Art Voice

One of the key motivations behind the establishment of VANSA was for the organisation to act as a voice for the sector, consulting with people working in the visual arts on the big issues that affect them, and lobbying government and the corporate sector on how they might help. This can be a tough task in a sector built around the creative work of individuals. Nevertheless, we remain committed to finding smart ways to identify, understand and tackle the issues that matter. Without just producing a loud noise...

We are currently undertaking research in a number of areas where we think that there may be potential to constructively engage with government, including copyright collection, artist resale rights, incentives and schemes for the provision of low cost studio and work space space and international representation at contemporary art fairs and the like. See our Research page for more info.

We actively lobby government directly in relation to issues that are visual arts specific, and work with the South African chapter of the Arterial Network - a continental network of creative practitioners, researchers, organisations and businesses active in the cultural and creative industries - to lobby government around issues that cut across the different art forms.

VANSA Statement - Copyright Dispute between DALRO and Auction Houses

VANSA statement on the present dispute between DALRO and various auction houses

Participation of South Africa at the 55th la Biennale di Venezia

The Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) has appointed the National Arts Festival (NAF) to curate and stage the South African exhibition at the 55th la Biennale di Venezia. NAF's proposal “Imaginary Fact – Contemporary South African Art and the Archive” was selected from a total of nine bids, all of which demonstrated high quality and a great wealth of ideas from within the South African visual arts sector.

ARTERIAL NETWORK SOUTH AFRICA and VANSA respond to DTI Lottery Policy Review

VANSA worked with Arterial Network South Africa on the development of a submission to the Department of Trade and Industry in response to the Lottery Policy Review document issued by the Department in August 2012. In our response, we raise a number of substantial concerns regarding the proposals of the Department, and make a substantial proposal of our own: that the majority of funding from the National Lotteries Distribution Trust Fund should be distributed through existing statutory funding agencies such as the National Arts Council, the National Film and Video Foundation and the National Heritage Council. We believe that our proposals - if taken forward - would have a dramatic impact on the sustainability and health of the arts, culture and heritage sector, transforming the Lottery Fund from a source of immense frustration into a powerful resource for the sector.

VANSA Submission to the Department of Arts and Culture on the HSRC report and proposed Visual Arts Task Team

The following represents VANSA's formal submission to the Department of Arts and Culture on the recommendations from the 2010 HSRC report on the visual arts, and the proposed process and terms of reference around the establishment of a Visual Arts Task Team by the department.

DAC Visual Arts Indaba Preliminary Report Back

In spite of a variety of problems associated with the timing of the event and the securing of appropriate representation from across the country, the Visual Arts Indaba convened by the national Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) last Thursday and Friday proved to be a stimulating and largely positive event.

Call for Public Comment on the Lotteries Review Policy

The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) has published a Lotteries Policy Review document for public comment. The Lottery is the largest single grantmaking body for the arts, culture and heritage in South Africa and we believe it has a key role to play in helping to sustain the social and economic contributions of a thriving independent arts sector.

Burning the Spear: Arterial Network Panel Discussion

Artists and cultural practitioners have responded to the painting and the response to it in a diverse manner. The controversy this has given rise to has sparked discussion on numerous issues fundamental to the production of art, the representation of blackness and our legal and constitutional framework. Join us in discussion as part of a process of taking the debate forward in the hope of building some consensus on the role of progressive art and artists in South Africa.

Sector response to National Lottery request for input on funding priorities: May 22 deadline

VANSA is collaborating with Arterial Network South Africa to encourage a strong and coherent sector response to the National Lottery Board's recent call for input on the priorities for Lottery funding. Please do take a few minutes to go through this post and make a submission - please make sure that you use the NLB's return slip format (follow the link below); it's quick and easy. If you're an arts organisation - whether eligible for Lottery funding or not - please make a submission!

VANSA Communications and Membership Survey

In order to be more responsive to your needs and interests, we need to know what you think about what VANSA does, and your views on being a member of the organisation. The survey is entirely anonymous, and should not take more than five minutes of your time.


The following statement on the current position of the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund has been prepared for submission to the National Lotteries Board (NLB) and the Minister of Trade and Industry in the context of the upcoming National Consultative Conference on the NLDTF convened by the NLB, on the 20th and 21st of June at Gallagher Estate, Midrand, Gauteng.


South Africa Lottery, an Open Letter by Ralph Freese: "I am deeply concerned – or more accurately, sick, tired and angry – about the failure of the National Lotteries Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF) and the National Lotteries Board (NLB) to live up to their mandate."

VANSA Statement on the Venice Biennale

The Visual Arts Network of South Africa (VANSA) notes with some concern the unfolding controversy relating to the representation of South Africa at the Venice Biennale.

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