Nicky du Plessis

Article Bio
Africa, Southern
South Africa
created on:
March 13, 2007
last changed on:
Please note: This page has not been updated since March 21, 2007. We decided to keep it online because we think the information is still valuable.
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Cultural Consultant Participating in Europe Now/Europe Next
Author: none


Curriculum Vitae


Master of Arts
Rhodes University, South Africa
Awarded the Leon Gluckman Scholarship for post-graduate study

National Deputy Chairperson of the Performing Arts Network of South Africa, (PANSA), December 2002, re-elected in 2006.

Secretary of the Cultural Impact Assessment Committee, a project of the International Network for Cultural Diversity (INCD), 2002

Board member of the National Arts Council, South Africa, May 2003 – 2004, appointed by the Minister of Arts and Culture after public nomination process.

Invited to join the National Standards Generating Body group for Arts and Culture Management, 2003

President of Art Moves Africa 2006 - 2008, an international fund set up to support travel costs for artists working within Africa and comprising members from throughout Africa.

Guest Faculty Member of the University of KZN (Natal) Department of Drama Studies, South Africa
External Examiner at Post-Graduate Level for the School of Arts, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Guest Faculty Member for the International Centre for Cultural Management, Austria

Attended various conferences nationally and internationally including the PANSA/BASA Arts Marketing Conference 2003, co-chaired a plenary session of the International Network for Cultural Diversity Conference (INCD) in Croatia, moderated and presented at the Conference on African Cultural Sector Development Gorée Island, Dakar Senegal, March 2007.


Cultural Radius was registered as a Close Corporation in 1998.

Client: Article 27 Arts and Culture Consultants, South Africa
Administration of the Arts and Culture Trust

Client: Juta & Co, South Africa
Co-ordinating a team creating learners´ and teachers´ texts on the Arts and Culture Learning Area at Grade 7

November 1998 – April 1999
Client: National Arts Council, South Africa
Devised and implemented a series of training workshops with a colleague to provide information on funding and basic arts administration throughout all 9 provinces, and included developing support materials and resources.

Similar Arts Management and Administration courses at the University of Natal (Durban) and also for community-based cultural groups such as Ukusa and other development organisations in Durban were also developed and taught during this time.

March 1998 – February 2000
Client: The Nordic Council of Ministers, Denmark
The implementation of a two-year cultural exchange project between the Nordic countries and South Africa, called Shuttle 99, with a budget of R15 million. Cultural Radius worked closely with five sector co-ordinators from each of the Nordic countries and their foreign offices, devising collaborative projects, identifying partners, assisting with local networking and administration, providing overall project management in South Africa.

Shuttle 99 won the International Arts and Culture Sponsor of the Year for 1999 award from the Arts and Culture Trust.

January - September 2000
Client: Pro Helvetia Liaison Office South Africa - The Arts Council of Switzerland
Writing assessments and evaluation reports on projects and applicants for funding

September 2000
Client: Lubombo Spatial Development Initiative, South Africa
The development of a three year business plan for an Arts and Culture Programme in the region, involving the training of dancers, photographers, musicians and crafters in rural KwaZulu-Natal.

May 2000 – March 2001
Client: Royal Norwegian Embassy, South Africa
The setting up of the MMIMO music education and development project, where NORAD funds are channeled through the National Arts Council.

April – June 2001
Client: The Evaluation Department of the Ministry for Development Co-Operation, Netherlands
An evaluation of the Dutch international cultural policy within the context of the bilateral relations between the Netherlands and South Africa. The scope of the report considered current organisational concerns and profiles in the arts sector against the prevailing funding and political landscapes.

June 2000 - April 2002
Client: KaosPiloterne University , Denmark
South African Project Manager, initiating, devising, managing and mentoring second year students in entrepreneurship development in business, education and the arts in various projects in South Africa.

August 2001 – ongoing
Client: Royal Netherlands Embassy, South Africa
Provincial agent in KwaZulu-Natal for the purposes of overseeing and advising on cultural funding granted to projects by the Embassy. To date, more than R2 million has been handled in a series of contracts.

September 2001 – May 2002
Client: Sida (Swedish Development Agency), Sweden
· International evaluation of a Swedish/African Museum Project, with over 16 Swedish museums and 10 African museums. With a Swedish consultant, Cultural Radius visited and interviewed stakeholders in Sweden and Africa, and co-authored a report in November 2001.

· Feasibility study into the possibility of establishing an independent Swedish/South African Cultural Fund for the purpose of maintaining and stimulating mutually beneficial Swedish/South African partnerships in all fields of arts and culture.

June 2001 – November 2003
Client: The Greater St Lucia Wetlands Park Authority, South Africa
The development and training of two phases of Cultural Entrepreneurship Courses for young artists in the park area with a colleague. The first phase covered basic arts administration and the second phase focused on cultural tourism. Comprehensive and original workbooks were produced which present the material in forms consistent with the aims of the new outcomes-based education system.

August 2002
Client: Urban Econ Development Economists, South Africa
A business plan for a Craft Emporium commissioned by the Dept of Economic Development and Tourism of KZN.

July – October 2002
Client: The Field Band Foundation, South Africa
A Skills Assessment of their eight Regional Directors with a series of recommendations for capacity-building.
February 2003
Client: Norwegian Development Agency, Norway
An independent appraisal of a project proposal concerning the digitization of African music for a web-based archive. This project would ensure that musicians and composers would benefit more directly from the sale of their work.

May 2003
Client: PANSA (the Performing Arts Network of South Africa)
Primary research on current audience profiling in the arts, for presentation at the first Arts Marketing Conference held in South Africa, which lead to the launch of ACMASA (Arts and Culture Marketing Association of South Africa).

July – October 2003
Client: Create SA, South Africa
Co-authoring new qualifications in Arts and Culture Management for the new Qualifications Framework at Levels 4 and 5.

October 2003
Attended and co-chaired a plenary session of the International Network for Cultural Diversity Conference (INCD) in Croatia.

October 2003 – February 2004
Client: Nordic Council of Ministers, Denmark
A post-project evaluation of the Shuttle 99 project, focusing on possible models for exchange projects and the impact of Shuttle.

November 2003 – April 2007
Client: Business and Arts South Africa (BASA)
Regional agent in KwaZulu-Natal part-time, to promote the interests of the organization. This contract has been renewed until April 2007.

December 2003 - 2006
Founder member of Arts Training Consortium in South Africa, a three member consortium accredited through Create SA to train in cultural entrepreneurship and arts management. Pilot programmes were developed for the Free State and KwaZulu-Natal which utilize original material developed by the Consortium especially for the South African arts situation. A further contract was awarded for 2005 for an additional two training modules.

May 2004
Client: COWI Consultants, Denmark
The international evaluation of SIDA’s media and cultural policy, with respect to the alleviation of poverty. This involved field research in South Africa, literature reviews and the co-authoring of a report, completed in September 2004.

May 2004 – ongoing
Client: Arts and Culture Centres Policy Review Project: Dept of Arts and Culture/Flemish Government
Appointed Advisor to the project which is tasked with creating an informed policy and strategic framework for the development of community art centre sector in South Africa.

October 2004
Client: Hivos Foundation, Zimbabwe
Conducted an evaluation of performing arts project in Zimbabwe with respect to the social development agenda of the organization as well as their organizational efficacy and impact.

December 2004
Client: International Centre For Cultural Management, Austria.
Developed and taught a module on “Intercultural Exchange and Arts Management” for the students of the Masters programme.

February 2005
Client: Hivos Foundation, Zimbabwe
Conducted a cultural audit of major arts and cultural activities currently within Namibia, with proposals for various funding possibilities.

April and June 2005
Client: Create SA, South Africa
Developed and implemented a 22 day skills programme on arts management in the Free State for Free State and North West learners.

June 2005
Client: Royal Norwegian Embassy, Zimbabwe
Conducted a project evaluation of a rural literacy programme in Zimbabwe, with respect to the challenges facing an NGO in the current political situation.

May and September 2005, Feb 2006,
Art Moves Africa - Internationally
This fund is supported by a grant from the Ford Foundation and aims to assist artists working with artists within Africa. The Board comprises members from all over Africa and to date, Board meetings have been held in Belgium, Senegal, Egypt, South Africa and Kenya. The Fund will be registered formally as an international organization, and du Plessis was elected President in Feb 2006 for a 2 year term of office.

February – December 2006
Client: Greater St Lucia Wetlands Park Authority, South Africa
Developing and implementing a project to undertake cultural mapping of sites of cultural interest in this UNESCO site. Field work and intergrated research will produce material to be used in a cultural tourism project.

April – July 2006
Client: Swedish Development Agency
Conducting a review of the Samp/ALAS project for the period 2003 – 2005, in conjunction with a Swedish consultant.

May – August 2006
Client: Swedish Development Agency, South Africa
Conducting and implementing an evaluation of the Southern African Theatre Initiative, a non-profit organization working to support theatre activities in the SADAC region.

October 2006
Client: International Centre for Cultural Management, Austria
Taught courses on Cultural Diversity at Diploma and MBA Levels.

September – December 2006
Client: Hivos, Zimbabwe
Conducting a cultural survey of Malawi and Zambia in order to make recommendations for future cultural support.

Convened a seminar in Zambia on Artistic Freedom of Expression and Regional Co-operation in Southern Africa, with 24 particpants from 7 countries

November 2006 – February 2007
Client: Swedish Development Agency, Zambia, Rwanda and Kenya
Conducted an evaluation on a 6 year project developing structures and networks through ASSITEJ – International Association of theatre for children and young people.


A Handbook of Arts and Culture in South Africa
Co-edited with Mike van Graan : 1998
The first post-apartheid 500 page reference resource directory, published by Article 27.

Article: Carl Roberts – sculptor
VUKA Magazine : 1997

Article: Dance in Durban
Art, Design and Architecture Magazine : 1993

Play script: Why the Cheetah has Tears on Her Cheeks
Commissioned by the Greater St Lucia Wetlands Park Authority
Unpublished, 2003

Performance script: Abantu Babuyela Emakhaya
Commissioned by the Greater St Lucia Wetlands Park Authority
Unpublished, 2003

Research paper: Cultural Management
Commissioned by the University of Fort Hare, for the Faculty of African and Democracy Studies, National Heritage and Cultural Studies Centre.
Unpublished, 2004

Performance script: An African Cosmology
Commissioned for the opening ceremony of the Unesco World Heritage Council meeting in Durban in July 2005


2004: Finalist – Arts and Culture Trust Arts and Culture Administrator of the Year Award
2005: Winner – Arts and Culture Trust Arts and Culture Administrator of the Year Award