Archive: Issue No. 62, October 2002

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The annual Arts & Culture Trust Awards 2002
by Kathryn Smith

Little attention was given to the visual arts at this year's Art & Culture Trust Awards held at Nedcor in Sandton, despite the visual arts being the only discipline that actively raises money for the fund through auctions at the Goodman Gallery, for which visual arts donate work.

What goes around didn't seem to come around this year, with a bias towards the performing arts and music this year. The most deserving award went to arts journalist Themba Ka Mathe, a self-trained and prolific writer whose articles in the Sowetan Sunday World are reliable and articulate. It was fitting too then, that the Sunday World's arts and culture supplement Hola, walked off with the 'Media in Support of the Arts' award. With the awards presented in partnership with the Mail & Guardian, I wonder if the M&G's once-reliable Friday section will ever be up for nomination.

As the press release goes, "the awards recognise the significant contributions made by communities, artists, administrators, educationalists and journalists towards the advancement and sustainability of arts and culture in South Africa. More importantly, they validate the Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) philosophy of the development, promotion and celebration of South African arts and culture."

There were about three nominees in each category, but MC Yvonne Chaka Chaka wasn't scripted to give citations on the nominees, only of the winners. Eager to know the reasons for nominations, my curiosity was only satisfied once I'd got my hands on a press release after the presentations.

ARTS ADMINISTRATOR OF THE YEAR, sponsored by Old Mutual was won by Rashid Lombard for his work on the North Sea Jazz Festival. Finalists included Bongani Tembe, as the chief executive and artistic director of the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra; and Shadrack Bokaba - executive director of SAMET (South African Music Education Trust).

ARTS AND CULTURE JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR , sponsored by Sun International was won by freelance writer Themba ka Mathe. Finalists included Alan Swerdlow, film critic, National Arts festival correspondent and deputy presenter for news and actuality programming on SAfm's AM Live; and Michelle Constant, presenter of SAFM's Saturday Wired and Art on the Edge, director of Foxfire Media and music advisory panelist for the National Arts Council.

MEDIA IN SUPPORT OF THE ARTS OF THE YEAR, sponsored by Vodacom Foundation was won by Hola (Sowetan Sunday World). Finalists included Pieter Cilliers Production (for KykNET) - Kunskafee and SAFM for their arts programming, including Art of the Matter, Art on the Edge and Saturday Wired.

ARTS & CULTURE PUBLICIST OF THE YEAR, sponsored by Vodacom Foundation was won jointly by Tin Can Communications for their work on the National Arts Festival, and Rodney Lentit, a communications consultant "who breaks down class divisions through his strategies". He was awarded the prize for an unnamed "world broadcasting event". The third finalist was Genevieve Cutts, the current Marketing and Communications manager for Endemol South Africa.

CULTURAL DEVELOPMENT PROJECT OF THE YEAR, sponsored by Sasol was won by the Cape Town-based Remix Theatre Company, who 'integrates' disabled people with able-bodied people both onstage and off. Finalists included the District Six Museum Ambassador Programme, a youth leadership initiative; Steps for the Future documentary film project on HIV/AIDS; and Moving into Dance Mophatong.

ACT BEST PRACTICE PROJECT OF THE YEAR, sponsored by the Arts & Culture Trust was won by the Field Band Foundation, a socio-cultural programme that offers disadvantaged youngsters access to basic music and dance skills. Finalists included the Buskaid Soweto String Project (BSSP) and Co-Opera Company East London Guild.

INTERNATIONAL ARTS SPONSOR OF THE YEAR, non-monetary award was won by The British Council for "supporting arts and cultural projects specifically geared towards capturing the imagination of the younger, wider public and nurturing relevant, mutually beneficial United Kingdom South African partnerships in the arts, culture and creativity sectors." Finalists included The Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) and The French Institute of South Africa (IFAS).

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD, sponsored by South African Breweries was awarded posthumously to NoFinish Dywili, founder of the Ngqoko Women's Cultural Group.