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YOUNG ARTIST AWARD WINNERS (article first published : 2004-12-4)

The winners for the 2005 Standard Bank Young Artist Awards have been announced, marking the 24th year of these prestigious awards.

The Young Artists are: Wim Botha for Visual Art; Mpumelelo Paul Grootboom for Drama; Peter John Sabbagha for Dance, and Andile Yenana for Jazz.

This year an award was made posthumously to Ramolao Makhene for his contribution to theatre and the arts in general. The money from the award will be used towards creating a bursary at the Market Theatre Laboratory in honour of a truly great mentor.

The National Arts Festival Committee first introduced the Young Artist Awards for Drama, Dance, Music, and Fine Art in 1981, as a separate component of the main Festival programme. Designed to encourage the recipients in the pursuit of their careers, each of the winners will feature on the main programme of the 2005 National Arts Festival, to be held in Grahamstown from June 30 to July 9. The winners each receive substantial backing for their Festival participation, be it the mounting of an exhibition or the staging of a production, as well as a cash prize.

The Young Artist Awards recognise South Africans of a relatively young age who have demonstrated exceptional artistic promise within their discipline but who have not yet achieved extensive national exposure and acclaim. These awards were designed to accelerate the careers of those chosen and, looking at previous winners, it is evident that this venture has proven to be significantly successful.

"As a long-term sponsor of the Young Artist Awards through our support of the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, we are pleased to continue to play a role in promoting the careers of South African artists," says Khanyi Mlambo, Director of Group Sponsorships at Standard Bank. "Our country has a wealth of artistic talent that needs to be nurtured, and we believe the Awards provide a promotional platform for creativity."

In 1984 it was agreed by the Festival Committee to make these awards open to all the arts disciplines. Four to five awards are made annually and are now well established as the Standard Bank Young Artist Awards. From 1981 to 1983, Five Roses sponsored the awards. Since 1984 Standard Bank has been the sponsor making this 21 years of committed recognition and support of South Africa’s extraordinary talents. No awards were made in 1999.

Since the inception of the awards, and including the 2005 recipients, a total of 80 awards have been presented plus five special awards to artists in recognition of their contribution to the National Arts Festival and the arts of South Africa in general.




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