STAND Foundation

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The STAND Foundation is an independent, non-profit and public benefit entity

See their website at:


Also known simply as STAND - the acronym for Sustaining Theatre and Dance Foundation - the Foundation was created during, and in response to, the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in South Africa by individuals within the arts sector. The original founding team consisted of Gregory Maqoma (Chairperson), Yvette Hardie, Unathi Malunga, Saartjie Botha, Ismail Mahomed, Musa Hlatshwayo, Debbie Turner, Sbonakaliso Ndaba, Ricardo Peach and Mike van Graan.

The aim is to nurture, promote and celebrate contemporary South African dance and theatre and to provide opportunities for those who make their livelihoods within the dance and theatre sector to continue to practice their craft and earn an income. The idea is to serve all within the various linked dance and theatre ecosystems, such as education, creation, production, distribution, consumption, archiving. This means that it would include creative practitioners (actors, dancers, directors, writers, choreographers, designers, etc), as well as administrators, educators, technical crew, publicists, archivists, researchers and the like.

The project was launched nationally on 1 September, 2020.

The current Steering Committee consists of:

Gregory Maqoma (Chairperson), Yvette Hardie (Deputy Chairperson), Musa Hlatshwayo, Saartjie Botha, Ismail Mahomed, Mike van Graan, Jean Meiring, Lakin Morgan-Baaitjies, Mxolisi Masilela and Lesego van Niekerk.


In 2023 the list of patrons consisted of[1]:

Annabell Lebethe, Ashwin Singh, Billy Enderstein, Daniel Galloway, Hedda Krausz, Hennie van Greunen, Jay Pather, Julian Knights, Karen Meiring, Lynn Maree, Pieter Toerien, Rudolf Gouws, Simon Cooper, Sonia Gouws, Thembi Mtshali-Jones.

Willie Reetsang, who sadly died in May 2021 of COVID-19 related complications, was a patron as well.


A number of projects have been proposed for the foundation.

The Living Libraries Project

COVID-19 lockdown conditions impacted the whole sector adversely, but it also revealed that there were individuals who were particularly vulnerable i.e. those who were older, who suffered from underlying health conditions, who lived in retirement homes in isolation from others, and those who lived with high levels of financial precarity.

The Living Libraries Project is an attempt to network individuals who may fall into the categories of particularly vulnerable individuals, i.e. those who were older, who suffered from underlying health conditions, who lived in retirement homes in isolation from others, and those who lived with high levels of financial precarity, and to find ways in which they can continue to have their dignity affirmed, their artistic work valued and supported, and needs recognized with appropriate responses.

Started by in Cape Town, the vision of the project – aimed primarily at individuals within the dance and theatre sector who were born in 1960 or earlier - is to pursue four areas of interest:

1. To provide platforms for actors, dancers, choreographers, directors, writers, arts managers, etc who are sixty-years old or above, to continue to continue to work in their areas of choice, as well as offer new opportunities for them to engage in productive and decent work that generates an income

2. To record and find practical ways to document the experiences, insights and contributions of ‘Perennials’ (existing/lasting for a long time) in the dance and theatre ecosystem, both for posterity and educational reasons

3. To provide mentoring/guidance/support/advice to younger generations of practitioners as required and

4. To facilitate networking, support, assistance and stimulation (e.g. through speakers, seminars, critical reflections on contemporary works, bookclubs, etc) within this community itself


STAND Foundation "Launch of the STAND Foundation" circular (sent by: ) Monday 2020/08/24 11:58

"Living Libraries Project", STAND Foundation Newletter no 3

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