The Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) Awards are held annually in recognition and celebration of excellence in South African arts, culture and creativity. Since 1998, the ACT Awards celebrated many individuals and organisations that have made a significant contribution to cultural life in South Africa.
A salient element of the ACT Awards is the presentation of four Lifetime Achievement awards for Theatre, Music, Visual Art and Literature. The prestigious ACT Lifetime Achievement Awards honours arts professionals whose extraordinary careers have had a profound and lasting impact on arts, culture and heritage and whose lifetime achievements have contributed significantly to the enrichment of cultural life in South Africa. Lifetime Awards are nominated and selected by the ACT Board of Trustees.
Four ImpACT Awards for Young Professionals that fall within the first five years of their professional careers are also awarded. Nomination in the following categories is open to the public:
- ImpACT Award for Visual Art
Artists working in the mediums of Fine Art, Sculpting, Public Installations and Photography are eligible for nomination.
- ImpACT Award for Theatre
Artists practising the disciplines of Dance, Acting, Writing for Theatre, Musical Theatre and Physical Theatre are eligible for nomination
- ImpACT Award for Music & Singing
Classical, Contemporary and Jazz musicians and singers are eligible for nomination.
- ImpACT Award for Design
Artists working in the areas of Craft, Fashion Design, Graphic Design and Arts Based Web Design are eligible for nomination.
- ImpACT Award for Dance
Trained dancers and choreographers across all genres (contemporary, traditional dance, ballet and others) are eligible for nomination.
An independent panel of judges selects winners of the ImpACT Awards for Young Professionals. Awards will only be presented if a satisfactory number of quality nominations are received in the various categories. The adjudication panel reserves the right to carry over such awards to the following year.