Government launches programme to support youth in arts, culture sector

Government has demonstrated its support to young people in the field of arts and culture by providing them with a platform to showcase their creativity and nurture their artistic potential.

“The Young Creatives Programme (TYCP), a National Youth Service Programme of the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, aims to identify, nurture and empower young artists, writers, musicians, performers, designers and creators from diverse backgrounds,” Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Zizi Kodwa said on Thursday.

Each participant will receive a stipend allowance that ranges from R3500 – R4000.

“Many young creatives are often faced with challenges of not having permanent employment as the sector is regarded as informal because it only offers gig work. This is about to change through The Young Creatives Programme,” the Minister said during the launch of the programme in Johannesburg.

The platform serves as a stepping stone for professional development and a catalyst for artistic careers.

“By recognizing and encouraging their talents, the programme seeks to inspire a new generation of creatives who will not only contribute to the cultural fabric of our society but will earn a living through the arts.

“The Young Creatives Programme offers a range of exciting opportunities for participants, including mentorship programs, workshops, exhibitions, performances, networking events, and access to resources and facilities.

“By engaging with experienced mentors and industry experts, young creatives will have the chance to refine their skills, expand their knowledge, and gain valuable insights into various art forms and career paths,” the Minister said.

Kodwa expressed that government believes that investing in the talents of young creatives is crucial for the growth and vitality of the arts and culture sector.

“Fundamentally, this programme is geared towards improving the employability and self-confidence of participants making them to be successful in the job market or in setting up their own enterprises.

“The TYCP will assist the Department to address the plight of young people in the creative industries – by engaging them in meaningful development,” the Minister said.

Reviving community arts centres

The Young Creatives Programme will be implemented also as a strategy to revive the importance of Community Arts Centres.

It will enable Community Arts Centres to become the centre of youth and community development.

“Our plan is that while The Young Creatives will be engaged in the current programmes of the Community Arts Centre where they are placed, they will initiate their creative arts activities or projects at these sites, to grow and be active agents of change.

“The programme will be implemented in partnership with National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) and in the first year, will realise the placement of 270 young creatives in Community Arts Centres across the country.

“We are hoping that these cohorts, with the assistance from the Community Art Centre managers as well as the provincial Department officials and NYDA, will help the community arts environment to be much more viable and importantly, become ‘first space of choice’ where young people can converge and share their creative and artistic experiences,” Kodwa said.

The partnership with the NYDA will bolster the Department’s aims of mainstreaming youth development.

“Participants will have Community Arts Centres as sites of their community activism using their creativity as a weapon to fight social ills, as well as a tool to educate and entertain the community surrounding their Community Arts Centres. The NYDA will not only give training to the young creatives, but they will also look after these young participants as they exit the programme,” the Minister said.

Amongst others, the programme intends to:

Assist the department in its quest to deliver service in creative arts activities;

Promote patriotism and nation-building;

Advance social cohesion and

Assist participants to develop occupational skills necessary to be self-employed, access work-readiness or employability skills of being successful in getting a job and having sustainable livelihood opportunities.

Source: South African Government News Agency

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