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STANDARD BANK ANNOUNCES AWARDS (article first published : 2003-11-20)

The winners for the 2004 Standard Bank Young Artist Awards were announced in Johannesburg last night, marking the 23rd year of these prestigious awards. The Young Artists are Kathryn Smith for Visual Art; Mncedisi Baldwin Shabangu for Drama; Portia Lebohang Mashigo for Dance; Tutu Puoane for Music, and Moses Taiwa Molelekwa (posthumously for Music).

No award was made in the film category but this year an award was made posthumously to Moses Taiwa Molelekwa for his contribution to music and in particular jazz. Since his death in 2001, his father has set up the Moses Taiwa Molelekwa Arts Foundation (MTMAF), and this award will help to benefit this foundation in his memory.

In 1981 the National Arts Festival Committee introduced the Young Artist Awards for Drama, Dance, Music, and Fine Art 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 2003 National Arts Festival, to be held in Grahamstown from July 1 to 10, 2004. 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.

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. This year’s awards were celebrated at a glittering ceremony, held at Merely Mortal, the unusual gallery in Craighall Park.

"We are pleased to once more sponsor the Young Artist Awards and in so doing, play an active role in the development and promotion of our country's up-and-coming artists,” says Khanyi Mlambo, Director Group Sponsorships at Standard Bank. “The Awards are a forum for experimentation where innovative concepts are tested and gambles taken. We believe the Awards play a vital role in nurturing South African talent.”

It was in 1984 that 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 have been the sponsor making this 20 years of committed recognition and support of our country’s extraordinary talents.

Since the inception of the awards, and including the 2004 recipients, a total of 77 awards have been presented plus three 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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