The City of Cape Town recently approved R15 million in support of the arts, making the funds available to the Cape Town City Ballet, Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, Cape Town Opera as well as the Baxter and Artscape theatres for the next financial year.
Through grant funding, the City aims to improve access to cultural activities by supporting organisations whose enduring commitment to the arts helps to extend the City’s reach and impact in the cultural and creative sectors.
A broad range of activities will receive support through this funding, including programmes aimed at youth, inclusivity, skills development, new work for communities, audience development and indigenous master classes.
On Tuesday 18 June 2019, the City hosted an event to highlight its continuing support for these leading arts and culture organisations in the city.
‘The City is partnering with these organisations as part of our efforts to take arts and culture programmes to the most vulnerable residents in the city. Many communities do not have the opportunity to see a dance, theatre or performance piece, but with our assistance, these organisations are able to reach a much wider audience. Funding will enable them to continue the good work that they are doing in audience development and education,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Zahid Badroodien, who officiated at the ceremonial funding hand-over event.
Participation and engagement in art forms such as dance, drama, opera and classical music have the capacity to tell stories, produce public discourse, generate shared experiences and build empathy. These are key means to promoting social transformation and good citizenship, while empowering artists to reach new audiences.
‘The arts force us to challenge what we think about issues and compel us to review what we believe about the world around us. Everyone should see a theatre performance or stage production now and then. We are proud of the work done by these organisations and look forward to our partnership having an even greater impact.
‘There is no doubt that the arts strengthen the economy and spark creativity and innovation. It has a social impact, exposing communities to a variety of genres and skills. This helps to preserve our culture and heritage and is an investment that the City of Cape Town is honoured to make,’ added Councillor Badroodien.
The Artscape and Baxter theatres will receive R2 million each, the Cape Town Ballet and Cape Town Opera R3 million each and the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra will receive R5 million.
The grant to Artscape will go towards youth development which includes their setworks programme, high school drama, schools art and youth jazz festivals. Other projects the money will assist include the Artscape Women’s Arts and Humanity Programme and the resource centre.
At the Baxter Theatre, the grant will be used for the development of theatre practitioners which include the Zabalaza Outreach and Development Programmes and the development of new South African theatre works.
The grant to Cape Town Ballet is for the development of professional productions and training and development which includes skills training, audience development, development performance; and national events.
The Philharmonic Orchestra grant will go towards the Masidlale Music Project, the music academy and the autumn symphony season; while Cape Town Opera will use the funds for opera productions and youth education projects.