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ARTS & CULTURE TRUST AWARDS 2003 (article first published : 2003-09-26)

KwaZulu-Natal featured prominently at The Arts & Culture Trust Awards 2003, held in association with Mail & Guardian and Nedbank, with two winners and one finalist.

The Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) Awards are a celebration of excellence in the areas often hidden behind the scenes of public events. Each year the awards attract a wide range of entries in the various categories - a manifestation of the growing body of dedicated professionals working in the media, publicity, management, education, finance and capacity-building who provide quality services to the local arts and culture community.

Winner of the Arts & Culture Publicist of the Year, sponsored by Transnet Foundation, is Illa Thompson. Illa Thompson runs the successful Durban-based publicity company Publicity Matters, which promotes theatre and arts projects in KZN. She has tirelessly promoted KZN work on a national basis to ensure that it is recognised nationally and, in some cases, internationally. Thompson is also active in the broader arts and culture community. She serves on the PANSA national committee, is an inaugural committee member of the Arts and Culture Marketing Association of South Africa (ACMASA) and runs workshops to teach publicity skills to students, community groups and arts practitioners. Contact tel 031-261-5518 / email pubmat@iafrica.com

Joint winner for the Most Successful ACT-Funded Project, sponsored by the Arts & Culture Trust, is the Field Band Foundation. With its operation based in Durban, the Field Band Foundation aims to improve the quality of life of disadvantaged young people and their communities through music and movement. Motivational coaching, structured rehearsals and regular public performance help participants acquire creative skills, develop self-discipline and build team spirit. In the six years that the Foundation has been in existence, more than 7,000 youngsters have been exposed to dance and music, while 1,000 have learned music notation. The Foundation operates in five provinces with 15 bands, 2,400 children from 52 townships and 169 schools. The HIV/Aids Peer Educator Project is one of the Band’s social development programmes. Contact: Retha Cilliers, tel 031-770-9271 / email rethaal@iafrica.com

Field Band Foundation director Retha Cilliers is also involved in the organisation that was one of the finalists for the non-monetary award, Organisation Of The Year In Support Of Developmental Arts & Culture Projects. This was the Norwegian Band Federation (Norges Musik Forbund – NMF): The Norwegian Band Federation and the Field Band Foundation began their partnership in 1999. The Norwegian Foreign Office and the Fredskorpset funding body in Norway support the partnership financially. The purpose of the exchange is to develop the skills of community Field Band teachers as part of socio-cultural programmes that offer youngsters in disadvantaged communities, access to basic music and dance education. The impact of the four Norwegian teachers stationed in South Africa has been huge and the improvements of the bands substantial since the implementation of this exchange programme. Contact: Retha Cilliers, tel 031-572-4672 or email rethaal@iafrica.com

The Lifetime Achievement Award sponsored by Vodacom Foundation was presented to Professor Mzililkazi Khumalo, composer of the opera Princess Magogo.




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