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Cape Town Festival Returns And Joins Hands With Artscape To Assist Struggling Artists

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The festival invites art lovers to support the first concert of the Growing Arts Project online on 15 November 2021.

Cape Town Festival Returns And Joins Hands With Artscape To Assist Struggling Artists

Former CT Festival CEO, Yusuf Ganief, has returned as Executive Chairperson, to revive the ailing Cape Town Festival to support struggling artists, battling for survival under the economic pressures caused by the Covid Pandemic. In November he joins hands with former partner, Artscape, and previous CT Fest board member, Marlene le Roux, to host and showcase their first joint venture called Sounds of Change.

"A recent survey conducted in 2020 by IKS and SAMRO revealed the shocking figures that nearly 50% of artists have given up their careers and 40% have sold their musical instruments to survive. Having been a musician myself for 13 years I understand the plight of artists and would like to use my experience as an arts administrator to develop sustainable projects to assist both established and emerging artists "says an enthusiastic Ganief.

Under the leadership of Ganief from 2003 to 2007 the CT Festival became the preeminent arts festival in Cape Town. In 2006 he developed a 10-day arts festival that used 10 arts venues and provided income platforms for more than 1800 artists. One of the major venue partners was Artscape. After enjoying an international performance career since 2008 and given the plight of artists he feels a sustainable arts project will serve local artists better than a short-lived festival.

Both Ganief and Le Roux see the value of supporting and nurturing emerging artists in a sustainable way. With the impact of Covid and the forced global trend towards online events the Cape Town Festival has developed a unique project aptly titled the "Growing Artists Project".

"The rapid expansion of the arts industry towards online events and the opportunities for artists to promote themselves to a global audience guided us to develop a concept that combines high quality audio and video recording and streaming for all our events, thus providing the participating artists with international standard promotional material. We have outsourced the project management to Rootspring NPC, a BEE compliant nonprofit company, who provides us with the expertise and equipment to produce professional events and HD quality videos for artists at a fraction of market related costs. Their Karoo Project featuring well known artists such as Zolani Mahola, Jitzvinger and Native Young, was showcased at the BASA Awards and is currently being streamed by KKNK through the ABSA portal"

Ganief continues, "One has to be smart to be effective in these challenging times and to make sure artists survive. It makes more sense to have regular live and online events, giving us an opportunity to nurture and mentor artists while earning an income. Having a venue partner like Artscape with its infrastructure makes my job so much easier as we apply our joint skills and provide content and sustainability for artists" says Ganief

Echoes Artscape CEO Marlene le Roux: "When the pandemic and concomitant lockdown regulations hit the arts industry in particular, Artscape put together a team to research the best ways in which to approach the "new normal" with respect to its programmes inclusive of assisting producers and partners. This required a holistic approach as to respond positively and equitably to the needs of producers and theatre makers. During most of 2020 the cultural institution could not roll out all our programmes as per pre-Covid-19. We therefore had to put heads firmly together to see what will best serve the largest possible theatre community during this challenging time. We continued with online productions, offered the venue free of charge to producers for rehearsal space, and recordings. More than a year later we remain in challengigh times but we shoulder on. Teaming up with the Cape Town Festival gives our "new normal" vision the added impetus it requires while it remains an absolute pleasure to rekindle an arts flame that once was".

The arts is the voice of our collective conscience and the Sounds of Change concert echoes the challenges women face in South Africa. The songs are intentionally centered around these issues with tones of empowerment, call to action and a plea directed towards humanity to end cycles of silence. The event hopes to highlight these issues as urgent and relevant throughout the year, particularly post women's month, which left most women feeling like they had nothing to celebrate. A reminder for everyone to protect our women and children and speak up against these violent oppressions.

The stage was shared by two lead artists, both exciting performers and ambassadors of peace and nation building. Fancy Galada, well known female soloist, shared the stage with the exciting and rising kids on the block, Mmino. Fancy Galada has travelled the world and performed with Amampondo and African greats such as Angelique Kidjo and Sylvia Mdunyelwa.

Mmino, an exciting duo, are two blood Brothers from Khayelitsha, Mohau and Zabullone. Although they grew up in a musical family and started their music careers early 2000's they are by no means unknown, having shared the stage with icons such is Mafikizolo, Hot Stix Mabuse and Freshly Ground amongst others.

The festival invites art lovers to support the first concert of the Growing Arts Project online on 15 November 2021.


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