To celebrate its 25th year of establishment, the Arts & Culture (ACT) has launched the “25 Million Reasons to Give” campaign. The campaign aims at encouraging investors to help it raise R25m for the arts.
The ‘ACT 25 Million Reasons to Give’ campaign will host a series of activities including events and talks. There will also be tours for investors and the general public to participate in during its 25th-anniversary celebrations.
ACT was established by the former Ministry of Arts, Culture, Science, and Technology. It was designed to secure financial and other resources for arts, culture, and creativity in 1994. South Africa’s first democratically-elected President, Nelson Mandela, endorsed the trust. Furthermore, he served as its patron-in-chief during his tenure.
During its first five years of establishment, ACT’s founding trustees contributed a sum of R5m. The contribution became the financial base for further generation and disbursement of funding towards various arts and culture projects across South Africa.
The ‘ACT’s 25 Million Reasons to Give’ campaign is focused on raising funds to be disbursed across five key pillars established by the organization. These pillars are the ACT Development Grants – disbursed to emerging or mid-level artists and organizations as well as postgraduate students; ACT Building Blocks – designed to build capacity through skills transfer; ACT DALRO Nedbank Scholarships – aimed at learners in grade 12 and individuals under the age of 25; the ACT Awards – a celebration of excellence in South African arts, culture and creative sector; and the ACT Conference – an annual conference designed to inspire change.
Over the last 24 years, ACT has disbursed over R20m to artists and organizations. Its beneficiaries have been people who worked across the artistic practices of literature, music, arts, theatre, and dance. During those periods, the organization investment grew to R45m. This was when other development programs began to invest in the sector indirectly, such as the ACT building block, etc.
The ACT CEO, Marcus Desando, said “Looking back, we are proud of the sustained impact ACT has made over the past years. And now we are looking to significantly strengthen our fundraising efforts. To this very end, it is the vision of our board of trustees to ramp up our investment endeavors to provide support to these initiatives to a much greater extent. If R5m had such an effective impact, imagine what a further R25 million could do?”