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The 2012 Standard Bank Young Artist Award winners were announced in Johannesburg last night, hosted by Standard Bank.

All the winners said that they are honoured to follow in the footsteps of the past winners of this prestigious award.”The Standard Bank Young Artist Award continues to remain South Africa’s most heralded accolade,” said National Arts Festival Director, Ismail Mahomed. “Bestowed to recognize and award excellence in the arts, the Award over the past 28 years has given added impetus to the careers and artistic voices of artists who have made strong impressionable footprints in both the South African and the international arena,” he added.The winners of the 2012 Standard Bank Young Artist Awards are:Kelebogile (Pearl) Boikanyo for MusicMikhael Subotzky for Visual ArtPrincess Zinzi Mhlongo for TheatreBailey Snyman for DanceAfrika Mkhize for JazzThe Standard Bank Young Artist Awards are presented annually to young South African artists who are either on the threshold of national acclaim or whose artistic excellence has enabled them to make international breakthroughs. The awards are specifically aimed at supporting the artists to extend their profiles to South African audiences by providing them with financial support and a platform for experimentation at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown.As part of their prize, each of the winners will be featured on the Main programme of the 2012 National Arts Festival in Grahamstown (28 June — 8 July 2012), where they will be given the opportunity to develop and première new works. The winners are also given various opportunities to represent South Africa on international stages as a result of their association with the award.Mandie van der Spuy, Standard Bank Head of Arts and Jazz Sponsorship said, “Standard Bank continues to pioneer and support initiatives that ensure platforms for the talented voices of our country’s young established artists. Over the past 28 years, this award has proven to be a flagship of its kind in the arts in South Africa. We look forward to see what the 2012 group of winners will add to our national arts treasury, both as ambassadors of and inspiration for a new generation,” she added.”The Award has entrenched its reputation as a significant commitment from Standard Bank to enhance the profile of South Africa’s creative capital, and at the same time to endow to future generations a national treasury of artists whose work is intimately interwoven with our country’s richly diverse artistic and cultural tapestry,” Mahomed added.

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