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Fundraising priorities
Home > Donating to UCT > Fundraising priorities > Cultivating artistic excellence

Cultivating artistic excellence

Our tradition of artistic and cultural development is well expressed through the projects in this cluster. They explore the traditional, while also creating new work and evolving genres. The arts at UCT help foster a strong creative economy and a greater emotional well-being in society.

Baxter Theatre Centre

(Fundraising needs: endowment, operational costs and events.)      

UCT’s Baxter Theatre Centre caters for diverse audiences by presenting a range of music, dance and theatre productions.

In addition, the centre addresses many of the historical inequalities that persist in the performing arts in the following ways:

  • Community development projects, arts festivals and workshops seek to develop artists and provide them with a platform to present their work.
  • Access to the theatre by providing transport for approximately 3 000 patrons.
  • Rental costs are kept as low as possible for small production companies, burgeoning artists and community organisations.

The Zabalaza Theatre Festival provides community theatre groups from Cape Town with:

  • theatre training
  • a 3-week festival platform to exhibit their work
  • professional audition opportunities
  • mini-festivals in target communities.

Programmes such as these rely on donor funding to benefit communities that have lacked exposure to the performing arts.

Irma Stern Gallery

(Fundraising needs: capital costs.)      

For over 40 years, UCT has housed the Irma Stern art collection at the museum on Cecil Road, Lower Campus. Irma Stern, one of South Africa's most highly regarded fine artists, made this place her home until she died in 1966. UCT is responsible for the maintenance of the museum.

The layout of the museum belies the value of the work in it, particularly the magnificent African artefacts collected by Irma Stern over the years. Apart from restoration work on parts of the building that have deteriorated with time, the plan is to create a new entrance for visitors that would highlight the splendour of the museum. An upgraded reception area would be able to accommodate a bookshop and museum coffee shop. The improvements will increase venue hire possibilities, a great potential source of income.

Performing and creative art

(Fundraising needs: endowment.)      

As one of the country's best training institutes for performing and creative artists, UCT has attracted and nurtured some of the finest talent seen on local and international stages. From opera stars to fine artists, dancers to film and theatre industry professionals, UCT graduates are famed for challenging convention and pushing the boundaries within their chosen fields. In this way they make meaningful contributions to the arts in South Africa and beyond.

Specialised training and mentorship are expensive. The costs of maintaining these creative study programmes often exceed the general operating budget. It is only through the assistance of donors that we are able to offer bursaries to talented students and mount productions to assess and showcase their work.