The Community Arts Centre Awards were the focus of a national programme initiated by the Department of Arts and Culture that aimed to profile community art centres as incubators for the creative industries and incentivise them for the efforts that positively impact on community development.The awards were used to celebrate the socio-economic excellence achieved by community art centres.  The awards project was about revitalizing, refocusing and committing to change the current status of community art centres.  It was also about creating an enabling environment in which community arts centres could flourish and excel in the same way that the earlier centres did in the 1950’s and 1960’s.Some of the short to medium term objectives were:

  • To increase public awareness and recognition of community arts centres in South Africa
  • To highlight the role and value of CAC’s in social and economic development
  • To strengthen CAC’s capacity to achieve their mandate in full
  • To promote community participation in artistic, cultural and heritage activities
  • To develop markets and audiences for local artistic products and services
The awards were allocated to five different categories:
  1. Historical Community Art Centres
  2. RDP and Government Community Art Centres
  3. Thusong Service Centres (formally Multipurpose Community Centres)
  4. Community-Initiated Art Centres
  5. Community-Based Arts Projects
The assessment criteria stated that participating community arts centres and community arts programmes or projects needed to meet one or more of the following criteria:
  1. Arts and Culture Development and Promotion
  2. Social Development and Recreation
  3. Local Economic Development
  4. Skills and Youth Development
  5. Community Development and Stakeholder involvement
  6. Good Governance
A provincial task team was selected to assess all the applications submitted throughout the Province of Gauteng.  This was followed by at least two site visits to the various projects.  The smaller projects received a third visit that focused on their ongoing growth and development.The task team assessed the various organisations in the five categories mentioned above using the guidelines stated.  They submitted a final report to the National Department of Arts of Culture for their further Adjudication.  Once reports are submitted from all the Provinces, the Department of Arts and Culture will then announce the final winners.