CityLife Arts

Department of Arts and Culture releases list of funded artists

The list of those not funded is however missing

By Edward Tsumele

The Department of Sports, Arts and Culture (DSAC) has finally released the much awaited list of artists, arts and sports organisations they have funded under the recently launched Covid-19 Fund, indicating  the amount each artist or arts organisations received. The Department also revealed funding was restricted to the maximum figure of R20 000 per artist or arts organisations, but those who applied for less were funded up to the requested figure.

“Following Minister Nathi Mthethwa’s announcement of a R150 Million Relief Fund to assist artists, athletes, technical personnel and the core ecosystem of the sector, adjudication panels were immediately appointed for both the sport and arts and culture sector. The deadline for application of the Relief Fund was 6 April 2020.

The other part of this fund was open to proposals for livestreaming the work of creatives and athletes, particularly, intergenerational cooperation between younger artists and legends. Both processes (the Relief Fund adjudication as well as the tender application process for service providers) were mutually exclusive.

Artists were provided with the amounts that they requested but the maximum amount given to each artist is R20, 000. Those who requested less than R20, 000 were given the amounts they specifically requested. These include artists who have appealed and were considered favourably,” DSAC,” said in a statement ahead of the weekend.

The department prior to this announcement received much criticism from artists for coming to the party late to assist artists as a result of the loss of earning due to shows being postponed indefinitely or completely cancelled due to the advent of Covid -19. The artists also criticized (DSAC) on social media platforms for what they considered to be both opaque and exclusionary criteria for funding. The release of the names of the artists that have been funded however should give the department a reprieve from criticism from artists who currently feel besieged by financial difficulties due to the lack of opportunities to earn a living through practicing their art during due lockdown rules, which does not allow social gatherings. Under lockdown Level 3, commencing ion June 1 museums and theatre doors remain closed, and concerts and festivals remain banned to control the spread of the coronavirus through social distancing. This has effectively disrupted several businesses in the arts sector and artists’ ability to earn a living.

This good news from DSA will definitely make artists whose applications for Covd-19 funding successful happy.

However others would reasonably want to know also the list of those whose applications were declined, and the reasons for the decision in the name of transparency, as only the list of those that have been successful has been made public so far, including the amounts they received. Those that have been assisted by the department all in all 488 artists and art businesses were dished amounts ranging from R1 650 to R20 000 per artist or arts organization.

To see the list of those whose applications for funding have been successful go to http://www.dac.gov.za/sites/default/files/DSAC Covid-19 Payments Summary.

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