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The Sustaining Theatre and Dance (STAND) Foundation is an independent, non-profit and public benefit entity created by individuals within the sector to nurture, promote and celebrate contemporary South African dance and theatre.
The COVID-19 lockdown emphasised the marginalisation of the arts generally and theatre and dance in particular. Even without COVID-19 restrictions, dance and theatre – more than most other art forms – will need support. STAND is an initiative from within the sector to sustain and grow contemporary dance and theatre while it will advocate for more effective public funding of the sector.
While there is a great need for relief funding during this period that has severely limited income streams, STAND aims to provide opportunities for those who make their livelihoods within the dance and theatre sector to continue to practice their craft and earn income.
The whole value chain within the dance and theatre ecosystems will be served (education, creation, production, distribution, consumption, archiving). This includes creative practitioners (actors, dancers, directors, writers, choreographers, designers, etc), administrators, educators, technical crew, publicists, archivists, researchers and the like.
Some of STAND’s initial projects include choreographic mentorships, writing and acting opportunities, developing a vision for dance and theatre for advocacy purposes, providing opportunities for upskilling, financial and mental wellness projects and nurturing woman stand-up comics.
STAND’s initial funds have come from individual patrons within the sector, or supporters of the sector who have pledged R10 000.00; this has been supplemented by funding from Business and Arts South Africa as well as funding from international agencies. STAND’s funding of projects will be secured through an ambitious crowdfunding programme.
STAND is coordinated by a Steering Committee comprising Gregory Maqoma (Chairperson), Yvette Hardie, Debbie Turner, Unathi Malunga, Musa Hlatshwayo, Saartjie Botha, Ismail Mahomed, Ricardo Peach, Sbonakaliso Ndaba and Mike van Graan.
Mike van Graan
STAND will be launched on Tuesday 1 September through an online media conference at 14:00. All theatre and dance practitioners, organisations and institutions are invited to host activities that day (online or public performances, costume parades, projection of performances on walls, online poster exhibitions, etc) and post pictures on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #STILLSTANDING
STAND represents the dance and theatre sector taking care of itself. STAND invites institutions, companies and individuals to help with its crowdfunding campaigns, to help build our database, to share ideas and information, to help recruit patrons, and participate in campaigns to build the sector.