ArtSAnow: Offering cultural operators and policy-makers real-time information on creative industries in South Africa

National Arts Council (State Party), South Africa
IFCD funding: USD 99,318 | Timeline: April 2013 - March 2015

© National Arts Council of South Africa

About the Project

Establishing an open-source platform for sharing information in two South African provinces
The project aims to strengthen creative industries in two South African provinces through the creation of an open-source platform that provides members of the arts community and policy-makers with access to networking, information and funding opportunities. Digital technologies, especially mobile phones and their web-based applications and social media will be utilized as the main instruments for facilitating widespread access to information, marketing cultural goods and services, as well as developing and interacting with the audience. The beneficiary provinces, the Free State and Eastern Cape, are largely underserviced by the arts grant-making bodies despite being home to more than 400 arts organizations. The project will function as a pilot phase for a larger future project aimed at extending the open-source platform to the entire arts community in South Africa.

Project leader: The National Arts Council (NAC)
The NAC is a public institution, established in 1997 in South Africa by the National Arts Council Act. It is committed to the development of the arts sector through strengthening infrastructures, as well as providing grants to artists, cultural institutions and NGOs working in the sector. It promotes the creation and development of cultural and creative industries in South Africa and conducts research on cultural policies and strategies throughout the country. Moreover, it facilitates networking and cooperation between individuals and institutions in the arts sector, both nationally and internationally.

Key targets

  • ArtSAnow, an open-source platform to improve access to critical information on the creative sector, is developed and tested.
  • Artists and cultural operators are trained in the utilization of the platform in the Free State and Eastern Cape provinces.
  • The creative sector in the Free State and Eastern Cape provinces is mapped.

Main activities

  • Developing and testing an open-source platform to improve access to grant funding, resources and opportunities in the creative industries sector throughout the provinces of the Free State and Eastern Cape.
  • Empowering 250 artists and cultural operators by developing specific training material and conducting training workshops on the use of the platform.
  • Mapping the creative sector in the Free State and Eastern Cape provinces in order to gather real-time data on needs, activities, available resources and opportunities offered by individuals and organizations in the sector.
  • Raising awareness about the platform through the production and dissemination of communication materials.
  • Monitoring and evaluating the success of the platform in achieving the project objectives.

How does this project contribute to the implementation of the 2005 Convention?

  • Increases income-generating opportunities and access to funding resources in the creative industries: given the poor access of artists and arts organizations to information and communication resources, people using the ArtSAnow platform will have improved access to funding, contacts and resources to set up their own businesses.
  • Promotes the exchange of information, know-how, expertise, best practices and encourages stakeholder cooperation: the open source platform will actively involve the participation and contribution of a broad array of stakeholders, all of whom will have an opportunity to continue exchanging through the creative industries cluster.
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