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SERVICE PROVIDER (article first published : 2005-10-19)

The Department of Arts and Culture is working towards the appointment of a service provider to do an assessment of the visual arts in South Africa and to assist DAC in developing a national policy for the visual arts.

Arts and culture is one of the most powerful and creative vehicles for transformation, enabling a unique multi-modal form of knowledge through creative and expressive acts and a sense of identity and healing and the celebration of commonality and diversity.

The Department of Arts and Culture has identified the Visual Arts as an important sub-sector of the creative industries in terms of its potential for economic development and social empowerment. The Creative Industries Mapping Document commissioned by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport in the United Kingdom and published in 2001, estimated that the UK art market contributed ₤3.5 billion in revenue to the UK economy, employs 37,000 people and generates some ₤629 million in exports.

This research has enabled the UK counterpart to DAC to develop a comprehensive strategy for exploiting the potential of the sector on the basis of needs and opportunities identified.

To date, the visual arts have been largely absent from the Departmentís agenda: the bulk of research and policy development has occurred in five areas: craft, publishing, music, performing arts and film. As with many other areas of the creative industries, the process of transformation and growth has been slow, with significant barriers to entry into the sector still in place for the majority of South Africans.

While South Africa is widely regarded as a cutting edge producer of creative talent, and much talent and work is exported, South Africa has a weak local market for the visual arts, largely a result of poor levels of awareness of what the sector does and the contribution it makes to our cultural landscape. In order for the Department to make meaningful and informed intervention in the visual arts sector, a similar process of research needs to be undertaken, identifying the nature, scope and size of the sector, assessing its social and economic impacts and making recommendations for governmental intervention in visioning and realizing the social and economic potential of the sector.

The following are various disciplines that this process should impact on: Visual Arts; Painting; Sculpture; Performance Art; Public Art; Photography; Printmaking; Installations; New media (exhibitions); Support and Administration; Curating; Management; Galleries; Marketing; Administration; Training and Skills development, and Curatorial practice.

The deadline for submission of proposals is October 28. For copies of the relevant documentation contact Andries Oberholzer on 012 337 8336 or 083 407 7839, fax 012 337 8537or e-mail andries.oberholzer@dac.gov.za




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