South Africa has a deluge of challenges to be faced to shift its levels of poverty and inequality. These are the key focus of government policy, the UN Sustainable Development Goals and even for corporate social investment. So what happens to arts and culture in times such as these? How are they resourced and why should they be sustained at all? Surely arts and culture are private issues, according to some critical voices. Are arts and culture mere luxuries as long as there are poor people in our society? Well, yes and no. By SHELAGH GASTROW.