Shukhuma Mzansi! Shake up the South!

Shukhuma Mzansi! Shake up the South!

South Africa-EU Dialogue: Community Arts Centres Conference 2017

Unity is needed along diversity. This should be applied to existing structures and understanding is needed of any new structures may come into being. We must avoid holding territory at the expense of new ideas.

Makhoala Ndebele: Artistic Director-Johannesburg City Theatres

CONTEXT

The history of community arts centres in South Africa illustrates the complex relationship between the state and community culture in a society in transformation. Though community arts centres contributed significantly to social and political empowerment of communities since the 1970s, state-funded centres have underperformed since 1996. Acknowledging the culture and heritage sector as an economic growth sector, the Department of Arts and Culture has since embarked on a revitalisation and building the capacity of Community Arts Centres, not least for job creation.

OBJECTIVES

  • To engage with EU/Member States dialogue partners to obtain their insights into issues affecting South African Community Arts Centres (CACs).
  • To make policy and programming recommendations for the national CACs policy for the White Paper of Arts, Culture and Heritage.
  • To identify key issues for consideration for the 4th version of the White Paper on Arts, Culture and Heritage.

RESULTS

  • In-depth peer exchange through 2 successful study tours: one in Europe (SA delegation) and one in South Africa (EU delegation) in early 2017, as well as the hosting of an International Community Arts Conference in South Africa in March 2017
  • Policy and programme recommendations for a national Community Arts Centres policy and programming.
  • Joint draft input into the 4th version of the White Paper on Arts, Culture and Heritage.
  • Task Team elected to develop recommendations for the establishment of a National Federation of Community Arts Centres.

FACTS AND FIGURES

  • 6 SA delegates from various institutions (government, CACs theatres) embarked on a study to Ireland, Belgium and France in January 2017. 5 EU delegates went on a study tour to Johannesburg, Durban and Limpopo province in South Africa.
  • Report drafted of considerations for input into the 4th version of the White Paper on Arts, Culture and Heritage.
  • A Task Team for the establishment of a National Federation of Community Arts Centres nominated 9 people (one from each of the nine provinces in South Africa) as an interim measure.

TESTIMONY

Phyllis Klotz, Artistic Director and Co-founder of the Sibikwa Arts Centre

"The Shukuma Mazansi International Community Arts Centres Conference was an important initiative in the advancement of the South African Community Arts Centre sector. We can conclude that the Shukuma Mazansi! Community Arts Centres project will go down in history as the instigator of a united arts landscape and the regenerator of international relations.

"But, as indicated before, we should regard Shukuma Mzansi! as a firm first step in yielding a network of optimally functioning and policy-driven Community Arts Centres that have the capacity for sustainable delivery of appropriate services and programmes. It is therefore hoped that the SA-EU Dialogue facility will deem the project worthy of continuation and thus allocate funding for step two."