Innovative DAC Debut Programme Poised To Significantly Impact SAs Emerging Artists

The innovative DAC Debut Programme is poised to significantly impact the creative careers of emerging artists in all of South Africa’s nine provinces, and across all arts disciplines.

The DAC Debut Programme is an important new partnership between the Department of Arts and Culture, Business and Arts South Africa and the National Lotteries Distribution Trust Fund. The programme combines DAC funding with BASA’s highly-regarded and extensive Education and Mentorship Programmes, in a way that makes it one of the most meaningful to be launched in the creative industries in recent years.

What sets the programme apart is its intense focus on artists who are on the very cusp of making it. The DAC Debut Programme aims to provide these emerging artists with the tools and support that they need to implement, complete or launch their creative project – be it a debut album, a first short film or a new   exhibition.

By equipping artists with the necessary knowledge and skills, as well as nominal start-up funding, the programme aims to substantially support artists in pitching for further funding for their venture or project. Within this structure, eligible participants in the DAC Debut Programme will also have the opportunity to apply for BASA Supporting Grants – a key BASA programme that has long played a significant role in stimulating sustainable arts-business partnerships across South Africa.

“We know that the creative industries have a powerful role to play in nation building and social cohesion and have great potential to contribute into our national economy,” comments Minister Mthethwa. “This new programme has been very carefully created as a way of empowering emerging artists, across all creative spheres, to take up their rightful role in making this a reality.”

The DAC Debut Programme encompasses all of South Africa’s nine provinces and will utilise  arts centres as programme anchors and as a way of providing support between the delegates and BASA. In a ‘Train the Trainer’ approach, staff in each centre will be identified and trained to co-facilitate the programme with BASA, with the aim of enabling the community arts centres to increase their facilitation role over time.

The 38-week programme will see delegates trained using the Asset Based Community Driven Development (ABCD) model. Already used by BASA in its Education and Mentorship Programmes, the ABCD paradigm is a powerful approach to community development that focuses effort on discovering and mobilising resources present in a community.


Through the DAC Debut Programme, delegates will:

  • Be introduced to basic business communication skills offering deeper clarity on their venture, and how to market it.
  • Undertake market research around their proposed project, in order to better identify opportunities and partners. This will be done through close guidance.
  • Develop a business or project plan as a way of focusing the mission, vision, objectives and activities in support of their creative project.


Towards the end of the programme, delegates will pitch their concept through the submission of written proposals. Those selected will be paired with an industry mentor and will receive funding to implement their project. Each artist reaching this stage of the programme will be expected to write a report on their process as a way of enhancing broader learnings from the DAC Debut Programme.

Eligible artists are invited to apply to the DAC Debut Programme using Whatsapp. The closing date is 1st August 2017.

To be eligible, artists must be between the ages of 18 – 35, must be active in their sector and must have a definite project to submit. Applications will be assessed based on the project’s stage of development and developmental needs, as well as the previous training of applicants. Applicants need to be able to demonstrate a basic ability to effectively communicate their project, which must also have the potential for viable implementation.


Applications must be submitted via WhatsApp (0824949751) by 1 August 2017:


Step 1: WhatsApp a 3 – 5 minute video outlining:


Your name (individual or organisation)Which province they are from

What you do (tell us & show us)

Why you do what you do

Why you want to be part of the programme


Step 2: Once you have sent your video application you will be asked to complete a written application form via email, or a WhatsApp application on special request.


Business and Arts South Africa NPC:

Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) NPC is an internationally recognised South African development agency with a suite of integrated programmes implemented nationally and internationally.  BASA encourages mutually beneficial partnerships between business and the arts, securing the future development of the arts sector in South Africa and contributing to corporate success through Shared Value.  BASA was founded in 1997 as a joint initiative of the Department of Arts and Culture and the business sector as a public/private partnership.  For more information on BASA, contact us on 011 447 2295 or visit our website: