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Enter now for the Arts Journalism Awards 2016

Published on 31 August 2016

Arts writers, broadcasters and photographers across traditional and online media are invited to submit work for consideration in the 2016 National Arts Festival/BASA Arts Journalism of the Year Awards.

The awards recognise journalism that sparks and shapes conversations around the arts.

“Insightful, critical commentary and intelligent review are essential to the sustainability of the arts and assists us in keeping artists in the spotlight and relevant to both their craft and audiences,” says National Arts Festival CEO Tony Lankester.

Open to experienced arts journalists, newcomers to the field, or arts-focused publications (print and online), the awards call for journalism published, posted or broadcast between 1 August 2015 and 31 July 2016. The closing date for entry is Friday, 30 September 2016.

Previous winners of the overall annual award include Charl Blignaut and Lwandile Fikeni, and 10 gold and 23 silver awards were presented last year.

Apart from the prestige and industry regard that the awards engender, the overall winner of the Arts Journalism Awards 2016 and the gold award winners will receive a cash prize.

“At a time when arts journalism is under pressure in traditional media and emerging as a force on new media platforms, the recognition given by this award is more important than ever,” says BASA CEO Michelle Constant.

“Too often arts journalism is dismissed as lightweight but the calibre of previous finalists and winners and the continued support of the National Arts Festival provides a convincing case for the importance of arts writing in our broader society,” says Constant. 

A judging panel of seasoned media and arts role players will be convened by CapeTalk radio presenter – and theatre aficionado – John Maytham.

“I am very excited about getting exposure to the best arts writing in the country,” says Maytham.“This award is a wonderful opportunity for people who toil long and hard with very little reward to have their work recognised and lauded. The judges look forward to entries that get under the skin; that go beyond cliché; that demonstrate a deep respect for, and understanding of, the exceptional work done by South African artists across the genres.”

Journalists may submit more than one piece of work (to a maximum of four entries) across multiple categories, but each entry must be processed separately. Organisations may enter up to five relevant pieces.

Follow us

Follow the Arts Journalism Awards on the hashtag #ArtsJourn

National Arts Festival


About BASA (NPC)

Business and Arts South Africa (NPC) is an internationally recognised South African development agency with a suite of integrated programmes implemented nationally and internationally. BASA encourages mutually beneficial partnerships between business and the arts, securing the future development of the arts sector in South Africa and contributing to corporate success through Shared Value. Business and Arts South Africa (NPC) was founded in 1997 as a joint initiative of the Department of Arts and Culture and the business sector as a public/private partnership.

  • For more information on Business and Arts South Africa contact 011 447 2281 or visit

About National Arts Festival

The National Arts Festival is held annually in the small university city of Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape.

The Festival comprises a Main and Fringe programme, both administered by the National Arts Festival Office. The event has always been open to all regardless of race, colour, sex or creed. As no censorship or artistic restraint has ever been imposed on works presented in Grahamstown, the Festival served as an important forum for political and protest theatre during the height of the apartheid era, and it still offers an opportunity for experimentation across the arts spectrum.

The National Arts Festival is grateful to the National Lotteries Commission, the Department of Arts and Culture, Eastern Cape Provincial Government, M-Net and Standard Bank of South Africa.

Media contact

All media queries to:

Rabbit in a Hat Communications
Sascha Polkey
083 414 0552
021 300 0052