Ismail Mahomed Joins Board Of Cape Town City Ballet

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Ismail Mahomed Joins Board Of Cape Town City Ballet

Dr Ismail Mahomed has been appointed to the Board of Cape Town City Ballet with immediate effect.

"The Board of Directors are proud to announce the appointment of Dr Ismail Mahomed to the Board of CTCB," says Suzette Raymond, Chairperson of the Cape Town City Ballet Board.

"He will be a superb asset to our Board team bringing a wealth of experience in all areas of management and creative aspects of the arts. Welcome Ismail!"

Ismail is a former Artistic Director of the National Arts Festival, Makhanda; and completes his tenure as Chief Executive Officer of the Market Theatre Foundation at the end of June.

Ismail has more than 30 years experience in the performing arts sector, is an accomplished playwright, theatre director and arts administrator. His work has been staged in South Africa, Chile, Denmark, Germany and in the U.S.

His previous occupation was Artistic Director of the National Arts Festival in Makhanda (formerly Grahamstown) from 2008 to 2016. Prior to taking up the post in Makhanda in 2008, he was employed as the Senior Cultural Specialist at the U.S. Consulate in Johannesburg where he served as both an advisor and facilitator for the U.S. Consulate on its varied cultural and academic exchange programming.

His main tasks included devising and coordinating cultural programmes which fostered an understanding and relationships between South African and U.S. institutions, organizations and individuals. Since joining the Consulate in 2003, he had instituted several partnerships between South African and U.S. museums, theatres, galleries and NGO's. At the end of his first year of service he was presented with a Merit Honor Award by the U.S State Dept - Africa Bureau for consistently high cultural programming.

Prior to joining the U.S. Consulate, he was Director of the Witbank Civic Theatre in Mpumalanga. During his tenure at the theatre he turned the financial situation of the theatre from a position of financial deficit to sustainable income generation; broadened the audience and production base of the theatre significantly and ensured that the Witbank Civic Theatre participated in national and international arts festivals. Mahomed was honored by the Mayor of the city for his visionary transformation of the theatre; and by the Premier of the Province for developing and promoting the arts & culture sector as an economic enterprise in the province.

During an earlier posting as Director of the Creative Arts Workshop, he played a major role in developing the company to become the largest independent producing theatre company at South Africa's premiere National Arts Festival with 6 productions at the Festival during 1995 and 13 productions at the Festival during 1996. This achievement was acclaimed by several of the arts media for the "sold out" performances and high standard of production.

During 1984 to June 1985, he was the Coordinator of the Education Support Project. His duties included contracting professional trainers and managing a supplementary programme for secondary school educators and learners at a time when the educational system for African schools in South Africa was collapsing as a result of the rising tide against Apartheid.

During 1995, the University of Witwatersrand contracted Mahomed to coordinate the International Social History Festival for the University's History Workshop Conference. During this term of office, he grew the Festival in terms of broadening its content, audience base and its media exposure.

Amongst the arts festivals which he has coordinated are the Just Solo Festival (Festival of One Person Plays: Johannesburg Civic Theatre), the 10th anniversary of the Windybrow Arts Festival for Community Theatre, the 5th year Democracy Celebrations Festival for the Mpumalanga Provincial Department of Arts & Culture and the Millennium Celebrations Festival for the Emahlahleni Municipal District.

During his short tenure at the Market Theatre Foundation, through his strategic vision and well-grounded management skills he has grown the Theatre's box office, venue hire, broadened its sponsorship base and introduced a series of international collaborations, residencies and exchanges. Under his leadership the Theatre has launched a residency theatre company that provides employment to new graduates as a bridge between theatre-education and the creative industries. Also, under his leadership the Market Theatre Foundation in partnership with the University of the Witwatersrand brought the International Atelier for Arts Managers hosted for the first time on the African continent in March 2018.

Mahomed has taught masterclasses in arts leadership / arts management at the Tshwane University of Technology and the Rhodes University. He has participated in seminars and delivered lectures on the theatre leadership at University of Johannesburg, University of Cape Town and University of Witwatersrand as well participating in arts symposiums both nationally and internationally. Mahomed was a recipient of the Arts & Culture Trust's Arts Administrator of the Year Award.

As an accomplished playwright Mahomed is included in two publications. His play, Purdah, is published in Drama for the New South Africa, an anthology of plays edited by David Graver and published by Indiana University Press. His play Cheaper than Rosesis published in Black South African Women, an anthology of plays edited by Kathy Perkins and published by Routledge Publishers. Mahomed was also a finalist in both the Amstel Playwright of the Year Competition and the PANSA Playwrights Competition. Mahomed also holds an award for theatrical excellence which was presented to him by the South African Institute for Theatre Technology. During 2006, the Arts & Culture Trust honoured him with the Arts Administrator of the Year Award. His theatre-in-education project "Newsblitz!" is the winner of the Caxton Media in Education award.

He is a regular contributor to various publications and during his tenure at the National Arts Festival he wrote a weekly Op-Ed in The Heraldnewspaper to mainstream arts journalism. He also served as a regular adjudicator / judge for various forums including the annual Business & Arts South Africa Awards, the Naledi Theatre Awards and the FEDA Festival.

Mahomed is also strongly rooted in South Africa's arts & culture sector where he holds several positions on the boards of arts projects. He also serves on the Boards of the KKNK Festival, the Aardklop Festival, the Fak 'ugezi Festival, the Smithfield Festival, Desklink Publishers / Creative Feel magazine and Twist Development projects. He is a patron of the Redhill School's RedFest Drama Festival and a patron of the South African National Community Theatre Trust. He is a Board member of ASSITEJ SA and in 2015 he was part of the winning team that bid for South Africa to host the ASSITEJ International Cradle of Creativity Festival for the first time on the African continent.

In 2016, the Grahamstown chapter of Rotary International awarded him the Paul Harris Fellowship Award for the impressive way in which he contributed to the growth and internationalization of the National Arts Festival. He was awarded the Standard Bank Standing Ovation Award by the National Arts Festival in recognition for his visionary contribution to the artistic growth of the Festival. In 2015, he was awarded the Chevalier le Ordre des Lettres et Arts Award (Knight of the Order of Arts & Literature Award) by the French government. In 2019, he was conferred with an Honorary Doctorate by the Tshwane University of Technology.

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