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Local creatives honoured at 2021 Standard Bank Young Artists Awards

2021 Standard Bank Young Artist Awards winners. Picture: Supplied

2021 Standard Bank Young Artist Awards winners. Picture: Supplied

Published Sep 3, 2021


The National Arts Festival, in partnership with Standard Bank, has once again honoured young artists who have made a mark in the arts and theatre space at the virtual Standard Bank Young Artist (SBYA) Awards on Thursday, August 2.

This prestigious award is both a badge of honour and a golden opportunity; a recognition of creativity, originality, talent, hard work, ambition and imagination – and a platform on which to build in pursuit of new artistic achievements.

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For four decades, the partnership between Standard Bank and the National Arts Festival has made the SBYA awards possible and exemplified the kind of public-private arts partnership that supports and sustains boldness, innovation and excellence from South Africa’s artists.

“After all these years, the SBYA Award is still an award that artists aspire to and one that the public recognises as a major endorsement.

“The recipients often go on to become household names overnight.

“We would like to extend gratitude to our partner Standard Bank, not just for this project but for their continued commitment to supporting South African talent,” comments National Arts Festival. Festival CEO, Monica Newton.

And this year’s winners of the Standard Bank Young Artists are:

Kristi-Leigh Gresse (Dance)

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Vuma Levin (Jazz)

Buhlebezwe Siwani (Visual Art)

Cara Stacey (Music)

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Gavin Krastin (Performance Art)

Thando Doni (Theatre)

Each of the winners will receive a cash incentive, as well as a commission to premiere a new work or exhibit on the main programme of the 2022 National Arts Festival.

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Newton congratulated the 2021 Standard Bank Young Artists recipients. She said: “Young artists in South Africa need the inspiration these individuals embody.

“Standard Bank Young Artists represent the reward for years of hard work and determination and remind us that we have great talent in our midst.

“I would like to recognise the exceptional achievements of the 2021 Standard Bank Young Artists, and we look forward to seeing them perform and exhibit at the National Arts Festival in 2022 and to seeing how they use this accolade to further their artistic dreams and ambitions.”

More than 160 artists have been recognised since the first SBYA award in 1981, and the alumni of the programme have shaped South Africa’s arts landscape.

“For almost 40 years, Standard Bank has demonstrated its commitment to the arts by investing in the dreams of artists, changing lives of hundreds of artists and continues to find innovative ways to celebrate and showcase the talents within our borders,” said Desire Pooe, Head of Sponsorship at Standard Bank.

“To the 2021 Standard Bank Young Artists Awards winners, congratulations on winning such a momentous award, you have all worked so hard for this, and now your efforts and dedication to the arts has paid off.

“We celebrate each one of you, and we wish you all the best in your careers. This is the beginning of great things to come.”

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