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ACT AWARDS (article first published : 2001-10-20)

The Arts & Culture Trust Awards 2001, in association with Mail & Guardian and Nedbank, honour those who ensure the sustainability, survival and recognition of arts and cultural expression in South Africa. This rests in a collective passion, dedication and commitment from communities, artists, administrators, journalists and those in the field of education.

The Awards validate the Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) philosophy of the development, promotion and celebration of South African arts and culture. Winners and finalists in each category are chosen for the implementation, sustainability, success and innovation of their projects, which have lent themselves to the expansion of cultural horizons, and the nurturing of South Africa's rich cultural heritage.

This year, the recipients of the Awards and the finalists in each category represent the diversity of artistic talent - and needs - in South Africa. Many of the initiatives and programmes have an educational element, striving to introduce young minds to creative expression, art appreciation and encouraging lifelong participation in South African arts and culture.

An independent judging panel chose a winner and three finalists in seven categories: Arts Administrator of the Year, Arts and Culture Journalist of the Year, Media in Support of the Arts, Arts and Culture Publicist of the Year, Cultural Development Project of the Year, ACT Best Practice Project and Lifetime Achievement. An International Arts Sponsor of the Year is also recognised at the Awards.

The Arts & Culture Trust Awards were launched under the sponsorship of Nedbank in 1998. Due to the restructuring and relocation of ACT there were no awards in 2000. This is the first year that the Mail & Guardian has joined the Arts & Culture Trust and Nedbank in presenting the Awards. Among the three KZN finalists were Caroline Smart, editor of D’ARTS magazine (Media category), and Illa Thompson of Publicity Matters (Publicist category) who both won in their categories in 1998. The third KZN finalist was Professor Elizabeth Sneddon (Lifetime Achievement category).

The winners included Georgina Thomson of FNB Vita Dance Umbrella (Arts Administrator); Mike van Graan of The Cultural Weapon on artslink.co.za (Journalist); eNews (Media); Juan Els (Publicist), and The Dance Factory (Cultural Development Project).

The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) received the award for International Arts Sponsor) while the Best Practice Project award went to the Fordsburg Artists Studios. The Lifetime Achievement award was won by Joyce Levinsohn of the Johannesburg Youth Theatre Trust.




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