Arts Incubator Program supported by DOEN
Growing young arts and culture entrepreneurs in South Africa
This CDT program's aim is to nurture and mentor budding entrepreneurs in the Arts and Cultural field and support them with training and consultancies in entrepreneurial skills to enable participants to develop, conduct and manage sustainable and successful businesses.
A number of fledgling organizations are now firmly established, have their own offices, receive sustainable funding or have enough work to make them independent entities.
The story of Pure PR Design:
Refilwe and Pumeza initially worked exclusively in the fashion/clothing market. Through a government support program they learned about the training programs and workshops by CDT. After successfully completing one of the short Arts Admin courses they applied for the Incubator Program. Being part of this group, which consisted of 4 other young entrepreneurial people/companies in dance and music, exposed them to the work that the others were doing like Luthando Arts (Contemporary Dance) and Nkosinathi Productions (Contemporary and Traditional (Pantsula) Dance).
When Luthando was commissioned by the Dance Umbrella, the biggest Contemporary Dance platform in South Africa, to choreograph a new work, they in turn asked Pure PR Design to design costumes for that work. The designers in turn attended dance classes for 2 weeks with Luthando Arts to familiarise themselves with the requirements of designs to be used in a dance production. Their designs were well received by Luthando management and dancers but also by audiences and professionals. In fact they were so successful that Vuyani Dance Company (internationally renowned) engaged Pure PR Design to make costumes for a new choreography as well. Again this led to a follow up as Vuyani Dance Company was invited as part of the creative team for the opening ceremony of the Soccer World Cup in Johannesburg 2010. This then led to Pure PR Design designing and making part of the costumes for that opening ceremony. From there they have been closely involved in the Johannesburg performing arts scene and are making a living out of their designs and making of costumes as well as fashion clothes.
The story of Nkosinathi Cultural Productions:
Nkhosinathi Chamo, who started his relationship with CDT in our training program in 2005, stands out. The group he was with, based in a township east of Johannesburg, as dancer/office worker (on a very low scale) had lots of internal conflicts and ultimately fell apart. He asked CDT for help to set up a new organization with some of his fellow dancers. Very slowly since 2006 Nkhosinathi has build up this new group and followed the path of registering, setting up an administration and creating job opportunities for the group. In 2008 we trained one of his dancers in our Training program so that they could run the organization together, while we assisted Nkosinathi to get into a Dance Teachers training program with the Moving into Dance Mopathong Training Institute, also one of our partner organisations in Johannesburg.
By 2008 he managed 45 dancers of which a group of 10 on a professional level and runs a yearly festival in his township. In October 2008 he received an Award from the City of Johannesburg for the group/person that most contributed to the community dance scene in the Greater Joburg Area. The Award is a scholarship for a year’s further education to the value of R 30.000 (€ 3 000). When accepting the award his first thank you was for us at the Cultural Development Trust (CDT) and next the announcement that he wanted to use the money to further his skills at CDT by enrolling for the next Learnership Certificate in Arts Administration and Management. Since 2009 he received sponsorships from a corporate funders and grant from the Provincial Government. He has passed his Learnership Certificate with flying colours and enrolled another of his colleagues into one of the other courses that we offered in Gauteng Province.
Since they were selected into the DOEN incubator program they have Trained Dancers-Hosted Community Festivals-National Tour. They were part of the Mundial on tour Program in the Netherlands and performed at the Blantyre Arts Festival in Malawi in 2010. In 2011 they were invited to perform at the opening of Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
Two other Incubator stories will be posted separately on this website.
Since 2008 CDT has been cultivating young entrepreneurs in the Arts and Culture sector supported by DOEN.
The participants receive hardware (office equipment), software (computer/marketing tools), workspace with hands on assistance as part of the programme in the form of mentoring, monitoring and further guidance.
Obviously the establishment and growth of each of the 5 entrepreneurs participating in the program each year is first and foremost. Next to it the spin-off though of creating new small networks of young people making a go of it and being successful, rubbed off on the group. As they got to know each other’s strengths and creative outlook they ‘employed’ each other for the jobs and projects they were involved in. Therefore the whole groups’ synergy worked very positively.
As this was the first time CDT had actually received support for the Incubator program it is important to show not only the growth of the participants but also the contribution the whole program makes towards the Creative Industries in the country.