The Cape Philharmonic Orchestra has received R5 million in funds from the City as part of a drive to support the arts. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - The City has approved R15 million in support of the arts by making funds available to Cape Town City Ballet, Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, Cape Town Opera as well as the Baxter and Artscape theatres for the next financial year.

Mayco member for community services and health Zahid Badroodien said: “The City is partnering with these organisations as part of its efforts to take arts and culture programmes to the most vulnerable residents in the city. Many communities do not have the opportunity to see a dance, theatre or performance piece, but with our assistance, these organisations are able to reach a much wider audience.”

The Artscape and Baxter theatres received R2m each, the Cape Town Ballet and Cape Town Opera R3m each and the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra received R5m.

“There is no doubt that the arts strengthen the economy and spark creativity and innovation. It has 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 is honoured to make,” Badroodien said.

The grant to Artscape will go towards youth development which includes high school drama, schools art and youth jazz festivals. Other projects the money will assist include the Artscape Women’s Arts and Humanity Programme and the resource centre.

At the Baxter Theatre, the grant will be used for the development of theatre practitioners which include the Zabalaza Outreach and Development Programmes and the development of new South African theatre works.

Artscape chief executive Marlene le Roux said: “This money is more for youth empowerment and for us it’s about mentorship and being an entrepreneur while being an artist so that we can empower our youth.”

Beth Jeffery, fund-raising administrator of the Baxter Theatre, said: “Because of this money we are able to create ad hoc project in addition to our Zabalaza Theatre Festival that recognises theatre makers.”

The grant to Cape Town Ballet is for the development of professional productions and training.

The Philharmonic Orchestra grant will go towards the Masidlale Music Project, the music academy and the autumn symphony season, while Cape Town Opera will use the funds for opera productions and youth education.

City Ballet chief executive Debbie Turner: “It is wonderful that the city continues to invest in classical ballet. This shows that they have put their faith in us. Cape Town City Ballet is an integral part of cultural life in the city. We are thrilled that they have increased the funding this year.”

Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra said it was especially grateful because they have been running dry on funds for the past year after the National Department of Arts and Culture stopped funding them.

Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra chief executive Louis Heyneman said: “We have been working extremely hard for the past few months to secure funding. We are not over the half hurdle yet. With the city’s funds, we can support two of our youth orchestras that have been doing amazing work.”

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Cape Argus