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Overview of the Prize

A new South African art prize with a focus on social impact that has a direct, measurable effect on individuals and communities has been launched.

Supported by the non-profit Rupert Art Foundation and the Rupert Museum in Stellenbosch, the Social Impact Arts Prize calls for arts-based activities, projects or programmes in specific categories in South Africa – education, employment, community, environment, technology and direct arts – where social impact can be both qualitatively and quantitatively measured.

“Through this competition we would like to contribute to the very inspiring communities in South Africa and the world who are already using creativity to tackle social injustices,” says Executive Chairwoman and
Co-Director, Hanneli Rupert.

Unlike most established art competitions in South Africa which focus specifically on fine art – this initiative will provide a different lens on art practices and their role in communities – how a great idea has the potentialto motivate, inspire and help a group of people, and be used as a catalyst for change.


Artists, architects and engineers, landscapers, environmentalists, creative visionaries and other experienced community-based creatives are invited to submit impactful, creative and meaningful ideas and concepts for the award’s consideration.

“It’s incredibly exciting to operate in a time where the arts can be developed as instruments of change. Imagining new ways of integrating art, society and the environment are being explored. We believe that a prize of this type will draw attention towards arts practices which can point towards societal change,” says Director, Roelof van Wyk.

The Social Impact Arts Prize will launch on 10 September 2019 in Johannesburg, supported by online and offline workshops to create effective proposal guidance for entrants in the lead up the close of submissions on 15 December 2019. The announcement of the shortlist and winner will take place in February 2020 at the Rupert Museum in Stellenbosch and the final project will open to the public in Graaff-Reinet in June 2020.

“Graaff-Reinet has been selected as the site for several reasons. It’s unique landscape – which already draws leading palaeontologists and environmentalists from around the world – reminds us of the deeper picture. Its location in relation to the country’s major cities will allow breathing room for creative ideas to grow. And hopefully, in time, we can continue to build on the legacy of the town as a “Museum without Walls,” concludes Hanneli Rupert.

Our Workshop podcast is now available so you can catch up on the learnings and be inspired wherever you are. 

Welcome and SIAP Overview:
“Museum without Walls”

A Global Case Study
“Re-Building a Community”

Director, SIAP, Roelof van Wyk

A Local Case Study

“The Geoglyph Project – working in the Karoo”

Anni Snyman, Site-Specific

“What makes A Good Entry”

Michelle Constant – Chairperson of the Judging Panel

The Judging Panel

Michelle Constant – Chairperson of the Judging Panel, ZA

Aliki Lampropoulos – Head of International Development – Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens, GR

Suhair Khan – Strategy & Ops – Google | Project Lead – Google Arts & Culture, UK

Azu Nwagbogu – Founder and Director of African Artists’ Foundation (AAF), NIG

Salma Tuqan – Deputy Director, Delfina Foundation, UK

Allan Schwarz – Mezimbite Forest Centre Director, MOZ

Marlon Parler – Impact Entrepreneur, ZA

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If you’ve been inspired by the idea of using the arts as a catalyst for societal change, and have colleagues who would share your enthusiasm, please share this with them.

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