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The City of Cape Town recently approved R2 million worth of grant-in-aid funding to the Artscape Theatre in support of the Audience Development and Education Programme. 

The City of Cape Town and the Artscape Theatre today signed a memorandum of understanding as part of a R2 million grant-in-aid that the City is providing to the theatre.

The funding will be used to support specific programmes which focus on the youth, gender, vulnerable groups, heritage and culture, and the resource centre. The City is supporting projects that seek to bring access to the arts to audiences who would not otherwise have the opportunity.

In line with the City’s Organisational Development and Transformation Plan, we actively seek to partner with organisations to help build integrated communities and support cultural events and activities.

‘The City decided to partner with the Artscape as part of our efforts to take arts and culture programmes to the most vulnerable residents in the city. The Artscape is already taking arts to communities who may not have had the chance to see a dance, theatre or performance piece. With our assistance, they are able to reach a much wider audience. This grant-in-aid will enable them to continue the good work that they are doing in audience development and education,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security; and Social Services, Alderman JP Smith.An example of this is the arts development programme at the Guga S’Thebe cultural centre in Langa, where participants are taught to craft indigenous instruments. They are then brought to the Artscape to be exposed to the arts performed in a professional environment.

The Artscape’s programme of dance, drama, opera, music and visual arts promotes social transformation and good citizenship, while empowering artists and audiences.

‘There is no doubt that the arts strengthen the economy and spark creativity and innovation. The arts also have a social impact, exposing communities to a variety of genres and skills. This helps to preserve our culture and heritage and is an investment that the City of Cape Town is honoured to make.

‘David Rubenstein said that the world is a complicated place and that there is a lot of division between people, but the performing arts tend to unify people in a way that nothing else can. The investments made by the City’s Social Services Directorate help to remind us that we all have a common interest and love for our city. Whether it is developing social and soft skills of young people through awareness plays at schools, sport and recreation programmes in communities to develop social cohesion, workshops at libraries, sponsoring street art, or the minstrels street parade and other events, the City hopes to create unity and enable progress.

‘Through the arts, we are compelled to challenge what we think about issues and the world around us. To that end, everyone should see a theatre performance every now and again. We are proud of the work done by the Artscape thus far and look forward to our partnership having an even greater impact,’ said Alderman Smith.

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