About the Grahamstown Foundation
For 50 years the Foundation has aimed to fulfill its mandate of enriching the cultural and educational life of our country – first in our home community of Grahamstown, but also through projects which span the whole of South Africa and touch tens of thousands of our people each year. We have four main focus areas:
The Foundation aims to:
The Foundation supports artistic endeavour by:
The Foundation promotes a love of science in South Africa by:
The Foundation believes in free and open debate and discussion, and to this end
MONUMENT NAME CHANGE
We have launched a process to identify a new name for the building we call home - the 1820 Settlers Monument.
The story of the Grahamstown Foundation is one rooted in a deep and abiding belief in the value of education and growth. It is a story of resilience, persistence and focus – from some early visionaries who overcame the odds to build something extraordinary on the bedrock of the spirit of the 1820 Settlers. We're working on a comprehensive account of the Grahamstown Foundation's roots, the story of its origin and its legacy, its evolution and with a look to its future ambitions. That complete story will form part of this website once completed.
The 1820 Settlers' National Monument, part of the cultural heritage of all South Africans, is a living monument with excellent facilities and well maintained equipment – at affordable prices. Ranging from a spectacular 1000-seater auditorium to small meeting rooms, and including a fully functional kitchen, banqueting area, bar and coffee shop, we can host your event with ease.
Competitive rates are available and these can be tailored to suit your budget.
To book any venue or find out more, please complete the form at the bottom of this page.
The Grahamstown Foundation has initiated a number of projects that help us fulfill our objectives.
Management of these projects is undertaken through a partnership with the National Arts Festival.
Scifest Africa was established in 1996 to promote the public awareness, understanding and appreciation of science, technology and innovation (STI).
The project consists of the National Science Festival held in Grahamstown in March every year, and regional and national outreach programmes implemented throughout the rest of the year.
The South African Schools Festivals bring 6000 South African learners and their teachers to the threshold of artistic, educational, dramatic and social enrichment. The flagship National Schools Festival for grade 12 learners takes place in Grahamstown at the same time as the National Arts Festival. Then it goes on the road - and visits cities across the country with mini-Festival programmes of performance and workshops.
The De Beers English Olympiad is an English competition that draws over 8000 entries each year from around South Africa and its neighbouring countries. The competition is organised jointly by the Grahamstown Foundation and the South African Council for English Education.
We welcome participation from schools across the country in this prestigious competition. Contact us for more information about the prizes on offer and how to take part.
Each weekend we screen great movies at the Monument for members of our club – an annual membership and a bundle of credits is your gateway to some ongoing silver screen magic!
We have some great new projects and activities lined up...we'll keep you informed right here!
Apart from the Foundation's core projects, we also work closely with other organisations on a range of projects and collaborations.
The country's flagship arts event – the iconic National Arts Festival attracts tens of thousands of visitors to Grahamstown each year to enjoy thousands of performances, exhibitions, a craft market, lectures and films.
The Amaphiko Township Dance Project provides formal, modern dance training to 200 girls and boys.
Want to contribute or find out more? Give us your details below and we'll be in touch.
The Foundation has a management partnership with the National Arts Festival, which sees the staff from both organisations working across all our projects and venues.
CEO: Tony Lankester
Administration Officer: Lumka Klaas
Phone: 046 603 1100
Use the Contact form above to send one of our team a message.
The Foundation is led by a volunteer Board who oversee the governance of the organisation.
Chair: Mr Ayanda Mjekula (Acting)
Directors: Professor Jay Pather, Mr Paul Bannister, Dr Hleze Kunju, Ms Elinor Sisulu, Mr Grahame Lindop, Dr Sizwe Mabizela, Mr Sikkie Kajee, Dr Harry Dugmore, Mr Tony Lankester
Hon Life President: Mr NLN Davies
Cover Photograph of the 1820 Settlers Monument (c) Tom Jeffery 2019