About Us

The Sustaining Theatre and Dance (STAND) Foundation is an independent, non-profit and public benefit entity created by individuals within the sector to nurture, promote and celebrate contemporary South African dance and theatre.

STAND Foundation

Frequently asked questions


Why is the STAND Foundation necessary?

The COVID-19 lockdown emphasised the marginalisation of the arts generally and theatre and dance in particular. Even without COVID-19 restrictions, dance and theatre – more than most other art forms – will need support. STAND is an initiative from within the sector to sustain and grow contemporary dance and theatre while it will advocate for more effective public funding of the sector.


What does the STAND Foundation aim to do?

While there is a great need for relief funding during this period that has severely limited income streams, STAND aims to provide opportunities for those who make their livelihoods within the dance and theatre sector to continue to practice their craft and earn income.


Who will be served by STAND?

The whole value chain within the dance and theatre ecosystems will be served (education, creation, production, distribution, consumption, archiving). This includes creative practitioners (actors, dancers, directors, writers, choreographers, designers, etc), administrators, educators, technical crew, publicists, archivists, researchers and the like.


What are some of the projects that STAND Foundation will support?

Some of STAND’s initial projects include choreographic mentorships, writing and acting opportunities, developing a vision for dance and theatre for advocacy purposes, providing opportunities for upskilling, financial and mental wellness projects and nurturing woman stand-up comics.


How will STAND be funded?

STAND’s initial funds have come from individual patrons within the sector, or supporters of the sector who have pledged R10 000.00; this has been supplemented by funding from Business and Arts South Africa as well as funding from international agencies. STAND’s funding of projects will be secured through an ambitious crowdfunding programme.


Who runs the STAND Foundation?

STAND is coordinated by a Steering Committee comprising Gregory Maqoma (Chairperson), Yvette Hardie (Deputy Chairperson), Debbie Turner, Musa Hlatshwayo, Saartjie Botha, Ismail Mahomed, Mike van Graan and Lesego van Niekerk.


How can the dance and theatre sector support STAND to support the sector?

Some of STAND’s initial projects include choreographic mentorships, writing and acting opportunities, developing a vision for dance and theatre for advocacy purposes, providing opportunities for upskilling, financial and mental wellness projects and nurturing woman stand-up comics.


How to get in touch with the STAND Foundation?

To contact STAND, send and email to greg@standfoundation.org.za or mike@standfoundation.org.za

Meet Our Team

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AIMS: What we seek to achieve (and how we will go about doing it)

  • 1
    To develop a vision for the dance and theatre ecosystems in South Africa in concert with key players (festivals, theatres, companies, funding agencies, individual practitioners, technical crew, representative structures, educational institutions, etc), and to work with these players in pursuit of that vision.
  • 2
    To raise funds for, and as an independent entity, to support contemporary South African dance and theatre and its different elements (research, education and training, creation, production, distribution and touring, archiving and documentation).
  • 3
    To develop, manage and update a comprehensive database of salaried, freelance, independent contract workers and volunteers in the dance and theatre ecosystems.
  • 4
    To undertake and share research that informs and supports the development and sustainability of dance and theatre.
  • 5
    To help build capacity within the dance and theatre sector, including areas such as leadership, arts management, arts journalism, creative and technical skills, education and entrepreneurship.
  • 6
    To develop and maintain an extensive database of individuals and companies that support (i.e. purchase tickets for and/or sponsors) contemporary dance and theatre.
  • 7
    To initiate and coordinate projects that encourage activities in theatre and dance, and from which practitioners may earn income, and have their dignity affirmed, during periods of challenge facing the sector.
  • 8
    To catalyse and promote debate and theorising about matters related to contemporary South African theatre and dance.
  • 9
    To engage in advocacy, networking and support for activities that promote and defend our aims, values and principles, and that builds and sustains the South African dance and theatre ecosystem.
  • 10
    To support projects and activities designed to secure mental, physical, emotional and psychological wellness of practitioners and workers within the sector.

VALUES: Standards of behaviour we deem important for ourselves, and in relation to others

  • Good governance
    We are committed to sound governance and to abiding by the standards expected of us by our founding documents, our partners and patrons and by our stakeholders.
  • Servant leadership
    We understand and will practice leadership as service to each other, to stakeholders and to the dance and theatre sector at large, rather than as an opportunity for self-aggrandisement, self-enrichment or egotistical pursuits.
  • Professionalism
    We will practice punctuality, exercise our fiduciary duties without fear or favour, undertake the tasks assigned to us or that we have agreed to within the given time frameworks, perform to our best abilities, and be accountable for our actions.
  • Integrity
    We will act with honesty and truthfulness, take responsibility for our shortcomings and adhere to our values and principles.
  • Transparency
    We will be open in our communication and hold ourselves and our actions up for scrutiny by our colleagues.
  • Innovation
    We believe in innovation and creative thinking and will strive to encourage and practice these in meeting challenges as we encounter them.
  • Frugality
    We will utilize the resources under our stewardship with care, and avoid unnecessary and wasteful expenditure.
  • Respect
    We will engage with each other, and with others respectfully and without undermining their dignity, even when we disagree with them, or hold them accountable.
  • Empathy
    We will seek to understand and share the feelings of others, and to act accordingly.
  • Fun
    We believe in the importance of catharsis, of celebration, of humour and of having fun as human beings, as practitioners and as workers within the dance and theatre sector.

PRINCIPLES: Beliefs that will guide our external actions and relationships

  • Social justice
    We believe in a just society, in which the dignity, rights and freedoms of all our citizens are respected, are given concrete expression and which will frame our overall vision and activities.
  • Anti-discrimination
    We reject discrimination on the basis of language, colour, gender, disability, sexual orientation, nationality, class, geography and education and will work across such divides, actively seeking to support those who suffer such discrimination.
  • Partnerships
    We believe the sustainability and vibrancy of our sector lies in building and maintaining partnerships with, and between stakeholders in the sector; to this end, we will seek to conduct our activities as much as possible in partnership with others, both within the sector and with other social forces and movements.
  • Reciprocity
    We believe that those who give generously of their time, resources, networks and knowledge to the dance and theatre sector, should be acknowledged and rewarded with opportunities, remunerated work and other appropriate means.
  • Non-partisanship
    We engage in political issues but we will not be aligned to any political party. We may support the ideas and proposals of political parties as they affect our sector, but this does not mean that we support, or are aligned with those parties.
  • Freedom of expression
    We believe that freedom of expression is fundamental to creativity and will expose and oppose attempts to prevent, restrict or undermine this freedom, while understanding that context sometimes requires responsible and sensitive exercise of this fundamental freedom.
  • Ethical funding
    We will source and use funding that does not compromise our values and principles, nor which comes with strings that we do not have the capacity to deliver on.
  • Fair remuneration
    We believe that creative practitioners and service-providers need to be remunerated for their work and expertise, and that such remuneration needs to be decent (taking account of living standards) and fair (in relation to the work done).
  • Solidarity
    We strive to work with others in pursuing our aims, and will stand with other entities when they are, or the sector as a whole is, faced with challenges.
  • Sustainability
    We will work towards the self-sustainability of the Foundation and of the sector as a whole, and in doing so, pay heed in word and deed to the pillars of sustainability – economic, social, environmental and cultural.
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