New panelists for National Arts Council
The National Arts Council has announced the names of its new advisory panelists - the people who will decide which arts projects will receive government funding over the coming year. The incoming panelists were introduced last month, in time for the NAC's first funding session of the year.
Advisory panels exist for each of the various arts disciplines. Presiding over the visual arts panel is South African National Gallery director Marilyn Martin. Like the other panel chairs, she has been involved with the NAC's funding mechanism over the past years and will hand over her duties to the new panelists during 2002.
Incoming panelists for the visual arts are Avitha Sooful, a Gauteng-based arts educator and community worker; Alet Vorster, director and owner of the Art on Paper gallery in Melville, Johannesburg; Eastern Cape artist Vusi Khumalo; and Gauteng based artist and educator Richard Baholo.
The craft panel comprises Tessa Graaf, Alice Netshidezvani, Tamar Mason and Mofolo Mofokeng, with Zakhe Ngqobe as chair.
In an article on Artslink.co.za this week, NAC CEO Doreen Nteta emphasises that government funding for the arts is a finite resource, and argues that "the only way to develp the arts is to have strategic projects, fund a few important, sustainable projects, and encourage excellence and creativity".
She continues: "In the four years that the NAC has been funding artists and arts organisations, it is very clear that there will never be enough money for the arts. Somebody, therefore, has to make decisions on priorities and (strategic) projects that need to be funded. This is not a popular decision with artists."
The next deadline for applications for NAC funding is September 13. Application forms and guidelines can be found on the organisation's website at www.nac.org.za.
Artthrob's application for funding has been turned down by the National Arts Council on the basis that it doesn't support websites.