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Grants on offer at the ACT | UJ Conference

Delegates attending the 2016 ACT | UJ Arts & Culture Conference will have an opportunity to pitch for one of two R80 000 grants for an interdisciplinary project

Sponsored by the National Arts Council (NAC), the Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) and Nedbank Arts Affinity, a total of R160 000 will be made available to two innovative interdisciplinary projects that are developed during the BASA Hatchery session at the two-day #creativeintersections conference.

“We are extremely excited to be a part of this project. This project strongly speaks to our mission of supporting, promoting and advancing the arts in South Africa. Additionally, collaborative efforts bear greater results and it has become critical that the sector collaborates in creating access to markets for the sector. In the same light, it’s becoming more important to for us to position the arts as a practical solution not only in our sector but other sectors as well,” says Rosemary Mangope, CEO of the NAC.

Presented by ACT, in partnership with UJ Arts & Culture, this interactive learning and networking experience is set to take place at the University of Johannesburg Arts Centre on 16 and 17 March 2016.

This year’s conference theme is #creativeintersections, which intends to provide an interactive learning forum presenting interdisciplinarity as an alternate way of thinking and problem-solving. Delegates are invited to school themselves through presentations, panel discussions, interview segments, structured networking activities, workshops and brainstorming breakaways that will activate practical engagement with interdisciplinarity.

“It is important for stakeholders to come together to address the needs and emerging opportunities within the arts industry. Art is a key contributor to the socioeconomic and cultural development of any nation,” explains Tobie Badenhorst, Head of Group Sponsorships and Cause Marketing at Nedbank. “As a bank committed to the development and sustainability of the arts, we are excited by the theme and possibilities brought by this year’s conference. We look forward to engaging and learning from the delegates and we wish them all the best.”

The BASA Hatchery session is designed to support the development of collaborative interdisciplinary projects or solutions. This flexible platform allows delegates to attend the conference as a group, working on a preconceived idea, or attend as an individual, without formulating a concept in advance and forming a group to develop ideas at the conference.

Delegates who conceptualise interdisciplinary projects or solutions that can be implemented within a period of 12 months, with the help of a grant of R80 000, will be given an opportunity to participate in the Pitch Perfect session at the end of the conference. At the Pitch Perfect event, representatives of participating groups will be given three minutes to pitch their project to an adjudication panel.

This panel will identify the top six projects, which will be announced after the conference has ended. Delegates for the shortlisted projects will be invited to do a 10-minute project presentation to a panel of adjudicators at the first post-conference Creatives in Conversation session on Wednesday, 30 March 2016.

The six shortlisted projects will receive professional guidance through an incubation programme, sponsored by the Kingdom of the Netherlands and implemented by the Cultural Development Trust. This platform will offer support in the form of contact sessions with a list of varying mentors, and help develop the successful transformation of each idea into a reality. The top two projects will then each be awarded a grant of R80 000.

The 2016 ACT | UJ Arts & Culture Conference, taking place at the UJ Arts Centre at the University of Johannesburg on 16 and 17 March 2016, is presented by ACT and UJ Arts & Culture, in partnership with the Department of Arts and Culture’s Mzansi Golden Economy Programme, Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) and SAMRO Foundation with support from the NAC, Nedbank Arts Affinity, and Creative Feel Magazine.

To stay up to date with information and opportunities, visit Tickets for the conference are now available at

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