Community arts centres are integral to fostering a culture of creativity and inclusion. With this in mind, the Sibikwa Arts Centre is proud to announce that they will be hosting the Shukuma Mzansi! International Community Arts Centres Conference in Benoni from 22 to 24 March 2017.
The National Department of Arts and Culture has partnered with the Sibikwa Arts Centre to realise a sectoral dialogue between Irish, Flemish, French and South African Community Arts Centres with the purpose of increasing institutional capacity, policy implementation and best practice. Above all, this conference is a starting point for new perspectives, new challenges and new objectives.
“Research shows that communities who have access to the arts are more cohesive,” says Phyllis Klotz, the director and cofounder of the Sibikwa Arts Centre. “With this in mind, we are happy to host the conference as it forefronts community arts and community arts centres, which, for too long, have been neglected in South Africa.”
The Shukuma Mzansi! project consists of three segments: a pre-conference study tour by South African delegates to Ireland, Flanders and France which took place in January; a pre-conference study-tour by EU delegates to South Africa which took place in February; and the International Conference on Community Arts Centres.
The conference comprises presentations by Irish, Flemish, French and South African experts that will focus on policy implementation, the role of government, audience development and programming, and the creation of a national cooperative Community Arts Centre platform. The conference will also feature practical case-studies, round-table discussions and showcases by community artists.
The main objective of this interactive conference is to assemble all Community Arts Centres stakeholders – practitioners, policy-makers, donors, officials, and academics – to interact and engage with the critical challenges and innovative solutions that are part of the process of growing the outputs and efficacy of the Community Arts Centres.
Through the exchange element of the conference opportunities will be afforded to share experiences and expand dialogue between cultural workers in Ireland, Flanders, France and South Africa. This is in the interest of promoting mutual understanding, positive change, cooperation and respect.
Besides plenary sessions, the Shukuma Mzansi! Conference will comprise substantive break-away sessions, providing delegates the opportunity to focus on specific areas from their own perspective and national experiences.
“We believe the Shukuma Mzansi! Conference has firm potential to yield a network of optimally-functioning and policy-driven Community Arts Centres that have the capacity for sustainable delivery of appropriate services and programmes,” concludes Klotz.
This initiative is funded by the SA-EU Strategic Partnership – the dialogue facility which contributes to the strengthening of relations between the European Union and South Africa and encourages cooperation between equal partners in a number of areas in the economic, social and cultural fields.
The conference takes place at the Sibikwa Arts Centre (13 Liverpool Park, Benoni) from 22 to 24 March 2017. For more information, call 011 422 43 59 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.