Opinionista • Mike van Graan • 23 May 2019

Daily Maverick
Making arts and theatre accessible to the masses, not just the elites

Government-funded support for arts and culture, and especially for theatre, is heavily skewed in favour of South Africa’s major urban areas and of the country’s elites. Surely the time has come to revisit this policy and make the arts accessible to all?
“The arts and theatre have always been for elites,” is the stock response – mostly from elites – to the criticism that public policy and funding for theatre in South Africa in the last 25 years have generally served elites. The fact that these elites have a more “multi-racial” – or at some state-subsidised theatres, even predominantly black – character than before 1994, does not detract from the fact that the primary beneficiaries of publicly-funded theatre – access to infrastructure, production funding and to theatre itself – are suburban elites in just five of the country’s larger citie