Following a hugely impactful first iteration of the Debut Programme, which was launched by the Honourable Minister Nkosinathi E. Mthethwa of Sport, Arts and Culture (DSAC) in 2017, Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) is calling for applications for the next round of the Programme.
Says BASA CEO, Ashraf Johaardien: ‘Participants will be selected from each province, along with nine provincial liaisons, who will be given an opportunity to build their administration and facilitation skills.’ He adds that this year the Programme will also feature the launch of the Debut Programme Alumni Network, which aims to facilitate continued relationship-building with the alumni of the programme through online engagements, training and other opportunities.
‘The Programme’s first launch saw the successful creation of opportunities, to develop and provide mentorship to local young creatives from peri-urban areas across the entire country. This year, the launch event will run somewhat differently, sharply reflective of the creative industry’s complete response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the strictures this virus has placed on artists’ livelihoods.’
BASA and DSAC hosted a digital panel discussion on Tuesday 28 July, at 11:00. The panel, comprising Charmaine Soobramoney (BASA Chairman), Tumy Motsoatsoe (BASA Head of Programmes), Cinga Dyala (former Provincial Winner and Liaison) and Moleleki Ledimo (DSAC Director: Arts & Youth Development), was facilitated by Metro FM’s Rorisang Thandekiso, and focused on the Debut Programme’s established role as well as its place within the greater context of the creative sector’s current concerns.
Ledimo states: ‘The Debut Programme is primarily focused on supporting emerging artists with knowledge and skills development, in order for them to shift from the amateur to the professional. In the current crisis climate, the importance of such assistance becomes even more critical. To us, this second edition of the Debut Programme is one further measure of the sustained beneficence DSAC and BASA have been able to provide to our artists during the global pandemic. As such, the Debut Programme’s primary vision continues to align to the current drive from the entire sector’s commitment to uplift, support and bringing relief to creatives.’
The Debut Programme provides training and mentorship to artists nationally, allowing them opportunities to pitch for funding to further support their ventures. BASA also partnered with the DAC and the National Lotteries Council (NLC) to further support emerging artists with knowledge and skills development, in order for them to shift from the amateur to the professional.
According to Boitumelo Tumy Motsoatsoe, BASA’s Head of Programmes this year’s Debut Programme partnered by DSAC will be underpinned by social cohesion, inclusion and access, as it aims to reach 18 communities nationwide; two from each of the provinces:
‘Partnerships and collaborations are important for maximum impact and improved sustainability. So this year we will also commit to increasing collaborations and strategic partnerships with local municipalities, hubs, youth organisations and state entities to decrease barriers to participation and to create more meaningful opportunities. The primary drive behind this is motivated by a need to reach anyone with limited or no access to information, training and skills development,’ Motsoatsoe explains.
BASA will be open for applications for the second edition of the Debut Programme partnered by DSAC until 31 August 2020. Once again applications are being facilitated via WhatsApp, as a means to increase access and applicants will be able to apply in English, Afrikaans, Sepedi or isiZulu.