The City of Cape Town hosted an event on Tuesday June 18 to recognise leading arts and culture organisations in the city.
The Cape Town City Ballet, the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, the Cape Town Opera and the Baxter and Artscape theatres received R15 million in funding from the City to further various projects.
Zahid Badroodien, mayoral committee member for community services and health, emphasised the importance of the arts for South Africa.
“We do art in order to be able to express how we feel, to talk about the state of society, to bring people together, to have that democratic discourse, and to understand how we can be better in terms of realising our talents within the different organisations and spaces that have been made available to us within the city.”
Dr Badroodien also pointed out that the arts have been lacking funding in recent years.
“Fine arts is challenged in respect of the fact that, time and time, support in terms of financial and other resources has been waning.”
Funding going to the Cape Town City Ballet and the Cape Town Opera will go towards preparations and training for the development of new productions. Additionally, the Cape Town City Ballet will use funding for its national events which include free shows at the Artscape Theatre.
The Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra will receive funding to aid the music academy which houses the youth orchestra and the youth wind ensemble. The philharmonic also uses funding for the Masidlale Grassroots Project, which teaches violin to South African youth.
The Artscape Theatre received funding for its various youth development programmes including the Set Works
Programme and the Youth Jazz Festival. Additionally, the Artscape will use funding towards the annual Womens’ Festival and the Arts Ability Festival.
Funds will also go towards the Artscape’s resource centre, administration training, indigenous master classes, and Leadership in the Arts Programme among other projects.
The Baxter Theatre’s Zabalaza Outreach Programme was also a beneficiary.
Zabalaza hosts small festivals, script readings, showcases, and a large festival in March to provide developing theatre practitioners around the Western Cape with opportunities to perform.