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Arts and Culture

The Arts and Culture portfolio leverages the relationship between initiatives built by the MTN SA Foundation with schools and communities. It seeks to improve Arts and Culture education by building art-educator capacity through workshops, seminars, Artist-to-schools projects and classroom support, though continuous liaison with the Department of Education and the Department of Arts and Culture. The Arts and Culture portfolio also works to increase access to art-related literature in rural schools and libraries; and funds rural capacity-building programmes in craft and performing arts. The 1450-piece MTN Art Collection is used as a teaching resource by the many regional arts organizations that the Foundation engages in order to deliver on its development mandate in the arts.

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MTN New Contemporaries Award

MTN New Contemporaries Award

One of the MTN SA Foundation’s most renowned arts projects, the MTN New Contemporaries Award is a legacy competition that has been held every two years since 2001. It promotes young, cutting-edge artists who have not yet received appropriate exposure or critical acclaim, but who are positioned to be the next leaders in the contemporary art field. Through this project one artist (or artist collaboration) wins the sought-after MTN New Contemporaries Award every two years.

The programme is also designed to promote a young curator who has shown exceptional promise. Through this appointment the guest curator enjoys a unique opportunity to conduct in-depth research of contemporary artists in nine provinces of South Africa. She/he is tasked with identifying emerging visual languages in the art field, selecting four finalists (or finalist collaborations) and formulating a conceptual framework for an exhibition of their works. The MTN New Contemporaries Award 2012 was held at the historic B-Block of the Castle of Good Hope in Cape Town, in partnership with IZIKO Museums of South Africa. The winners were Unathi Sigenu and Khanyisile Mbongwa, who collaboratively developed an exhibition whose flagship piece, Die Kat, comprised a circle of suspended, headless, larger-than-life robed figures, with staircase, video and sound.

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Community- based Arts and Culture Programmes

Community- based Arts and Culture Programmes

MTN’s community-based Arts and Culture projects provide community members with skills and business training, enabling them to take advantage of wealth-creation possibilities in the arts and culture industries. The MTN SA Foundation works with mostly regional training organisations, such as Art Aid, Umbalambala Training, Nombeko Training Consultants, Keiko Productions, Kwa-Mashu Community Arts and North West Craft and Design Institute, to develop fledgling artists and performers in six rural communities: in North West, KwaZulu-Natal, Free State, Nkonkobe, Limpopo and Mpumalanga. These programmes also encourage their beneficiaries to develop soft skills and networks through the MTN SA Foundation’s Business Support Centres in the same regions.


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Heritage Month exhibition partnerships

Heritage Month exhibition partnerships

Each year the MTN SA Foundation celebrates Heritage Month by partnering a public gallery in an exhibition referencing South Africa’s rich cultural legacy. In 2012 the Foundation joined the William Humphreys Art Gallery in Kimberley to curate the exhibition The Praying Land – Heritage and Humanity in the Northern Cape, which displayed the work of the two partnering collections. Praying Land was curated by Niel Nortje of MTN SA Foundation and Rika Stockenström of WHAG, conceptualised and installed to narrate diverse histories and human experiences in the large and sparsely populated Northern Cape region, displaying a host of images of the land and the aspirations and memories of people who occupy it. The education team at WHAG managed the related education programme, hosting learner groups from across the province.


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MTN Art Collection


MTN Art Collection

Initiated in late 1997 and managed by the MTN SA Foundation, the MTN Art Collection consists of some 1,450 South African and African artworks in a wide range of media. The works in the MTN Art Collection are displayed at the MTN Innovation Centre in Johannesburg on a rotating basis, where staff (and the public by prior arrangement) experience themed exhibitions, layered with social and historical reference and supported by wall texts.

As a diverse asset that includes both classic and contemporary works of art, the MTN Art Collection is actively exhibited through gallery tours such as the exhibition, Messages and Meaning, (which ran from 2006-12 in cities such as East London, Kimberley, Bloemfontein, Polokwane, Port Elizabeth, Alice, Durban and Pretoria). The collection is also used for small training exhibitions that training organisations select from its holdings to accompany the Foundation’s Arts and Culture educator-training courses in rural areas of Eastern Cape, North West, Limpopo, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga.

Artists, learners, teachers and the public also encounter MTN’s artworks through the educational periodical ArtTalk, learner worksheets, loans to museum exhibitions, external publications on South African art, and through Messages and Meaning: the MTN Art Collection, the seminal book published on the collection in 2006 and distributed to libraries countrywide. Since its inception, the MTN Art Collection has been a core resource, underpinning and inspiring the MTN SA Foundation’s Arts and Culture activities.



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ArtTalk

A window into South Africa’s artistic riches

Launched in 1998, ArtTalk is an eight-page quarterly educational magazine published by the MTN SA Foundation and devoted to the visual arts, culture and heritage. It aims to showcase the MTN Art Collection and disseminate information about the artists it represents to art learners and teachers. The present print run is 4,000 copies per issue, but extra copies have often been printed at the request of museums and libraries. The magazine is distributed free of charge to education authorities, teacher clusters, conferences, libraries, art galleries and museums, as well as to MTN visitors and staff.



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Arts and Culture Schools Programmes

Arts and Culture Schools Programmes

To support the future of the arts in South Africa, and to increase economic opportunities and access to information in the creative industries, the MTN SA Foundation is committed to improving arts and culture teaching and learning in schools. In rural areas schools are particularly inadequately resourced and the arts invariably neglected. Having been active in educator training since 1999, the Foundation’s Arts and Culture portfolio intensified its schools programme from 2009, working closely with the Department of Education to initiate a suite of art-education projects at 15 rural schools in each of the Foundation’s six targeted districts: Nkonkobe (Eastern Cape), Moretele (North West), Mantsopa (Free State), Hlabisa (KwaZulu-Natal), Makhuduthamaga (Limpopo) and Chief Albert Luthuli (Mpumalanga).

The Schools Programme comprises interventions at the Foundation, Intermediate and Senior Phases, including activities such as curriculum-related training workshops in all four arts strands, classroom visits, artists-to-schools events, lesson-plan seminars, awards, manuals, art-book roll-outs, and art-materials packs. To deliver on this commitment the Foundation has been working with five regional NGOs.




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