It is hard to believe that the year is already coming to an end and the festive season is fully upon us. It is during this time that we take the opportunity to reflect on the year that was. And there’s no denying that 2019 has been a momentous year for the National Arts Council (NAC), and the arts fraternity as a whole.
Although there have been many significant achievements this year, we take pride in having benefited a total of 237 organisations and individual projects, across South Africa’s nine provinces. The NAC has invested R49-million in grants to support the arts fraternity during this financial year. This total is made up of R23-million for arts organisations and R26-million for arts practitioners and projects.
These projects have been chosen because of their national significance and their potential impact on communities. Grants have also been made to arts organisations that support the involvement of women, the youth and people living with disabilities, particularly in historically disadvantaged areas.
This year we celebrated with two of our flagship projects after they received awards at the 22nd annual Business and Arts South Africa Awards. The Madi a Thavha lodge and the Limpopo crafters it partners with received a BASA Cultural Tourism Award, while Imbali Artbooks and the Imbali Visual Literacy Project bagged the Increasing Access to the Arts Award and were nominated for the Development Award.
These awards reaffirm the NAC’s core mission to promote the free and creative expression of South Africa’s cultures through the arts. It further strengthens our resolve to continue to be a catalyst for social cohesion and contribute to the evolution of a unique, diverse and inclusive South African identity.
We are constantly innovating, finding ways to improve on our work internally and on our relationships with our external stakeholders, to meet their evolving needs and to ensure the NAC remains at the forefront of all national dialogues concerning the arts.
I am sure 2020 will hold many challenges for the NAC team but I have great confidence that, as in 2019, those challenges will be overcome with the continued dedication and commitment to service delivery displayed by all our staff.
On behalf of the executive team, I wish you all a merry Christmas and a prosperous and happy new year. Have a great and well-deserved break, and enjoy the summer holidays and the time spent with your loved ones.
Chief Executive Officer