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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 historical roots of traditional oeuvres, while also creating new work and evolving genres. In traversing physical boundaries, the arts at UCT help foster a strong creative economy and a greater emotional quotient 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, due to economic disadvantages.

  • Community development projects, arts festivals and workshops seek to develop artists and provide them with a platform to present their work.
  • The Baxter promotes access to the theatre by providing transport for approximately 3000 patrons
  • By keeping rental costs 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 forty 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 spectacular splendour of the museum. An upgraded reception area would also be able to accommodate a bookshop and museum coffee shop. The improved environment will add greatly to the experience of the house and increase venue hire possibilities, a great potential source of additional income.

Performing and Creative Art

(Fundraising needs: Endowment)      

As a premiere training institute for performing and creative artists, UCT has attracted and nurtured some of the best talent seen on local and international stages. From opera stars to fine arts practitioners, 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 have made meaningful contributions to the arts in South Africa and beyond. As is true of all performing and creative arts disciplines, specialised training and mentorship are expensive undertakings. Given that our students can only perfect their crafts within the context of practical production, stage performance, and individual coaching, the costs of maintaining these 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.