The Arts & Culture Trust’s ImpACT Awards for Young Professionals, with support from the Distell Foundation and in partnership with Sun International, are given annually to honour young artists or businesses that have reached a notable level in their career. Giving the masses a voice through the public nomination process, ACT proudly boasts an excellent selection of these individuals in the categories of Theatre, Visual Art, Design and Music & Singing, and the newly-added Dance category.
Dance | Letlhogonolo Nche
Letlhogonolo Nche graduated from Moving Into Dance Mophatong (MIDM) in 2009 and then became a choreographer under the Youth Choreographers Professional development programme facilitated by Alfred Hinkel and John Linden. Through this programme he was selected to choreograph works for Dance Umbrella in 2013 and 2014.
In 2013, he founded Northern Cape Dance Pages, a dance festival in partnership with Mayibuye Dance Academy. Through his teaching guidance, mentoring and leadership at Mayibuye Dance Academy he has had five of the dancers realise their dreams of going to further their studies at training and tertiary institutions.
Design | Laurie Wiid van Heerden
Laurie Wiid van Heerden was born in 1987 in Cape Town, South Africa. After gaining ample practical experience in the field of design and manufacturing and also being the assistant to Wim Botha for almost three years, Wiid Design was officially created. The business started designing and producing products from 2010.
Laurie Wiid van Heerden received the Maker to Market Award at the annual Southern Guild Design Foundation awards ceremony in 2013. Wiid Design was also presented the Conde Nast House & Garden award for production excellence in South African design at 100% Design South Africa, 2014 and the Best Lighting Design award at 100% Design 2015.
Music & Singing | Lindiwe Maxolo
Artist and Music Educator Lindiwe Maxolo is the 2014 Mbokodo Woman in Jazz Award winner and is known for her enchanting and magical voice. She has a Cum Laude, Honours degree in Jazz Music from the University of Cape Town. TIME, her debut solo jazz album, has earned multiple award nominations, including: The SATMA (South African Traditional Music Achievement) Awards 2014 as Best African Jazz Album, and Wawela Music Awards 2014/2015 as Best Creative Album of the Year and Best Female Artist Composer. She was also nominated for a South African Music Award (SAMA) in 2013 and is the winner of the 2002 Afro Vocal Category in the Old Mutual Jazz Encounters Competition.
Theatre | POPArt
POPArt is an independent theatre space and production company in the Maboneng Precinct run by Hayleigh Evans and Orly Shapiro. The theatre opened in March 2011 and has since showcased over 100 brand-new theatre works over the past three years. In 2015, they launched POPArt productions, which produces in-house cutting edge works. Evans and Shapiro both studied acting at AFDA and work in the performing arts industry as practising professionals.
By creating new and relevant content based on a growing audience demographic, the space is now actively providing sustainable employment for performers, while developing audience bases.
Visual Arts | Benon Lutaaya
Johannesburg-based Benon Lutaaya began has been practicing full time in 2011. Unable to afford art supplies, he improvised with waste paper material from the streets of Joburg. In just four years his career started making waves. Art Africa’s 2015 ‘Bright Young Thing’ has donated over R400 000 to different charities, an is a cosponsor of the 2015 Reinhold Cassirer Award, and an annual contributor to Ithuba Arts Fund. He received the 2016 European-based residency award from the Southern African Foundation for Contemporary Art (SAFFCA), a 2015 support grant from Business and Arts South Africa (BASA), an Ithuba Arts Fund grant, and a Bag Factory residency. He is also the Lovell gallery Artists Competition winner, and finalist of the BBC MyWorld documentary competition.