood up against apartheid, using her craft of acting as a tool to speak against the regime passed away at 77 years-old after a prolific 58-year career.

read more…

OPEN CALL: Dancers invited to attend the ACT Creative (un)Conference

The Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) invites dancers to attend its Creative (un)Conference taking place on Saturday, 20 July in Maboneng, Johannesburg. The rigorous programme is a professional development workshop for dancers in their first 3 years of professional practice who are looking to raise their career profile and develop their business acumen as individual performers or choreographers. read more…

OPEN CALL: Playwrights invited to attend the ACT Creative (un)Conference

The Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) and the Dramatic, Artistic and Literary Rights Organisation (DALRO) invite playwrights to apply to attend a theatre making professional development workshop which forms part of ACT’s Creative (un)Conference.

The rigorous programme includes practical guidance on the costs of staging a play presented by award-winning playwright, Mike van Graan. Mike will unpack the challenges that independent theatre-makers face when getting their work on a stage and producing a touring production. read more…

OPPORTUNITY: ACT Project Coordinator Vacancy

(Fixed term contract for 4 Months)

The Arts & Culture Trust (ACT), South Africa’s premier independent arts, culture and creativity funding and development agency based in Johannesburg is looking for a well-organised, creative and results-oriented Project Coordinator for a limited contract.

The successful candidate will be responsible for coordinating and providing support to ACT’s special projects and functions. The role requires the incumbent to be available on a full-time basis and be able to work no less than 40 hours a week for the duration of the contract. Proven skills in the areas of administration, event and logistical coordination are an essential requirement for the position.

The ideal candidate will have traceable experience in an arts and culture environment; the ability to multi-task and work in a fast-paced office setting; excellent interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills as well as an analytical mindset with problem-solving skills. A sound knowledge of the South African arts landscape will also be a key to success. read more…


ACT DALRO Nedbank Performing Arts Scholarships. Market Theatre
Photograph: John Hogg.

Applications for the 2019 ACT | DALRO | Nedbank Scholarships are now open to learners currently in grade 12 and to individuals under the age of 25 who have successfully completed grade 12 and are not currently registered for study towards an undergraduate degree.

The Arts & Culture Trust (ACT), the Dramatic, Artistic and Literary Rights Organisation (DALRO) and Nedbank are proud to make an opportunity for higher education funding available to young South African performers and visual artists through the ACT | DALRO | Nedbank Scholarships Programme.

Young people intending on studying towards a performing arts or visual arts degree at a South African tertiary institution are invited to apply. Performing arts applicants are required complete the online registration form and then audition in the singing, dance, acting and/or musical theatre categories. Visual arts applicants are required to submit a portfolio of works as part of the online application process.

read more…

Composer, Singer and Activist Dorothy Masuku Remembered

Dorothy Masuku

by Struan Douglas

Dorothy Masuku was born in 1935 to a Zambian father and South African mother and raised in Zimbabwe. All three nationalities were within her.

Masuku was born to make music. From the age of seven months old, Dorothy’s mother noticed that her daughter could never sit quietly and was always humming. By the age of two, she was already a singer and when relatives came to visit she would perform for them. “Singing was a disease that has no doctor,” Masuka described.

At 12 years old, she left her home in Zimbabwe for school in Johannesburg. The sound of this train journey informed her hit song Hamba Nontsokolo, recorded with the Golden Rhythm Crooners from Zimbabwe in 1952. read more…

2019 ACT Awards Honour Stalwarts and Young Professionals

2019 ACT lifetime Achievement Award Winner Sibongile Khumalo

The Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) Awards are held annually to recognise and celebrate excellence in South African arts, culture and heritage. Since 1998, the ACT Awards have been bestowed upon individuals and organisations that have made a significant contribution to cultural life in South Africa. In that time, the awards have become ACT’s flagship event. This year’s ceremony will take place at the Maslow Hotel, Sandton on 22 February 2019.

The 2019 ACT Awards honour legends, stalwarts and inspirations in the South African arts, culture and heritage sector, and are divided into two segments- the Lifetime Achievement Awards and the ImpACT Awards for Young Professionals. read more…

OPPORTUNITY | ACT Building Blocks 2019

Koko Motlokwa Beadwork

The Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) invites artists and arts, culture and heritage organisations to apply for participation in its Building Blocks Programme. The invitation to apply is extended to artists and entities in all nine South African provinces, but preference will be given to those not based in the Western Cape, KwaZulu Natal and Gauteng provinces. read more…

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