Tammy Ballentyne, who works for PANSA (Performing Arts Network of South Africa) in Johannesburg, spent six weeks in the Netherlands in the spring of 2005. She studied the publicity and marketing of Dutch theatrical and dance companies. In addition to meetings with Introdans, Conny Janssen Danst, Over het IJ festival and the Scapino Ballet, she got to know organisations such as the Netherlands Theatre Institute, the International Cultural Activities foundation SICA, and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.
The six-week work study inspired Ballentyne to study the possibilities for setting up a number of projects, including a yearbook for theatre and dance in South Africa, a PANSA service desk for international cultural cooperation, an annual symposium on publicity in the cultural sector, revision of the PANSA website, and exchange projects: Dutch content management system specialists to South Africa and South African publicity professionals to the Netherlands.
Tammy Ballentyne's stay was made possible in part by the budget reserved by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Education, Culture and Science for what is known as the Foreign Visitors Programme. This programme is intended to stimulate relations with foreign cultural organisations and individuals and to strengthen the international cultural profile of the Netherlands. Twelve organisations, including SICA, are responsible for the programme. The programme is funded by the HGIS (Homogenous Group International Cooperation) culture resources: money made available by the Dutch government for international culture policy.
The following are eligible for SICA's cross-sector programme: experts with multi-disciplinary experience and contacts, organisers of large-scale or multi-disciplinary events and festivals, opinion leaders who can influence decision-making processes, critics and journalists for prominent media, and policy government, fund and institution employees.