Apply for the Arts & Culture Trust Nyoloha Scholarship Programme before it closes on 5 April

Young, talented and dedicated South African artists wishing to apply for a coveted spot in the 2024 Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) Nyoloha Scholarship Programme (NSP) are urgently reminded to apply now via the ACT website before applications close on 5 April 2024.

If you are a singer, dancer, actor or visual or digital artist aged between 17 and 25 years and seeking to study at a tertiary arts institution in South Africa and receive discipline-focused training and mentorship, you are encouraged to apply.

The ACT NSP is a partnership between the ACT and the Nedbank Arts Affinity supported by Nedbank, Sun International, Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) and MTN Foundation SA. This joint initiative creates an opportunity for young performing and visual artists to receive professional arts training and/or scholarship funding for higher education.

The 2024 iteration of the ACT NSP will be fresh and unique, comprising 2 components: the first is the ACT Nyoloha Scholarship Programme, an undergraduate programme for youth aged 17 to 25 years who are either currently in matric or already have a university exemption and are not already studying arts or practising professionally. The goal of this scholarship is to support individuals in obtaining their first qualification in the performing, visual or digital arts at a South African tertiary institution or an ACT-accredited institution. One successful applicant in each category, ie performing arts and visual or digital arts, will receive a scholarship valued at R300 000 to start their studies in the 2025 academic year. The second component is the ACT Nyoloha Training Programme – a development-focused opportunity designed to increase employability through the enhancement of sector-related knowledge and skills. Priority will be given to youth aged 17 to 25 years who do not wish to pursue a formal qualification in the performing or visual arts sector but are currently and actively pursuing careers in performing or visual arts disciplines.

It is important for applicants to note the specific requirements as detailed in the provided guidelines document. To apply for category 1 (visual and digital arts), candidates must prepare to submit portfolios. Applicants for category 2 (performing arts) must submit a 2-minute performance video within their specific discipline (ie singing, acting or dance).

This year’s scholarship programme has an intake of 80 participants and 15 participants for the training programme. ‘The response so far has been overwhelming,’ says ACT CEO Jessica Denyschen. ‘Since the Nyoloha Programme was relaunched, the number of applicants continues to more than double year on year. This is a clear indication of the enormous demand by young people for such programmes within the arts and culture industry. Together with our sponsors, ACT plays an important role in educating, growing, and developing tomorrow’s performers and visual artists for a sustainable arts industry.’

Poovi Pillay, Executive Head of Corporate Social Investment (CSI) at Nedbank, says: ‘Our artists are essential in helping us to reflect on ourselves, our society, and our world. South Africa has an abundance of young artists with wonderful intellectual capacity and potential. This scholarship programme significantly contributes to their growth and talent in the visual arts, digital arts, dance, drama, music, singing and performance. The programme includes professional training and mentorship for up to 80 selected artists in the buildup to the end of year finals. There are 2 scholarships to be won but the goal of the programme is to engage with all these young artists so that they can achieve a successful and sustainable career.’

‘Sun International is proud to work alongside ACT, Nedbank and MTN to positively contribute to a brighter tomorrow for the arts and culture sector,’ says Heidi Edson, Group Socioeconomic Development Specialist at Sun International. ‘We share a vision to enrich local talent by equipping artists from different arts and performance disciplines with skills to become proficient in their craft so that they may further their talents and expertise to become economically viable contributors to the economy.’

Hurry – visit before 5 April 2024 to view the ACT NSP open-call details and start paving your way to a brighter future.

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