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MAKEOVER FOR ACT AWARDS (article first published : 2005-09-9)

Presented in association with Nedbank, Tonight and YFM, the Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) has announced that the ACT Awards for 2005 will be having a radical facelift. According to newly-appointed ACT Events Co-ordinator Justine Alston: “We are planning a whole new look and feel for the Awards this year including a new venue for the ceremony which will be taking place at the Bassline in Newtown during November. There are no other awards like these in South Africa. They recognise people who have an important supportive role to play in the development of arts and culture, rather than the more obvious producers of the arts.”

Launched just months after the inauguration of the first democratically elected government, ACT is the oldest independent body established to fund arts and culture in democratic South Africa. Former President Nelson Mandela, endorsed the initiative and served as the Patron-in-Chief of ACT during his term of office.

In this way ACT was initially called the Arts and Culture Trust of the President until 1999. With the support of Founding Trustees: Nedbank, the Vodacom Foundation, Sun International, the Royal Netherlands Embassy and the Department of Arts and Culture, ACT has supported almost 500 projects in all arts and culture disciplines since 1996. More the just a funding agency, ACT is a proactive proponent of the arts in South Africa. Annual ACT Awards for example, recognise the significant contributions made by communities, artists, administrators, educators and journalists towards the development and advancement of arts and culture in South Africa.

Now in its seventh year, the Annual ACT Awards is an established event on the arts and culture calendar. Since 1998 the ACT Awards have recognised more than 70 winners and 250 finalists - all outstanding individuals, organisations and agencies who support, sustain, promote and develop artistic creativity. Previous winners have included highly respected individuals like Sandile Mamela, Michelle Constant, Bridget van Oerle and Lynette Marais as well as projects like the Baxter Theatre Centre’s Ikhwezi Community Theatre Festival, Buskaid and media agencies such as Artslink and Yfm. ACT Lifetime Achievers have included amongst others Gibson Kente, Es’kia Mphalele and Sylvia Glasser.

“Over the years the Awards have attracted an increasingly wide range of entries,” said ACT general manager, Ashraf Johaardien. “This is clear evidence that there is a growing body of dedicated professionals working in media, publicity, management, education, finance and capacity building in the arts and culture sector. The idea behind the ACT Awards is to identify individuals, organisations and agencies who have contributed to education and training in the arts; created new audiences and markets for the arts; enhanced the quality of artistic productions through criticism; managed the arts efficiently; linked the arts to durable social and economic development; and devoted their lives to making the arts accessible to all South Africans."

Nominations for the awards are open and the public are invited to submit nomination in various categories.

ACT Administrator Award: an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the administration of arts and culture; ACT Journalist Award: a journalist who regularly writes with excellence about the arts and culture; ACT Electronic & Print Media Award: an electronic or a print publication that reports on, provides information about, or comments on matters affecting arts and culture, and ACT Broadcast Media Award: a South African radio or television programme which reports on, provides information about, or comments on matters affecting arts and culture.

ACT Publicist Award: a media publicity company or agency which generates significant publicity for the arts and/or cultural matters by way of outstanding marketing initiatives; ACT Cultural Development Project Award: a project or programme undertaken in the arts and culture sector, concerned with community development; ACT Arts Education Project Award: a South African based person, programme or institution involved in arts, culture and heritage education in the formal or informal sectors.

Most Successful ACT-funded project Award and ACT Lifetime Achievement Award.

Nomination forms are available on the ACT website at www.act.org.za and the closing date for nominations is September 30. A list of finalists will be published on the ACT website on November 4 2005 and the awards ceremony will take place at the Bassline Johannesburg on November 17 2005 followed by an official after-party.

For more information visit www.act.org.za or e-mail info@act.org.za




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