National Arts Council

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National Arts Council as concept

the National Arts Council of South Africa

Generally referred to simply as the NAC or the National Arts Council, the formal name is the National Arts Council of South Africa


Established in April 1997 by the Department of Arts, Culture and Heritage, it replaced the former Performing Arts Councils, which were then phased out. Its establishement was intended to make provision for a more encompassing and equitable funding system for all arts and crafts, and provision was made for a gradual scaling down of state funding for the old PAC’s while increasing funding to other companies and venues (such as the Market Theatre and the Baxter Theatre). From its very inception however it was embroiled in controversy, though many artists benefited from sponsorship. Indeed, from early in the new millenium, dissilusion with the ability of the NAC to sustain a true "state theatre" began to grow rpidly and calls were once more heard for a more direct involvement of the state in founding a national (or a few national) companies, to employ performers and build a theatre tradition.


NAC 4th World Summit on Arts and Culture, Johannesburg, 2009.

Organised by the National Arts Council of South Africa, a founding member of IFACCA, from 28 September to 01 October 2009, after a competitive bidding process. The NAC was supported by the national Department of Arts and Culture, the Province of Gauteng (Department of Sport, Arts, and Recreation) and the City of Johannesburg (Directorate of Arts, Culture and Heritage and the Johannesburg Tourism Company) The theme of the Summit was “The role of the arts in promoting inter-cultural dialogue”. (See also World Summit on Arts and Culture in Part 3, Section 1)


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