Minister to launch Debut Fund Programme for young artists

: Arts and Culture Minister, Nathi Mthethwa, will launch the Debut Fund Programme for emerging artists tomorrow at the Nangoza Jebe Community Hall in New Brighton. photo: herman verwey
: Arts and Culture Minister, Nathi Mthethwa, will launch the Debut Fund Programme for emerging artists tomorrow at the Nangoza Jebe Community Hall in New Brighton. photo: herman verwey

THE Arts and Culture Minister, Nathi Mthethwa, will launch the Debut Fund Programme for emerging artists tomorrow at the Nangoza Jebe Community Hall in New Brighton.

The fund seeks to strengthen knowledge and skills development for young artists and also give them opportunities to apply for funding to support their ventures further. The programme is a partnership between the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) and the Business and Arts South Africa (BASA).

In his 2017/18 budget vote speeches, Mthethwa spoke about his overwhelming desire to establish the Debut Fund Programme for the development of up-and- coming artists within the sector.

“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,” stated Mthethwa.

It is against this context that the Department of Arts and Culture in collaboration with BASA are launching the implementation phase.

A call for applications has recently been made in Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, Gauteng and Free State. The Debut Funding Programme targets emerging organisations or individuals between the ages of 18-35 years within the arts, culture and heritage sector.

The programme combines DAC Debut Funding with BASA’s Education, Mentorship, and Young Business Professionals Programme, as well as 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. These centres will serve as programme anchors providing support, assisting with marketing and recruitment channels and serves 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, following key elements of the programme such as Train the Trainer, which involves artist recruitment, workshops, reviewing assignment submissions, processing applications and providing feedback to potential delegates under the guidance and supervision of the BASA in-house facilitator.

In ensuring the sustainability of the programme in the different provinces, local provincial representatives from the local art centres will be trained to become co-facilitators in the programme.

“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,” concluded Mthethwa.

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