ACT and Nedbank award innovation


The Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) and Nedbank Arts Affinity have announced the list of professional development projects that will receive grants from the Trust.

For the past 20 years ACT, with the support of Nedbank Arts Affinity, have been supporting and promoting sustainable businesses and careers in the arts. The Professional Development Programme supports the development of reliable, sustainable and vibrant arts in South Africa and is designed to support job opportunities, develop arts organisations, associations, collectives and arts practitioners. The second cycle of grants boasts ten deserving recipients for 2015 and spans the country.

“One of the reasons we can reflect and celebrate 20 years of a democratic country is because South Africa has a wealth of artists which contribute to the preservation of our history, our national heritage and cultures. They spark our imagination: from the rural heartlands to the corporate skyscrapers - they inspire our diverse nation to reflect, innovate and move into action. Nedbank and our Arts Affinity have been making the arts happen for 20 years and together we will continue to make a difference in our communities,” says Maseda Ratshikuni, head of Cause Marketing at Nedbank elaborating on Nedbank’s involvement.

Audiences can look forward to the inaugural production of Spartacus of Africa which promises a mixture of contemporary dance and classical ballet with a live orchestra and launches in Johannesburg, going on to tour in Cape Town and ending in Durban. The grant from ACT will contribute towards the costs involved of the regional dance coaches and co-ordinators. The Young Artist in Residency (AIR) and Creative Research Incubator Programme will be supporting local and international dance aspirants in Emakhazeni, Mpumalanga by offering a residency, which is supported by the ACT grant. To encourage and support the re-establishment of dance talent in the Northern Cape, Journey, produces new dance works, choreographed by Letlhogonolo Nche, which will premiere in Kimberley. The grant from ACT will go towards the marketing and salaries of these two new works.

Theatre Productions Hinterland by Duncan Buwalda and The Newspaper directed and choreographed by Tshepiso Da’Silva Phetlhu bring audiences a combination of comedy and drama and are both included in the second cycle of grants for 2015. The conceptual Battle of the Saxes, fuses jazz and classical music, features saxophones, a string quartet and a rhythm section, will enlighten audiences to original South African music. The musical ensembles will be performed featuring Karendra Devroop, as well as several other South African works, at venues across the country, and one of these performances will be funded by the ACT grant.

Collaborators Group Exhibition, initiated by Nontsikelelo Ngqakayi, supports six artists in skills of printmaking, ceramics and painting to culminate in a group exhibition of their collaborative effort; while 3D Scene is an interactive, education-based, visual art exhibition of photographic prints presented stereoscopically, conceptualised to coincide with SciFest Africa 2015 with the theme of The Year of Light.

The 14th Festival of Fame, hosted by the National School of the Arts (NSA), will receive support from the Professional Development Programme and the collective weCreate uses a different approach to raising awareness of the creative sector in the arts and will be experimentally engaging with socio-economic development through regular implementation of workshops, exhibitions, publications and marketing.

Once-off grants ranging between R10 000 and R60 000 per grant are given to arts and culture organisations, associations, cooperatives, networks, individual artists and practitioners, for a range of activities that support their professional advancement.

Pieter Jacobs, CEO of ACT, reflects on the programme: “We are delighted about our beneficiaries' positive response to the re-articulated criteria of the Trust's funding programme. Not only have we seen an increase in the number of applications received, especially from under-served regions, but the quality of applications have also improved. Moving towards closure of the first round of Professional Development Programme projects, announced at the beginning of the year, it is rewarding to see that ACT's support have had an impact on the areas of development we set out to improve - job creation, capacity building, sustainability and audience development. Being selected among 600 applications during the course of a year is no mean feat and we look forward to taking hands with the new projects the Trustees of ACT have selected for funding.”

Click here for more information about the Professional Development Programme.


About the projects

  • Spartacus of Africa

The South African National Dance Trust (SANDT) was established in 2009 to support, promote, educate and develop the art of contemporary and classical ballet throughout South Africa. A Spartacus of Africa opens at the Joburg Theatre on 30th May 2015, it then moves to the Artscape Opera House on the 27th of June 2015 and then onto the Playhouse in Durban on 23rd July 2015. The contribution through the ACT Professional Development Programme will be utilised towards the costs involved with the regional, dance coaches/co-ordinators (Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban) who will be training the 80 student dancers from their specific region in the grand-scale production over a 12 week period. For more information on a Spartacus of Africa visit

  • The Young Artist in Residency (AIR) and Creative Research Incubator Programme

The Forgotten Angle Theatre Collaborative (FATC) and its collaborating artists have repeatedly been recognised for their excellence in the field of contemporary South African choreography and performance through numerous awards and nominations. ACT and Nedbank Arts Affinity support The Young Artist in Residency (AIR) and Creative Research Incubator Programme which will provide a residency opportunity for emerging artists sourced both nationally and internationally in the rural area of Emakhazeni, Mpumalanga. For more information on AIR visit

  • Journey

Journey was born out of a need to re-establish dance as one of the finest and leading art forms in Pampierstad, Northern Cape. ACT and Nedbank Arts Affinity assist Journey with a grant towards the marketing and salaries of two new dance works to premier in Kimberley, choreographed by Letlhogonolo Nche. Performances will take place from 27th February to 1st March 2015 at Mayibuye Multipurpose centre in Kimberley. For further information on site specific performances email Letlhogonolo Nche at

  • Hinterland

Hinterland, a play by Duncan Buwalda, will run at Johannesburg’s Theatre on the Square during the course of April and May in 2015. The play is a historical comedy-drama about the fictional meeting of two giants of our country’s history: Cecil John Rhodes and Sol Plaatje. ACT and Nedbank Arts Affinity proudly support the project by providing employment to four professional actors for one month. For more information on Hinterland, email Duncan Buwalda at

  • The Newspaper

ACT and Nedbank Arts Affinity will support the venue hire fee for the production of The Newspaper at the Ernest Oppenheimer Theatre in Welkom from 26th to 28th February 2015. Tshepiso Da’Silva Phetlhu was appointed by PACOFS to direct and choreograph the production, produced by Catch Fire WayaWaya. For more information contact Dimakatso Bilibise via email on

  • Battle of the Saxes

In 2014, Matthew Lombard commissioned (via SAMRO) a new work for two saxophones (jazz and classical) with a string quartet and a rhythm section. The work is intended to promote original South African music in a new and unique setting by fusing jazz and classical idioms. In 2015, a team, including Karendra Devroop, will be commissioned to perform this work and other South African works at several venues in Gauteng, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal and North-West provinces. The grant from ACT and Nedbank Arts Affinity will be utilised to fund one of the performances, including performer fees and transport. For more information, email

  • Collaborators Group Exhibition

Nontsikelelo Ngqakayi graduated from the Nelson Mandela University in Fine Arts. She majored in stained glass, print making, history of art, drawing, and sculpture. ACT and Nedbank Arts Affinity support Ngqakayi’s initiative to oversee six artists in Kwazulu Natal in a group collaboration, creating new prints, paintings, ceramics and other mediums that can be combined, reworked and integrated within the KZN arts community. Fees will be allocated towards the costs of venue/studio hire, purchasing material and publicity. The Collaborators Group Exhibition will take place at the BAT Centre in Durban on the 27th of February 2015. For more information, email

  • 3D Scene

3D Scene is an interactive, education-based, visual art exhibition conceptualised to coincide with SciFest Africa 2015 with the theme of The Year of Light. 3D Scene centres on pairs of photographic prints presented stereoscopically, a technique that creates or enhances the illusion of depth (3D) in two dimensions (2D) without specialised equipment. It is for printing these images and for an accompanying educational flyer that funding is provided for by ACT and Nedbank Arts Affinity. The exhibition will team up with Rhodes University’s Department of Physics and Electronics. The exhibition will take place from 16th to 26th March 2015 in Grahamstown. For more information visit

  • Festival of Fame 2015

The Festival of Fame, hosted by the National School of the Arts (NSA) has been staged for the past 13 years. It has grown in size and stature and is regarded as the country’s leading multi-discipline youth arts festival and a pivotal platform for Johannesburg’s arts community. Funds from ACT and Nedbank Arts Affinity will be used to support the overall 2015 project budget of the festival. For more information on the Festival of Fame visit

  • weCreate

The weCreate project is based in Klerksdorp in the North West. From imparting skills to speaking on matters influencing local artists, the weCreate project brings a different approach to raising awareness of the creative arts sector through publications, exhibitions and programmes. With the support form ACT and Nedbank Arts Affinity, weCreate Matlosana™ will continue to promote art that experimentally engages with socio-economic development through the regular implementation of workshops, exhibitions, publications and marketing. Email Mogomotsi Motingoa at for more information on weCreate and its activities.

About the Arts & Culture Trust (ACT)

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 for 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. To receive updates follow ACT on Twitter at or like the Trust’s Facebook page.

About Nedbank Arts Affinity

The Nedbank Arts Affinity is a proud supporter of the Arts & Culture Trust (ACT). Since the inception of ACT in 1994, Nedbank has raised and distributed nearly R15 million through our Arts Affinity Programme, in support of more than 800 South African arts, culture and heritage development projects, at no cost to our clients. To open a Nedbank Arts Affinity account please visit any Nedbank branch or call 0860 DO GOOD (36 4663). Click here for more information.