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Funding Guidelines

This information has been compiled to assist you with your application to access funding from the National Arts Council (NAC). These guidelines are applicable for arts projects funding and study bursaries.

1. Who is Eligible for Funding?

Individuals and formally registered institutions, organisations and groups can apply for funding. All applicants must be South Africa citizens and over eighteen years of age. Organisations and individuals can only be funded once per financial year.

1.1 Individuals
Individual applications are for a single applicant who is undertaking a project. This is meant to benefit individual creative writers, scriptwriters, choreographers, composers, crafters or painters, etc. In cases where several people are working collaboratively on a project, one member of the group should take the lead in applying.

1.2 Organisations/groups/institutions
An organisation is a group of people intentionally organized to accomplish an overall common goal. Applications from formally registered organisation are acceptable.

2. NAC Funding Programmes

Applicants may apply for funding under the following programmes:

2.1 Social Cohesion and Nation Building:
The arts play a significant role in contributing to nation building and social cohesion in South Africa. It is important that funding is underpinned by equity, inclusivity, diversity and participation of various groups of people (women, youth, vulnerable people and in particular people living with disabilities). The geographical footprint of the allocation should pay special attention to rural areas and provinces.

2.2 Innovation, Design and Creation:
This programme focuses on driving content creation at both an individual and organisational level. Content creation lies at the heart of the creative industries. It aims to promote excellent and innovation in new works. New innovative designs and works that have intrinsic and economic value which brings in the element of dynamism and vibrancy to the arts. Research and development are the essential elements in the creation of new works.

2.3 Arts platforms/showcases/exhibitions/festivals:
Platforms enable the arts to be showcased and appreciated. It is important to develop and support the platforms required to showcase the arts. Arts content creation and distribution is important for the development of audiences, audience engagement and for the consumption of the arts. Platforms allow artists to showcase creativity, innovation and excellence and to enhance market access.

2.4 Strategic Initiatives
Strategic Initiatives help to raise the profile of the National Arts Council, develop and promote the arts significantly in South Africa, they include innovation, capacity building, the leveraging of finances, partnerships and focus on execution to deliver value in line with the National Arts Council’s overall mandate. Strategic Initiatives focus on working with partners to leverage available funding, build sustained capacity and achieve real impact for the arts community. This will require the National Arts Council to pro-actively identify potential opportunities to make a real, sustained impact in the communities it serves.

2.5 Capacity Building
Capacity building is an essential element for developing the arts to ensure excellence. Through support for the provision of training and education, this programme will offer grants and scholarships to help grow talent of arts practitioners and other industry related professionals such as Community Art Centre Managers, art technicians and arts administrators. This will ensure that South Africa has a sustainable pool of talented artists and leaders.

Applications for funding for each of the above mentioned programmes should conform to the following art disciplines which the National Arts Council supports according to its mandate namely, Craft, Dance/Choreography, Literature and Publishing, Music, Theatre/Drama, Multi-discipline and Visual Arts. The maximum period for which funding may be requested is twelve (12) months.

3. Project Funding

Due to budgetary constraints, the NAC may not be in a position to fund the entire budget of a project. Applicants are therefore advised to seek further funding from other sources. Generally, funding will be for artistic programmes. Quotations for costs should accompany the application form and applicants MUST declare all other sources of funding. The maximum period for running a project is twelve months. Where administrative costs amount to more than 15% of the total budget, this expenditure should be justified. Organisations and individuals are funded once in a financial year. All applications must be made on the official NAC application form or through the Grants Management System through the NAC website

Projects applied for must be located at the address indicated on the form. Any change of address must be communicated to the NAC offices within seven (7) days of such a change.

3.1. Types of projects
You may apply for the following projects supported by the NAC:
- Animation design and multimedia design
- Art catalogues
- Arrangement and documentation of other persons’ music works (this may be considered when permission has been obtained from copyright owners)
- Art teaching at community level
- Community outreach projects
- Conference (to be led by institutions and organisations)
- Creation of new work/products, e.g. ceramics, pottery, wood carving, embroidery, applique, tapestry, weaving and textile design, new choreographic works, script writing
- Creative writing (writing and research grants, including autobiographies, novels short stories, drama book, folklore and children’s literature)
- Exchange programmes in South Africa and abroad
- Exhibitions
- Fashion design with a cultural element
- Festivals, including literary festivals (these will be considered only if they have a community participation component)
- Literary magazines
- Music compositions
- Music conferences
- Music tuition
- Musical theatre
- Participation at a conference (applications will be considered if the applicant will be presenting a paper at the conference)
- Performances, including creation and performance of new choreographic works
- Poetry performance
- Poetry writing by established writers. Unpublished poetry/writer (submit a minimum of three contributors to the anthology)
- Publishing courses (short courses) from reputable institutions
- Publishing subsidies for publishing houses (to apply directly to the NAC. Publishing houses can apply for a maximum of five (5) books). Applications should have a marketing and distribution plan/strategy of the published material they are applying for. Individuals who wish to have their manuscripts published should approach publishing companies /publishing houses who must apply on their behalf
- Research and documentation
- Research for script development
- Residencies
- Script writing for drama plays (applicants must submit a synopsis of the play)
- Story-telling
- Puppetry
- Touring productions and exhibitions in South Africa and abroad (this is applicable only when a substantial amount if funding has been raised from other sources)
- Workshops (submit names and CV’s of facilitators, list of participants and detailed content of the workshop. Workshops must be outcomes based)
- Writers’ grants (Applicants must submit at least one example of existing text that they are applying for with the application when applying for a writing grant). Writers are urged to register with professional bodies. Literary magazines and publications should have an editorial committee/staff and such names must be submitted with the application. Budding writers are required to submit a letter of acknowledgement/appointment of a supervisor to mentor their work.

3.2 Budgetary items that may be considered
- Accommodation for touring productions
- Accounting and auditing fees
- Administration costs
- Artists fees (rehearsal fees, performance fees, production crew, choreographers, crafters allowances, facilitators fees, etc.)
- Costumes and props
- Exhibition costs
- Instrument hire
- Mentor’s fees
- Production and printing of catalogues
- Publicity costs
- Research costs
- Travelling costs for touring exhibitions
- Venue hire (theatre, hall, gallery, exhibition space)
- Workshop costs
- Writer’s grants and other related project costs.

The maximum amount that can be applied for should not be in excess of R500 000.

3.3 Touring Projects
Applications for touring projects will only be considered if the proposed tour contributes to the national profile of the company or group and adds value to the lives of South Africans in general. Applicants who have been invited to perform abroad should have some form of financial support from the host country or host organisation. The host country/organisation should send proof of costs that they will cover such as, accommodation, food, daily subsistence allowance and transport within the country. A letter of invitation from the host organisation should also accompany the application to the NAC. The NAC cannot consider any application for overseas travel if the required documentation is not provided. In all cases, the NAC cannot be the sole funder.

3.4 Residencies
Residencies may be supported when an artist is invited by an institution and when the grant includes travel costs, accommodation and an honorarium for the artist. The applying institution must submit a letter of acceptance of residency by the artist as well as a signed memorandum of understanding or contract between the organisation and the artists outlining the traveling and accommodation arrangements as well as the honorarium. An artistic profile should accompany your application.

3.5 Conferences
The NAC may provide financial assistance when the applicant is delivering a paper on condition that the conference organisers are covering other costs such as accommodation, transport within their country and meals. Under normal circumstances, funding will not be provided to full‐time academics that have university‐ based funding sources for conference attendance.

3.6 Workshops
The purpose of a workshop should be outcomes‐based. The workshop should be aimed at providing both skills and mentorship for intended participants. Ideally, there should not be more than 10 and not less than 5 participants in the proposed workshop. (This is not a strict limitation; rather, the NAC merely advises that this number will be manageable and effective for training). The workshop proposal should show evidence that the participants will acquire particular skills and clear objectives of the workshop should be stated. The organisation or individual applying to organise a workshop must submit a detailed programmed outline for the workshop before the NAC can approve any grant. The organisation or individual applying for the workshop must provide detailed credentials of the facilitator. Such a facilitator/s must be a credible individual in the category of arts funding applied for. The organisation or individual applying for the workshop must provide a list of the participants to be trained. The list must include the full details and particulars of the participants.

4. Bursaries

4.1 Local bursary funding
The NAC has two types of local bursary funding: block institutional grants for undergraduate studies and individual postgraduate funding. Bursaries are offered to students studying towards an arts qualification. Bursaries are offered towards an Arts qualification at any institution of Higher Learning and Further Education Training levels in South Africa and abroad. International bursaries will be offered only when there is proof that South African tertiary institutions do not offer the course or qualification applied for. Applicants who have been accepted at prestigious institutions may be considered. Post graduate qualifications will be funded on academic merit. Students achieving less than 65% will not be considered. In the case where proof exist that tuition fees are already covered from other sources, funding may be directed towards accommodation, books and travel and subsistence allowance.

4.1.1 Block institutional bursaries
Applications for block bursaries are submitted by institutional heads of department on behalf of their undergraduate students. Individual undergraduate bursary students cannot apply directly to the NAC. Institutional bursaries applications are earmarked for students at undergraduate level.

4.1.2 Individual postgraduate bursaries
Post graduates may be funded once towards a qualification in the Arts. Individual students may apply directly to the NAC for a bursary. Applications for part time studies may be accepted.

4.1.3 International bursary funding:
The NAC may fund international studies at postgraduate level. These applications may only be approved if such qualifications are specialised and not offered in South Africa. Proof of acceptance must accompany all applications. The NAC will not be the sole funder. Students are advised to source other funding.

5. Arts Organisation Support Funding (Three –year funding)

The NAC may approve funding for arts companies over a period of three years. The purpose of company funding is to provide companies with stable funding for a period of three years in order to facilitate the creation, performance and exhibition of new works, capacity‐building, job creation and audience development. Applications are invited once every three years. This type of funding is for arts companies with good managerial, governance, accountability and artistic track‐records. Potential applicants should submit the following documentation: company profile, three-year business plan (which includes descriptions of the artistic and outreach programmes), audited financial statements, management and board structure. Organisations receiving company funding will not be eligible for additional general project funding from the NAC.

6. Emergency Applications

Request from applicants who have been invited to participate in arts activities outside of the country may be considered if invitations came after the announced closing dates. Applications which have missed or ignored the closing dates for applications will not be considered through the Emergency Funding Policy. Applications are recommended and motivated by the Arts Development Officer to the relevant Advisory Panel for consideration by the NAC. Arts practitioners and organisations applying for an Emergency Grant, are required to submit a completed NAC application form. The NAC requires 20 working days to respond to a request for emergency funding, provided all the required documents have been submitted. The funding for emergency funding is small and may be depleted at any given time. The maximum amount that may be granted for emergency applications is R250 000. Please see conditions for touring projects, residencies and conferences; in Sections 3.3; 3.4 and 3.5 respectively.

7. Categories of projects not funded by the NAC

- Ad hoc groups
- Architecture
- Book launches
- CD, DVD and video production
- Church choirs
- Competitions, prize money and adjudication
- Event management
- General fashion shows
- General magazines
- Hosting of web sites
- Individuals applying for publishing
- Infrastructure costs
- Interior design
- Music arrangement of other persons’ work without permission
- Personal commissions and commissions by other institutions
- Promoters
- Purchasing of books
- Purchasing of equipment/acquisition of musical instruments and stage equipment
- Recording and studio time
- Running costs
- Seed funding
- Vanity press
- Website design
- Writing in other subjects that are not of creative writing genre
- Applications from individuals working for government departments and entities.

6. Administration compliance

Applicants are required to submit all documents listed in the application form. Faxed, unsigned, e‐mailed and incomplete applications will not be accepted. Incomplete applications will not be considered and will automatically be disqualified.

7. Closing dates for applications

Deadlines for applications are published in major national newspapers and on the NAC website. Late applications will not be considered. Organisations and individuals can only be funded once per financial year.

8. Reservation of rights

The NAC reserves the right to allocate funds according to its priorities. This does not invoke the constitutional rights of any applicant. No applicant is automatically entitled to funding. All funding is at the discretion of the NAC.

9. Appeals

In terms of section 12(1) of the NAC Act, any person who feels aggrieved by any action or decision that the Council has taken or made in terms of the Act, may within 30 days from the date on which the action or decision in question was made known by the Council, appeal to the Minister of Arts and Culture. The appellant shall, within 30 days from the date on which the action or decision in question was made known by the Council, give notice in writing to the Council of his/her intention to appeal and deliver the notice by registered or hand‐ delivered post. The notice shall contain:

- The name and address of the appellant
- The grievance
- The reasons for the grievance

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Please note

The NAC is unlikely to fund the entire budget of the project. Quotations should be provided with the application form. You are also advised to refer to NAC’s general information guideline.