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ABOUT ACOSA (African Cultural Organisation of South Africa)

Executive Summary

The African Cultural Organisation of South Africa is a Section 21 Company registered in 1998. It is managed and monitored by a seven member board of directors, 5 full time staff and up to 25 hourly professional and trainee music trainers. ACOSA started five decades ago as a community initiative to preserve the arts and cultures of the fast growing diverse peoples around the city of Johannesburg just after the Second World War. A lot has not changed today, ACOSA is still an NGO that assists the government and city councils to reach out to the community and respond to the need for formal music training and development, and related industry.

For the past 40 years through the Soweto Music Conservatoire, ACOSA board and community leaders have worked together to provide a home for young and old musicians from a variety of backgrounds to join together to learn and perform music.

In the past decade the emphasis has been to set up similar viable and sustainable structures on a provincial and national basis whereby musical organisations integrate and share resources through partnerships. The result is increased access to music education programmes by aspirant musicians, the nurturing of existing music programmes and the shared performances including music workshops, and documenting South African music.

There is a growing interest amongst South Africans for formal music education, particularly in previously disadvantaged communities such as in the rural areas and people with disability. Presently, very few people have access to any form of music education or related cultural study.  Most musicians in the black community do not possess music writing skills and therefore cannot share their indigenous music or original compositions. Several Government Departments and Business recognise the educational and intellectual value of youth studying music.  However, no single body appears to have a holistic view or solution. ACOSA has come up with tested programmes and achieved approval from education institutions like our universities, the government, Business and the community.

The Soweto Music Conservatoire concept has spread to rural areas. The two programmes are; the Moretele Music Conservatoire in the North West and the Vaal Music Conservatoire in Sebokeng. The rural need is very high but ACOSA's funds are limited. From these initiatives orchestras, choirs have found growth and expression. Youth learn to read and write music. More and more of South African music is being documented and spread nationally and internationally. Our professional orchestras, the Navy and Military Bands are steadily integrating our well trained young players from these community initiatives. ACOSA is also proud of regularly hosting international youth orchestras and sharing the South African Heritage with them. Our team has initiated the spirit of partnerships among youth orchestras  nationally.

Finally ACOSA has become a job creating project adding value to the artists who then are naturally coerced to improve themselves educationally and artistically.

Our Vision

“To create an information hub for the development, promotion and advancement of orchestral and choral music in the classical and indigenous art forms of South Africa”

Our Mission

To encourage and promote the appreciation for classical and orchestral music through training and development initiatives and networking with key stakeholders

Our Values

  • Openness and Transparency
  • Truthful and Ethical
  • Commitment to society
  • Stakeholder Satisfaction
  • Harnessing Diversity
Objectives
  • To acquire appropriate and permanent premises for the organisation to be  sourced by learners, musicians and relevant stakeholders, e.g. universities and organizations  from other art forms;
  • To provide training and development programmes to improve the standard of music education in partnership with government, the private sector and  institutions of learning;
  • To develop and transfer orchestral and choral music skills  in rural and underdeveloped  communities of the country;
  • To grow audiences and instill a culture of classical and choral music appreciation in urban and rural areas of the country;
  • To develop and maintain networks and working relations with stakeholders in related art forms, e.g. dance, fine arts, drama, etc. as well as with relevant government departments. Annual Workshops and/or Seminars.
  • To grow the organisation to be able to provide a national service.