Minister announces creation of arts bank

2011-11-30 11:23

Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile has announced the creation of an arts bank to promote and market the works of South African artists, with government departments becoming a major consumer of the work.

Mashatile also wants to reintroduce art as a school subject, saying this will help develop new generations of artists capable of earning a living through their works.

At the same time, government would set up an arts and crafts academy, working with the existing tertiary institutions and using established artists as trainers to teach up-and-coming practitioners how to survive and flourish in trying economic times.

Mashatile made the announcement at the launch of his department’s Mzansi Golden Economy gig guide on the sidelines of the UN COP17 climate talks in Durban.

Mashatile said his department had undergone a strategic repositioning process, with policy shifting towards promoting and marketing the arts and assisting with large-scale job creation through the arts world.

He said the arts bank would provide works to government offices and embassies abroad, and would ensure that government departments holding conferences sourced their corporate material, from goodie bags to shirts, from local artists instead of from foreign suppliers.

Mashatile said his department had sourced 15 000 conference bags, including those distributed at COP17, from 11 local community craft groups, and would continue to do so while pushing other departments to do the same through the arts bank.

The goodie bags distributed at the launch and the water bottle, brooch and other contents and bibs for volunteers had created 4 620 direct work days, he said.

The arts on show the Climate Change Response Expo at COP17 had created a further 9 000 work days for artists.

» Follow our COP17 coverage here.

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