The Board of The Prince Claus Fund has announced South African Opera singer and director, Marcus Tebogo Desando, as the new director of the Prince Claus Fund.
Desando succeeds Joumana El Zein Khoury who became director of the World Press Photo Foundation earlier this year.
The board of the culture fund announced this appointment recently in a statement.
“The Board of the Prince Claus Fund is pleased to announce the appointment of our new Director, Marcus Tebogo Desando. Marcus will take up the post in Amsterdam beginning 2022.
Marcus is the embodiment of the spirit of the Prince Claus Fund. As an artist, Marcus has a cultural background to understand other artists and the importance of their development. As director of a South African development organization in the field of arts and culture, he understands the role the Prince Claus Fund has to play. Both as an artist and as director he has shown vision, ambition and the leadership skills required to lead the Prince Claus Fund into the future” the statement said.
Speaking on the appointment, Desando said; “It is with great honor, humility, and excitement, that I will be joining an organization that has put culture to the fore and has shown the value of investing in uplifting creatives and celebrating their contributions to the world at large.
As an incoming Director of the Prince Claus Fund, I am even more excited by the new strategy to focus on individual artists and cultural practitioners as it will allow for progressive and meaningful engagements throughout all its programmes. I am looking forward to positively contributing to the continued success of the fund and its future.”
Desando has been director of The Arts and Culture Trust in Johannesburg since 2017. Before that, he directed the Gauteng Opera in Johannesburg and was the artistic director of BTE VO1SS (formerly Black Tie Ensemble). Desandro is a professional singer who has also directed and conducted in South Africa.
According to Ila Kasem, chairman of the board of the Prince Claus Fund, Desando has “the cultural background to understand artists and the importance of their development”.
Both as an artist and director, the new director has shown the “vision, ambition and leadership” to lead the fund into the future” he said
The Prince Claus Fund was founded in 1996 with the mission to honor, support and connect artists in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean and Eastern Europe, especially where they and their work are under pressure.
The Fund is supported by, among others, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, various companies, organizations and private individuals.
This year the fund has launched a new strategy aimed at a series of Awards in support of individual artists.