Waterfront Artist Alliance incubation programme open for applications

A recently completed mural by artist Nadia “Nardstar” Fischer, who was commissioned to paint a mural symbolising the V&A Waterfront’s octopus garden in the Portswood precinct.

Applications are now open for the V&A Waterfront Artist Alliance, an arts incubation and development programme for young creative talent, aimed at boosting artists and the arts and culture sector.

The programme also aims to provide ongoing support for young artists, and follows on from the Waterfront’s other incubator programmes such as the Buskers Programme and, more recently, the Makers Landing incubation programme for small food businesses.

The programme is designed to give 10 incubatees practical experience and skills across five creative disciplines – fine art, photography, film, illustration and design. Five creative industry leaders will be selected to mentor the two students who best fit their discipline and experience.

The young creatives who have been selected will receive essential business skills such as marketing, pitching for new business and running social media platforms.

The two-month long incubator programme combines online sessions with mentors as well as group dialogues. Mentors will play a supportive role by sharing their own experiences and industry-specific knowledge, alongside industry experts who will conduct the main curriculum sessions, which will include business and marketing.

Antie Tietie Mummy mural at the Watershed craft market by Nardstar

The programme is in partnership with digital publishing company, Between 10and5, which will run the programme, and creative agency, The Bubblegum Club, will be the programme’s creative partner.

The programme expands and builds on the Waterfront’s existing Busker incubation programme for performing artists as well as its Arts in Public Places programme, which will now fall under the new umbrella programme called the V&A Waterfront Artist Alliance.

“Between 10and5 has long been in the business of showcasing creative talent and it is an honour to take hands with the V&A Waterfront and not only showcase, but also grow and develop talent through the Artist Alliance initiative. Giving real opportunities to young creators and makers is our passion and an area of our business that is growing. We’re grateful for the opportunity to unite our expertise with the V&A Waterfront and Artist Alliance and to make a change for good in an industry we love,” said COO of Between 10and5, Annel Malan.

Jamal Nxedlana, co-founder of The Bubblegum Club, said there was a prevailing feeling among young Cape Town based creatives that most initiatives and support programmes are based in Joburg, therefore, gaining access to them means moving to the big city.

“This is why we are especially proud to be a part of the team helping to bring the Artist Alliance initiative to life, and in doing so are spotlighting exciting Cape Town based talent.”

V&A Waterfront marketing executive, Tinyiko Mageza, said: “Art is not just for mansions. Artists need spaces and places to amplify their voice, and public spaces need art to expand cultural awareness, stimulate the imagination, and provoke dialogue. But first young creatives need a nurturing ecosystem. They need a safe space in which they can easily access information, develop essential business skills, and connect with other like-minded creatives, markets and industry leaders.

“Through the mentorship and incubation programme the V&A Waterfront Artist Alliance wants to bring creative young people, ideas and ingenuity together to get creative juices flowing. It’s a symbiotic relationship in which emerging artists receive mentoring from creative industry leaders based at the Waterfront, they also have access to our Waterfront business community, which in turn will have access to fresh young creative talent.”

Applications are open to anyone who is based in Cape Town and aged between 18 and 30.

Anyone wishing to apply will be required to submit a portfolio of their work, including a motivational letter or video. The submission should include a biography or summative description as well as a few images of the applicant and their work.

All submitted proposals will be assessed by a curator panel.

The programme will showcase selected works from successful participants after they have graduated from the incubator programme.

Submissions for the first programme will open until Saturday July 31 and successful candidates will be selected by early August.

The programme will run from the beginning of September through to the end of October.

To apply, interested candidates can visit https://www.waterfront.co.za/artist-alliance-live-art-be-heard/ to access the application form. If they do not have internet access at home, they can pop into the e-hub computer centre at the V&A Waterfront’s offices in Dock Road.