The Pulp Press interviews Zaid Philander of The Butterfly Art Project


1. Can you tell us a bit more about the origin of the Butterfly Art Project? How did it first come about?

Zaid Philander: The Butterfly Art Project was founded in Wynberg, Cape Town in October 2010 and began by offering art courses and art therapy to finance projects in the Townships. This was solely run by Angela Katschke. A German art therapist who then started working in Vrygrond and started running clay and art classes from the back of her car to informal educares in the community,
Slowly, the project grew partnering with Capricorn primary school and now hosts 132 trained community Art Facilitators that work in 55 different communities.

2. What are some of the aims of the project?

ZP: Our vision is to create a community of active facilitators, who use their BAP skills in vulnerable communities, to bring about healing, healthy social lives and inspire others through art.

Our objectives are as follows:

Promoting: We promote the power of art to heal by demonstrating sustainable art teaching methods.

Enabling: We enable our beneficiaries with skills, tools and materials needed to work within disadvantaged communities.

Empowering: We empower our beneficiaries by offering opportunities to explore and grow their artistic abilities to bring positive changes to themselves and with those that they work with.

Healing: We bring diverse people, who believe in the healing power of art, together, to become BAP qualified art facilitators trained to provide a safe space for beneficiaries to experience healing through therapeutic art activities.

Developing: We develop healing art projects, the Community Art Facilitator training curriculum, pilot projects and training methods to find local solutions for implementing art therapeutic principles in teaching.


3. Where are you based and is the project currently limited to that area? Are there any goals to expand should you receive sufficient funding at some point?

ZP: We are looking into scaling out the programme. At the moment, we have the trained facilitators in 55 communities. Our training space is now in Muizenberg and we also host our Art Centre in Vrygrond where we serve 320 learners per week.

Of course with funding, we can expand.

We are hoping to look into developing our cocoon project where we are starting with 3 of our champion Community Art Facilitators working with a minimum of 50 children each limited to funding and will increase the support as we receive funding. We will make sure they got funds for materials to work with their children and travel to pursue their further training and mentoring. It is most important or us that they build strong organisations with quality healing work through the artistic medium. Below in italics is the concept we have written thus far.

Concept for BAP incubation projects – Art Partner Support programme 2020


Community Art Facilitators in BAP training with the intention to have their own organisation (formal or informal) based in an art studio at a no fee school or in a community of marginalised people. They must be prepared to do this in partnership with The Butterfly Art Project.


BAP has developed a focus on training and mentoring Community Art Facilitators (CAFs) to encourage creativity and healing among young people and to offer psycho-social support in areas most in need. Some of our CAFs have discovered their true passion and are pursuing new career paths by developing their own art teaching initiatives. BAP has developed a training module to support these processes called “How to start a community art centre”. BAP recognises the need to offer more support to these initiators to strengthen their ability to succeed in building strong organisations that can support children in their childhood challenges.


Three first “pilots” will be launched in early 2020. It is envisaged that the incubation process be planned for a 3-year support period with a strong set of objectives in place to achieve each year. Evaluation of the first year’s results will inform the way forward for expanding BAP’s incubation project strategies.


The 3 pilot incubations will be located around Cape Town for logistical and financial reasons. The programme will be researched and designed to potentially reach out to other provinces and even other countries.


BAPs intention is to bring quality psycho-social support to children in need. To achieve this, we train and mentor educators and artists in art therapeutic skills. We grow people’s abilities. Through coaching and mentoring we keep our CAFs in training on track and motivated to increase their skill set.

We know that CAFs lack art materials, equipment, funds for salaries and travel costs. After an assessment of needs, case by case, BAP and the incubating CAF will draw up a defined support contract.

The CAF can expect financial support up to R5000 per month, mentoring support once a month or more often if needed, access to art materials sourced by BAP through art drives.

The CAFs will be obliged to submit Child Development Assessments for a minimum of 50 children/youth per term for four terms per year, participate in 20 x child case study hubs, 20 x artists hubs and 3 x training modules of 24h each per year.


In 2019 BAP is identifying the first 3 pilot incubation projects and seeks funding for the Art Partner Support program.


4. Speaking of which, how does the project generate funding? Is it partly sponsored by the government or does it rely solely on donations?

ZP: We rely so far on private donations, we generate part of our income and most of our funding is received from foundations in South Africa and Germany. To see more of who sponsors us, please look at our supporters page (at the very bottom for our current funders):

5. Finally, how can the public support the Butterfly Art Project and help encourage its growth?

ZP: There are a few ways.  First is to connect with us over our social media and share what we do. Below are our links:

We also have a donations drive for specific projects where individuals can help raise funds for us using a crowdfunding campaign:
Or alternatively donate to our direct crowd funding campaign:

Alternatively, one could also donate or fund and support us here:


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