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SA SCHOOLS FESTIVALS (article first published : 2008-07-30)

Renewed support from the Royal Netherlands Embassy has enabled the Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) to award the South African Schools Festivals one of the most substantial grants awarded by ACT to date.

The South African Schools Festivals bring 6,000 South African learners and their teachers to the threshold of artistic, educational, dramatic and social enrichment. Aimed at grade 11's and 12's, the Schools Festivals programme aims to go some way towards meeting the need for a varied Arts curriculum in Schools while contributing to between four and five of the learning areas and associated critical outcomes identified in Curriculum 2005.

The aim is to foster a deepened understanding and appreciation of English as a universal tool of communication and develop within South Africa’s youth a passionate interest in, and a love for, the Arts and culture of South Africa while encouraging cross-cultural interaction and deepened understanding of different cultures.

Other aims are to promote personal growth and encouraging the development of individual potential as well as to encourage learners to nurture an open mind, and to face new things, and the unknown with enthusiasm and maturity.

Each Festival gives delegates an intense Arts experience in an instructive mix of lectures, theatre productions and workshops. Regional Festivals take place in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Free State/Northern Cape, North West, Mpumalanga and in Gauteng. The National Schools Festival takes place in Grahamstown in July.

“Historically ACT has awarded smaller grants to a large number of organisations,” said ACT Projects Manager, Pieter Jacobs. “The grant awarded to the Schools Festivals marks a strategic shift in supporting fewer projects annually with a more substantial amount of funding,” he said.




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