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Open Call/Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) Professional Development Grants in Music

Updated on May 30, 2020 1071 views
Open Call/Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) Professional Development Grants in Music

The Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) is pleased to announce that applications for the ACT Professional Development Programme will open on 22 May 2020. Applications for the ACT Professional Development Grant in Music will be accepted until Sunday, 12 July 2020.

In 2018 the ACT Professional Development Programme supported projects in the fields of visual art and dance, followed by literature in 2019 and theatre at the beginning of 2020. For the second grant cycle of 2020 ACT is looking for projects with a focus on music and encourages applications for interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary works that have music as a core component.

Our sector has been greatly impacted by Covid-19 with lockdown restrictions having a massive impact on the arts. With the prohibition on social gatherings the lockdown has also highlighted the value of arts and culture in our communities as many people turn to arts for solace and entertainment during their isolation.

ACT CEO, Marcus Desando says, ‘As an organisation that strives to assist our stakeholders in realising a much higher purpose in their artistic endeavours and community, we hope that this grant cycle will challenge us all to seek a new way of working and new offerings. We are looking forward to innovative applications and wish safety and wellness for all.’


The ACT Professional Development Programme has been assisting South African artists for 25 years, with the support of the Nedbank Arts Affinity. This amounts to over 800 organisations and projects nationwide and a contribution valued at more than R23 million. Now more than ever artists need the support of organisations and businesses and we are most appreciative of the ongoing support we receive from Nedbank.

Tobie Badenhorst, Head of Group Sponsorships and Cause Marketing at Nedbank, says, ‘Music is the heartbeat of humanity. It fills us with courage, hope, love; it makes us think about life and how we are living our lives; it inspires us, and it has played an essential role in keeping us all going during the Covid-19 lockdown. It is so fitting that works of music are the focus of this grant cycle.’

The nationwide lockdown has brought both challenges and opportunities and while we look to a more certain future in which we will be able to come together once more, we also have to accept that our lives will never be the same again and that we will live with some of the restrictions for a long time.

Around the world, artists have had to turn to alternative platforms and ways of collaborating. Many artists are turning to digital platforms and diversifying their practice and there are long-term lessons, which the whole sector can benefit from.

Digital platforms are vital but not the only solution and South African artists face many unique challenges. Many people don’t have access to online platforms and #datamustfall. Alternative platforms such as radio have a much greater reach in our country.

We are looking to support South African artists in producing high-quality, innovative local art that serves our communities and the larger sector:

  • Projects that present innovative ways to serve communities and reach audiences.
  • Projects of an interdisciplinary and collaborative nature.
  • Projects that showcase high artistic and professional merit.
  • Projects to take place between September 2020 and September 2021.

We, at the Trust, understand that not all artists will have equal access to digital technology during the lockdown period. Furthermore, we are also aware that artistic creation requires an incubation and process period where ideas can be developed and tested. Projects for this call do not necessarily have to materialise in the digital space although we are open to applications of such a nature. What is important is that successful projects must have the ability to commence under lockdown and that social distancing and health requirements at each level of lockdown must be obeyed during the creation and delivery of the project.

A total of nine grants will be awarded for this open call:

Emerging/Midlevel artists and organisations are eligible to apply for one of six small grants of R30 000 each, while established artists and organisations are eligible to apply for one of three grants of R80 000 each.

To be eligible for the emerging/midlevel, ACT Professional Development Grant organisations must have been operating professionally for at least one year and have experience of managing budgets of less than R50 000.

To be considered established, organisations must have been in operation for three or more years and have a proven track record of successful projects with budgets exceeding R50 000.

For more information and to submit an online application please visit our website.

Applications open Friday, 22 May 2020.

Applications close Sunday, 12 July 2020.


Only South African nationals may apply and projects must take place in South Africa. Allocation of grants is at the discretion of the ACT board of trustees. The decision with regard to all applications for funding is final and no further correspondence will be entered into.

Stay safe and practise social solidarity and physical distancing.

Together we will rise!


Application Link:


Staff Writer

This article was written and edited by a staff writer.

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