Mthethwa launches fund to de­velop artists

Vuk'uzenzele - - General - Siya Miti

A Pro­grAmme has been launched to help young artists from all over the coun­try to take their first steps as pro­fes­sion­als.

The Min­is­ter of Arts and Cul­ture, Nathi Mthethwa, launched the De­but Fund Pro­gramme for emerg­ing artists at the Nan­goza Jebe Com­mu­nity Hall in Port El­iz­a­beth in mid July.

The fund, which has a pres­ence in all nine prov­inces, is tar­get­ing artists from all dis­ci­plines aged be­tween 18 and 35 to equip artists with train­ing to hone their skills through men­tor­ship pro­grammes.

As part of the pro­gramme, which is a part­ner­ship be­tween the De­part­ment of Arts and Cul­ture (DAC) and the Busi­ness As­so­ci­a­tion of South Africa (BASA), emerg­ing artists will be given op­por­tu­ni­ties to ap­ply for fund­ing to fur­ther sup­port their ven­tures.

“The fund will pro­vide op­por­tu­ni­ties to de­velop new lo­cal con­tent and for that all-im­por­tant break in their ca­reer. Linked to the fund­ing will be a men­tor­ship pro­gramme to make sure that th­ese as­pi­rant pro­fes­sion­als have the best pos­si­ble ad­vice and guid­ance,” said Mthethwa.

Train­ing and men­tor­ing young artists

“The De­but Fund Pro­gramme cre­ates train­ing, men­tor­ing and fund­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for young artists from all dis­ci­plines mak­ing their de­but. In part­ner­ship with BASA, it is an­tic­i­pated that this fund will sup­port young artists from all over the coun­try to take their first steps as pro­fes­sional artists,” said Mthethwa in his 2017/2018 bud­get vote.

A call for ap­pli­ca­tions was made in Lim­popo, Mpumalanga, North­ern Cape, Eastern Cape, Gaut­eng and Free State from June to Au­gust.

Ac­cord­ing to de­part­men­tal spokes­woman Zi­masa Ve­laphi ap­pli­ca­tions are open and 25 artists will be se­lected from each prov­ince and an­nounced in due course.

The pro­gramme com­bines DAC De­but Fund­ing with BASA’s Ed­u­ca­tion, Men­tor­ship, and Young Busi­ness Pro­fes­sion­als Pro­gramme, and op­por­tu­ni­ties to ap­ply for BASA sup­port­ing grants.

As part of the Pro­gramme, BASA has iden­ti­fied com­mu­nity arts cen­tres, sup­ported by DAC within each prov­ince, and col­lab­o­rated with them. The cen­tres will serve as pro­gramme an­chors, pro­vid­ing sup­port, as­sist­ing with mar­ket­ing and re­cruit­ment chan­nels and serv­ing as a lo­cal point of con­tact be­tween the del­e­gates, BASA and the De­part­ment of Arts and Cul­ture.

The pro­gramme will be im­ple­mented in sev­eral phases, un­der the guid­ance and su­per­vi­sion of a BASA in-house fa­cil­i­ta­tor. Lo­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tives from art cen­tres will be trained to be­come pro­gramme co-fa­cil­i­ta­tors.

Lo­cal artists at­tend the launch of the De­but Fund Pro­gramme at the Nan­goza Jebe Com­mu­nity Hall in Port El­iz­a­beth.

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