For its second grant cycle of 2020, the Arts and Culture Trust (ACT) is looking for projects with a focus on music, encouraging applications for interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary works that have music as a core component. Applications for Professional Development Programme grants will be accepted until 12 July 2020.
ACT, South Africa’s independent arts funding and development agency, supported projects in the fields of visual art and dance in 2018, followed by literature in 2019, and theatre at the beginning of 2020.
The arts sector has been greatly affected by Covid-19, with lockdown restrictions having a massive impact on the arts. With the prohibition on social gatherings the lockdown has also highlighted the value of arts and culture in our communities as many people turn to arts for solace and entertainment during their isolation.
Marcus Desando, the CEO of ACT, said: ‘As an organisation that strives to assist our stakeholders in realising a much higher purpose in their artistic endeavours and community, we hope that this grant cycle will challenge us all to seek a new way of working and new offerings. We are looking forward to innovative applications and wish safety and wellness for all.’
The ACT Professional Development Programme has been assisting South African artists for 25 years, with the support of the Nedbank Arts Affinity. This amounts to more than 800 organisations and projects nationwide and a contribution valued at more than R23-million.
Tobie Badenhorst, the head of Group Sponsorships and Cause Marketing at Nedbank, said: ‘Music is the heartbeat of humanity. It fills us with courage, hope, love; it makes us think about life and how we are living our lives; it inspires us, and it has played an essential role in keeping us all going during the Covid-19 lockdown. It is so fitting that works of music are the focus of this grant cycle.’
The nationwide lockdown has brought both challenges and opportunities and while we look to a more certain future in which we will be able to come together once more, we also have to accept that our lives will never be the same again and that we will live with some of the restrictions for a long time.
Around the world, artists have had to turn to alternative platforms and ways of collaborating. Many artists are turning to digital platforms and diversifying their practice and there are long-term lessons, which the whole sector can benefit from. Digital platforms are vital but not the only solution and South African artists face many unique challenges. Many people don’t have access to online platforms and data is prohibitively expensive for many. Alternative platforms such as radio have a much greater reach in the country.
The trust said it understood that not all artists will have equal access to digital technology during the lockdown period. It is also aware that ‘artistic creation requires an incubation and process period where ideas can be developed and tested’. Projects for this call do not necessarily have to materialise in the digital space although applications of such a nature will also be accepted.
‘What is important is that successful projects must have the ability to commence under lockdown and that social distancing and health requirements at each level of lockdown must be obeyed during the creation and delivery of the project,’ the trust emphasised.
ACT is looking to support South African artists in producing high-quality, innovative local art that serves local communities and the larger sector:
- Projects that present innovative ways to serve communities and reach audiences.
- Projects of an interdisciplinary and collaborative nature.
- Projects that showcase high artistic and professional merit.
- Projects to take place between September 2020 and September 2021.
A total of nine grants will be awarded for this open call.
Emerging/mid-level artists and organisations are eligible to apply for one of six small grants of R30 000 each, while established artists and organisations are eligible to apply for one of three grants of R80 000 each.
To be eligible for the emerging/midlevel, ACT Professional Development Grant organisations must have been operating professionally for at least one year and have experience of managing budgets of less than R50 000.
To be considered established, organisations must have been in operation for three or more years and have a proven track record of successful projects with budgets exceeding R50 000.
For more information and to submit an online application, visit the ACT website.
Applications close Sunday, 12 July 2020.
Visit this link for the online application form, an instructional video on how to submit, and information on the qualifying criteria.
Only South African nationals may apply and projects must take place in South Africa. Allocation of grants is at the discretion of the ACT board of trustees. The decision with regard to all applications for funding is final and no further correspondence will be entered into.