Last week, the Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) continued their road trip around the country, auditioning performing arts scholars and students for their Scholarship Programme.
ACT has been supporting arts students through this Programme since 2009. The only difference, is that in 2016 there are more Scholarships on offer to Grade 12 scholars and first and second year university students than ever before.
Supported by the National Lotteries Commission (NLC), the Dramatic, Artistic and Literary Organisation (DALRO) and the Nedbank Arts Affinity, the 2016 Scholarships Programme will change the lives of dramatic arts, singing, dance and musical theatre scholars and students with scholarships to the value of R800 000. This funding will be split; with R279 000 going towards the winning Grade 12 participants, and the balance being awarded to first and second year performing arts students.
ACT CEO, Pieter Jacobs and Programmes Coordinator, Rahiem Whisgary recently ran auditions in Potchefstroom, Bloemfontein and Kimberley and were bowled over by the talent they encountered.
“The hunger for arts education of the young performers based in and around the North West, the Free State and the Northern Cape Provinces ensured that Pieter and I were treated to an array of performances, making the task of shortlisting potential finalists an extremely difficult one,” says Whisgary.
The second leg of the Scholarships Programme tour started at the North West University’s Potchefstroom campus. “Though the group was small – three Grade 12s, two first years and one second year participant – we saw some great talent; singers and dancers, in particular,” reports Whisgary
“At St Andrew’s School in Bloemfontein we had a very busy day, auditioning a long list of Grade 12 and first year participants,” he continues. “Overall, the quality of singers blew us away.”
The Lady Grey Arts Academy, who have produced a number of Scholarships finalists, travelled to Bloemfontein especially for the auditions. Whisgary says their efforts were greatly appreciated, as once again, the quality of the Academy’s student’s performances was exceptional.
“We were very glad to see a large group of participants from the Lady Grey Arts Academy,” he says. “In addition to giving us the 2011 winner, Tankiso Mamabolo, who has since completed her studies at UCT and is now a professional performer, and 2015 Scholarships recipients Caleb Heynes and Andiswa Mbolekwa, The Lady Grey Arts Academy produces high calibre performers who have graced the stage as ACT Scholarships Finalists almost every year since the programme started in 2009.”
The Mayibuye Dance Academy in Kimberley has also produced a bevy of ACT finalists and recipients. In 2014 Katlego Nche received a Scholarship, and in 2015 Masego Moloto and Emelda Tshegohatso Mothelesi made it to the finals. Also in 2015, the Academy produced the ImpACT Award Winner for Dance, Letlhogonolo Nche.
“Once again The Mayibuye Dance Academy pulled out the big guns,” says Whisgary. “We auditioned some amazing dancers, and were overjoyed to also see a second year singer, who dazzled us with her voice.”
Whisgary says that each audition the ACT team hosts is altering the list of potential finalists, but as ACT CEO, Jacobs, said of the first round of auditions; “anything can happen!”
For more information, please visit http://www.act.org.za/programmes/scholarships.html