AFAI Launches Free Artists’ Guide to Online Action

A new online toolkit, free to download, will guide and assist artists and arts organisations in the effective use of online and social media tools.

The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Toolkit was developed by the African Arts Institute (AFAI) in partnership with the Arts & Culture Trust (ACT). It is available as a free download via Google docs, from (News section) and from (Development Programme section).

The toolkit provides an accessible online resource for anyone in need of advice on how to use everyday IT tools as effectively as possible. Its 45 pages cover new media platforms such as websites and blogs and social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud and Vimeo. It also addresses recently popularized initiatives such as ‘crowd funding’.

“One of AFAI’s key roles is to provide opportunities for education, training and mentorship to build human capital required to grow and sustain the African creative sector. We recognize ICT as an important driver to advance the sector. This toolkit will help artists and arts organisations leverage the use of ICT to widely distribute, access and develop the arts and increase their visibility and impact in their communities,” says AFAI General Manager, Belisa Rodrigues.

ACT CEO, Pieter Jacobs, adds, “Without the right knowledge and information, seemingly cost effective online marketing efforts could be detrimental to an organisation's reputation. In order to truly reap the benefits of an online presence and to maximize return on investment on digital spend a well-planned marketing and communications strategy is vital. The Arts Toolkit is a valuable source for practitioners in the process of developing strategies for and maintaining online platforms.”

Training courses
The Toolkit will be complemented by a series of practical training courses being developed to elaborate on its content in a practical environment. These courses will be presented by AFAI during 2014, with support from the National Lottery Distribution Fund.

The toolkit is also being translated into French, which will increase its reach on the continent.

“We are of very grateful for the support of the Arts and Culture Trust, as well as our other partners who have made this project possible,” says Ms Rodrigues.

AFAI Publications
Previous publications by the Institute includes the Migrant Artists’ Handbook, also available online and aimed at African diaspora artists living and working in Cape Town and Johannesburg. The Handbook has proved an invaluable tool for anyone entering the arts and culture industry.

Hard copy publications by the Institute include Voices, a compilation of testimonials: African artists living and working in Cape Town and surrounds; and The African Writers’ Birthday calendar, featuring the names, birthdays, countries of origin and most important titles and achievements of close to 300 writers, poets, playwrights and journalists from across the continent.

For more information on this publication or the 2014 ICT courses, please contact or phone 021 465 9027.


African Arts Institute (AFAI)
AFAI is a non-profit organisation founded in 2010 to support the growth of a vibrant, dynamic and sustainable African creative sector. AFAI’s goal is for that sector to contribute to development, human rights and democracy on the continent and to project African aesthetics and intellectual content into the international arena. The Institute’s core focus areas are to build capacity within the sector; and to build local and regional markets for African creative goods, services and artists' brands. AFAI is based in Cape Town, South Africa.

Arts & Culture Trust (ACT)
ACT is South Africa’s premier independent arts funding and development agency. The primary aim of ACT is to increase the amount of funding available for arts and culture initiatives, and to apply these funds to innovative, sustainable projects that make a meaningful contribution to society. Through structured funding programmes, ACT provides support for all expressions of arts and culture, including literature, music, visual art, theatre and dance, and the support extends to festivals, community arts initiatives, arts management, arts education and arts administration. To receive updates follow ACT on Twitter at!/actorgza or like the Trust’s Facebook page at

Nedbank Affinity Programme
The Nedbank Affinities programme is a mutual benefit marketing programme comprising a suite of banking and investment products that uniquely enable Nedbank clients to support causes close to their hearts, at no cost to the client. Clients can choose to have credit cards, current, savings and/or investment accounts. These programmes include Nedbank Children’s Affinity – Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund supporting needy children, Nedbank Green Affinity – The Green Trust supporting community conservation, Nedbank Sport Affinity – The Sports Trust supporting the development of sport and the Nedbank Arts Affinity. To date, the Nedbank Arts Affinity Programme has contributed nearly R15m to support more than 800 arts, culture and heritage development projects. For more about the Nedbank Affinities Programme visit

National Lottery Distribution Fund (NLDF)
The NLDTF relies on funds from the proceeds of the National Lottery. The Lotteries Act guides the way in which NLDTF funding may be allocated. The NLDTF wants the grants to make a difference to the lives of all South Afri- cans, especially those more vulnerable and to improve the sustainability of the beneficiary organisations. Available funds are distributed to registered and qualifying non-profit organisations in the fields of charities; arts, culture and national heritage; and sport and recreation. By placing its emphasis on areas of greatest need and potential, the NLDTF contributes to South Africa’s development.

The African Arts Institute is kindly supported by Spier and the NLDF.

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