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ACT AWARD WINNERS 2004 (article first published : 2004-11-7)

The Arts and Culture Trust (ACT) Awards, held in association with Nedbank and Mail & Guardian, announced its winners at a celebratory ceremony held at Nedbank, Sandton on November 4.

This year ACT marks a Decade of Development. Established in 1994, it has played a pivotal role in the development of the arts, culture and heritage fields in South Africa. Conceived as a sustainable trust, with founding partners Nedbank, the Royal Netherlands Embassy, Vodacom, Sun International and the Department of Arts and Culture, it offers mutually beneficial partnerships between the corporate and public sectors and the arts by channelling resources to individuals, groups and communities which merit funding. Through the annual ACT Awards, it recognises the various functions in support of creativity. The awards once again paid tribute to individuals and organisations that have made invaluable and significant contributions to the sector.

The winner of the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by Vodacom Foundation, is Sylvia "Magogo" Glasser, founder and director of Moving Into Dance Mophatong. She is a teacher, choreographer, writer, and anthropologist of dance who founded Moving into Dance as a non-racial dance company and training organisation in 1978. Since 1963, Glasser has choreographed over 50 dances for the stage and television as well as site-specific work. Many of her works, as well as the racially integrated nature of her company from 1978, were a form of political protest against the apartheid regime. Her deep respect for, and interest in, indigenous South African culture led to her pioneering of 'Afrofusion' which is an integration of African ritual, music and dance with western contemporary dance forms. This style has become the signature of Moving into Dance Mophatong Performance Company and influenced many choreographers in South Africa. She has been recognized as "one of South Africa's national cultural treasures and a remarkable social activist whose exceptional work, in specifically African dance, has changed lives, perceptions and the face of South African dance".

The winner of the award for Cultural Development Project of the Year, sponsored by Distell Foundation, was the Ikhwezi Community Theatre Festival which has brought new hope and opportunities for aspirant theatre practitioners in the Western Cape. Among the finalists was the Bees Consulting Group for the Kwazulu Natal Music Cluster Project.

Winner of the Arts and Culture Administrator of the Year award, sponsored by Anglo Operations Limited, was Shadrack Bokaba of the South African Music Education Trust. His role at SAMET is to implement policies laid down by SAMET's trustees; raise sponsorship for all its projects throughout the country and run the Trust like a business. Thanks to him more than 3,000 students were able to start a musical education in the past year. Among the finalists were Durban-based Nicolette du Plessis or Cultural Radius.

Arts and Culture Publicist of the Year, sponsored by Transnet Fondation, was won – for the second time - by Bridget van Oerle of Buz Publicity, a company she started in 1996 and which has grown to be a leader in the specialised arts and culture-marketing sector.

The Arts and Culture Journalist of the Year, sponsored by Sun International, went to Michelle Constant (SAFm/SABC and Conde Nast/GQ Magazine). A regular contributor to Condé Nast's GQ magazine, she has delivered in-depth coverage of popular culture over the past five years at Safm.

Media of the Year in support of Arts and Culture (Internet and Print), sponsored by SAB, was won by Screen Africa, a specialist trade publication that embraces the areas of film, television, commercials, music and professional broadcast equipment. The award for Media of the Year in support of Arts and Culture: (Radio and TV), sponsored by the Arts and Culture Trust, went to Kyknet for Kunskafee, a weekly programme focusing on the whole spectrum of South African arts, culture and entertainment - from theatre to fine art, from music to design and community projects.

The Arts Education Project of the Year (new award), sponsored by MTN Foundation was won by The Curriculum Development Project/Wits School of Arts Partnership which brings together extensive NGO experience with that of the Wits School of Arts. The award for Most Successful Act-Funded Project sponsored by the Arts and Culture Trust was the Artist Proof Studio which to date has seen more than 200 artists trained in printmaking as well as bursaries awarded to 20 artists and 12 artists invited overseas.

The judges for this year's awards were Vanessa Cooke, director of the Market Theatre Laboratory; Ryan Fortune, Arts Editor of ThisDay; Martin Koboekae, writer, director and Artistic Director of Dramatists Against Crime; and Thangana Krila Gobingca George Mxadana, music director and conductor of the Imilonji KaNtu Choral Society.




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