40 years of talent and revelation

The year was 1976, the month was June, and as the Market Theatre prepared for its eagerly awaited opening on 19 June, the national youth uprising exploded on 16 June. It is forever branded on our minds through Sam Nzima’s image of Hector Pieterson.

In memory of June 1976 and in recognition of 40 years of the Market Theatre, on the 14 June 2016 the Nedbank Arts Affinity and the Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) is sponsoring a photographic exhibition at the Market Photo Workshop, titled 40/40: Political Notions of Photography.

‘The exhibition shares the images of several veteran photojournalists who captured the 1976 protests. Their images will appear alongside photographs of current times, captured by students and alumni of the Market Photo Workshop,’ explains the Head of the Market Photo Workshop, Lekgetho Makola.

The Market Theatre, Market Photo Workshop and Market Theatre Laboratory are part of the same exceptional institution, the Market Theatre Foundation, which is dedicated to the development of the performing and visual arts in all South African communities. Supporting this development has been a key focus of ACT and the Nedbank Arts Affinity, through their sponsorship of various projects over the years.

To celebrate the Market Theatre’s 30th anniversary in 2006, the Nedbank Arts Affinity and ACT contributed to the staging of eight productions as part of a season of new South African works. These included Coal Yard, Full Circle, Go a Phelwa, Gugu Mzimba, Flipping the Script and Relativity.

Since 2004 the Nedbank Arts Affinity and ACT have contributed to the Market Theatre Laboratory’s Community Theatre Development Programme, fieldwork projects and two of the community theatre festivals.

‘Visual and performing arts development programmes are critical for South Africa because there is so much talent in communities throughout the country. Many of our young people do not have the opportunities to develop their talents, or the funds or academic qualifications to attend university or a tertiary training institution,’ explains ACT’s CEO, Pieter Jacobs.

The Market Theatre is the venue this year for the final round of the annual NLC │ ACT │ DALRO │ Nedbank Performing Arts Scholarships Awards. Hundreds of auditions are held in all nine provinces in the first part of the year, from which the finalists are selected to showcase their performances on the awards night in October, when the winners of 17 scholarships with a combined value of R800 000 will be announced.

Nedbank’s support of the Market Theatre extends to the hiring of its facilities for banking events throughout the year. ‘We hire the Market Theatre for functions, roadshows and the internal staff communication events for our Newtown Campus, which is situated on top of the Newtown Junction Mall, next to the Market Theatre,’ says Charl de Kock, Head of Nedbank Group Property Services.

‘By investing in the growth and life of Newtown it creates an inner-city environment that people want to visit, which indirectly contributes to the sustained patronage of the Market Theatre,’ adds the Marketing Manager for Nedbank’s Arts Affinity, Yvonne Verrall.

We congratulate the Market Theatre on 40 years of extraordinary performances, talent development and cultural revelation.

In partnership with ACT, the Nedbank Arts Affinity Programme has donated more than R16 million to support over 800 arts, culture and heritage development projects countrywide. If you would like to make a difference to the lives of talented young artists in South Africa, get a Nedbank Arts Affinity credit card or open a current, savings or investment account. Every time you use one of these accounts, Nedbank will donate to these projects, which are managed by ACT, at no cost to you.

Visit any Nedbank branch, call us on 0860 555 111 or go to nedbankarts.co.za.