Financial boost for arts

2019-06-25 06:00
The City of Cape Town has handed over a R15m cheque to major role players in the arts to help grow the industry. PHOTO: Thabang kuaho

The City of Cape Town has handed over a R15m cheque to major role players in the arts to help grow the industry. PHOTO: Thabang kuaho

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With the City of Cape Town having committed to ensure that it continues to stay a world-class city, it has contributed R15m to help various arts industry players help maintain and grow the arts.

The Cape Town City Ballet, Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, Cape Town Opera as well as the Baxter Theatre and the Artscape Theatre Centre were the recipients of this contribution and will use the money to help grow the arts within the city.

The Artscape’s chief executive officer Marlene le Roux said the money will be used to help employ young people.

“Our funding is more for job creation because the skills training provided at the Artscape can take the interns all over the world,” le Roux said.

She said the Artscape looked at the gap in the market and how young people can be absorbed into the job market.

Le Roux said a lot of skills within the arts are scarce and, with a lot of young people yearning for opportunities, it was only suited that the funding is used for job creation.

“With a lot of municipalities having events, it is hard to find skilled people to curate their events, (so) we are looking at how we can take young people into the market and turn them into entrepreneurs,” she said.

Doing a lot moreBut, job creation is not only how the Artscape plans to use this funding.

Le Roux said the country’s constitution will also play a great deal on how the funds are used.

“The Artscape is playing a huge part in promoting our country’s heritage with the indigenous ensemble that we have regularly. We also look at gender equality where we have the Woman and Humanity Festival where young women are mentored by industry veterans.”

She said, through the Rural Outreach Programme, young people from Atlantis and Malmesbury often come to see productions at the Artscape and learn from them.

Artistic director at the Cape Town Opera Matthew Wild said that both the City and the arts and culture department have supported the work the Opera does with young people.

“They (the City and arts and culture department) have particularly given to our work with young people and a lot of that gets used for the creation of new pieces in African languages across the spectrum with learners at the West Coast, in the Karoo as well as all parts of Cape Town,” he said.

Wild said the partnership with the two parties has been both encouraging and inspiring.

“To learn that they are increasing their commitment this year and that they are continuing to do that over the years ahead gives us reassurance that we are moving forward.

“With the development that we do with young people over the years, we have learned that there are always more young people we are trying to reach; and when the funding is sustained and grow each year, it means that there is so much that we can do out there.”

Mayco member for community services and health Doctor Zahid Badroodien said it is important for the City to support these world-class organisations and also to be mindful of the fact that the organisations do not function in silence.

“They actually infiltrate and help uncover talent within communities. If the relationship between the City and its organisations did not exist, we would never be able to leverage the resources they have available to promote social cohesion and tolerance between different cultures,” Badroodien said.

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