In his thank you address at the 2015 Scholarships finals on Monday, 12 October 2015, ACT CEO Pieter Jacobs announced that in 2016 the careers of more than 14 young performing artists would be fast-tracked through a massive fund injection from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF).
Jacobs shared his thoughts with the audience saying that, ‘art is the manifestation of our social fibre’ and that it is ‘integral to the human identity’, and just on that basis it is vital to support the arts. He further thanked the NLDTF for their hand in giving others what he believes is the greatest gift of all, ‘the gift of education’. Jacobs also stressed that opportunities granted to the youngsters will help bolster the quality of output in the arts sector in the long run.
This will be the largest number of scholarships the organisation has allocated annually since the programme’s inception in 2009. ACT, together with the Dramatic, Artistic and Literary Rights Organisation (DALRO) and Nedbank Arts Affinity, has invested more than R1.5 million in young performing artists’ careers over the last seven years.
An exciting detail that has been added to the existing format is that the 2016 programme will see ACT cater for performing arts students in their first and second year of undergraduate studies, in addition to Grade 12 learners who are interested in pursuing a career in the performing arts in South Africa.
A range of Dramatic Arts, Singing, Acting, Dance and Musical Theatre Scholarships between R30 000 and R60 000 will be allocated to reach a combined value of R750 000.
National auditions will be hosted from June to August 2016 and participants will be given a six-month period to register for the programme as of December 2015, with registrations set to close on 31 May 2016.