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Minister Mthethwa to launch the Debut Fund Programme for young artists

By Yolanda Palezweni - Jul 10, 2017
Minister Mthethwa to launch the Debut Fund Programme for young artists

Arts and Culture Minister, Nathi Mthethwa, on Thursday will launch the Debut Fund Programme for emerging artists at Nangoza Jebe Community Hall in Port Elizabeth.

According to the Department of Arts and Culture, the Fund seeks to strengthen knowledge and skills development for young artists and also give them opportunities to apply for funding to further support their ventures.

The Programme is a partnership between the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) and the Business Association of South Africa (BASA).

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

“Debut Fund Programme creates training, mentoring and funding opportunities for young artists from all disciplines making their debut,” said Minister Mthethwa.

He added that, 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.

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

Furthermore, a call for applications has just been made recently in Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, Gauteng and Free State in June - August. The Debut Funding 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 The Train the Trainer which involves artist recruitment, workshops, reviewing of assignment submissions, processing of 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,” concludes the Minister Mthethwa.