Arts & Culture Research Unit (ACRU)


The Arts & Culture Research Unit (ACRU) is a collaborative initiative between the Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) and the University of Johannesburg College of Business and Economics and hosted by The Swiss Hotel School South Africa. It aims to promote arts and culture research by positioning it centrally within economic growth and socio-economic development, exploring multidisciplinary approaches to building the cultural and creative economy.

South Africa is a land rich in art and culture, yet there is still uncertainty over the value of arts and culture within the economic, social, and institutional contexts. The value of art and creativity is determined by culture inherent within institutional frameworks, which has a direct relationship between ‘innovation’, ‘creativity’ and the information that defines this.

The ACRU Symposium to be hosted on the 14th of October 2022, will launch ACRU as a platform to bridge the relationship between Universities, Institutions and Businesses in which arts and culture are addressed. It serves to clearly define and support meaningful collaborative and trading platforms that can practically expand opportunities for those in the art and culture sector in South Africa. In this arena, its key focus is to accelerate research that translates to practical commercialisation opportunities. ACRU explores multidisciplinary approaches and opportunities for arts and culture within the creative economy, especially in its interrelationship with the tourism sector, which has its own artistic and cultural offerings.

The format of the conference will feature an opening and closing plenary, and thematic panel discussions, and inputs from interested groups and individuals, including:

  • Arts and culture and its social value
  • Arts entrepreneurship in the creative economy
  • Tourism in the arts
  • Collaboration of arts, culture and tourism for advocacy in policy design
  • Research in Arts, Culture and Hospitality Entrepreneurship
  • Stakeholder engagement: Multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary approaches to support the creative economy

More information and full programme coming soon!

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