The Artisan, Volume 4
South Africa has such a unique landscape and requires an equally unique formula when tackling its social, cultural, political and economic issues. For this reason, over the coming years, the National Arts Council (NAC) intends positioning itself appropriately in order to adapt to the constantly evolving South African and global arts and culture environment.
While the term ‘cultural diplomacy’ has only recently been established, there is evidence of its practice throughout history. Explorers, travellers, traders, teachers and artists can all be considered examples of early cultural diplomats. The National Arts Council (NAC) believes that in our current social, cultural and economic context, it is important to formalise cultural diplomacy and ensure that it is embedded with a strong and clear strategy.
About 20km out of the Cape Town CBD, nestled between Grassy Park and Muizenberg, is the community of Vrygrond – the side of the city that you won’t see on picture-perfect postcards. It’s a place where gangs rule and drug abuse is rife; where health care comprises little more than a plaster and a Panado, and children are often left with no option but to be the heads of households.
Reggae's most transcendent and iconic figure, Bob Marley, once said - “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain”. This rings true for many prisoners in South Africa who have been moved by the Poetso Music Project.
In keeping with its mandate to support and develop South Africa’s arts, culture and heritage sector, The National Arts Council (NAC) has awarded 117 bursaries to arts students and tertiary institutions for 2016 through a fund allocation of over R5 million, a 10% increase from the last financial year. The bursaries will support both undergraduate studies at institutions as well as post graduate individuals across disciplines, signaling the NAC’s holistic approach to funding as a means of development.