The Sibikwa Arts Centre will come alive between 27 and 29 March, when 38 schools from around Gauteng will come together for the annual Artists in Schools Festival, which is held in partnership with the National Department of Arts & Culture.
Inaugurated in 2013, the programme sees artists take up residence-type positions in public schools, where over the course of their stay, they focus on bolstering the performing and visual arts within that school. This programme culminates in a three-day festival where all involved are afforded the chance to show off what they have learnt.
The Artists in Schools Programme has the power to positively impact on the physical and organisational environment of the school. As one of the very few CATHSETTA accredited performing arts organisations in South Africa, the Sibikwa Arts Centre has vast experience in providing training in various art forms. Through this project, arts practitioners are trained by Sibikwa to be invaluable resources in the teaching and delivering of arts, culture and heritage training in public schools.
Artistic Director of the Sibikwa Arts Centre, Phyllis Klotz says this Programme strongly implements the country’s arts and culture curriculum and offers participating schools a multitude of opportunities.
“The Artists in Schools Programme, has grown from 25 participating schools in 2013 to 38 in 2017, it offers skills development for teachers and provides the teacher with a vocabulary of teaching strategies in the classroom. It also encourages teachers to bring experiential learning into the classroom. Not only is this beneficial to the curriculum, it’s an experience which the learners will carry with them forever.”
During the Programme, capacity building workshops are convened between the artists in residence and the educators. These workshops facilitate dynamic partnerships and allow the needs of each particular school’s creative departments to be identified. Both parties then work together to produce strategies that are in the best interest of improving the school’s cultural and creative inputs and outputs.
Klotz says this has been extremely successful. “It’s important to understand that the creative arts is a specified learning area, and yet teachers have little to no training in the area. Through this Programme we are able to assist the teacher in applying the National Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS).”
During the festival later this month, each school will showcase the creative projects they have worked on over the Programme. Music, dance and drama presentations as well as a visual art exhibition will take place, providing each learner with a sense of achievement. Selected facilitators will provide feedback to the teachers involved in each project, which further enhances the Programmes aim to promote sustainable growth and improvement.
For more information, call 011 422 43 59 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Presentation of performers will be held each day from 9am to 1pm and is open to the public.