South African Cultural Observatory

Gautengers celebrating Heritage Month in style

BY 30.09.19

Every other year as we celebrate heritage month in September, South Africans are spoilt for choice of arts, heritage and cultural experiences. With our rich heritage, we have a wide variety of cultural consumptions to feast on. This could be a visit to the various heritage sites, arts fairs or music festivals or participating in various heritage activities organised by both private and public bodies. Gauteng was host to two notable events in the arts and culture calendar - The Standard Bank Joy of Jazz, and the FNB Art Joburg.

The Standard Bank Joy of Jazz was held in Johannesburg each year during the month of September and is aimed at contributing to social cohesion, economic growth and cultural tourism. The 2019 installation of the event did not disappoint. It showcased 35 local and international performances on four stages held over three days from the 26th to the 28th of September. The Joy of Jazz Festival presents a diverse range of jazz styles inclusive of giants of jazz and upcoming young artists. This year’s event was headlined by the legendary Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Centre Orchestra. The event attracts a diverse crowd of mature audiences with discerning musical taste.  

FNB Art Joburg previously known as Joburg Art Fair was held at the Sandton Convention Centre from 13 to 15 September. It was renamed FNB Art Joburg after it was officially acquired by its former director Mandla Sibeko, taking over from previous owners, Artlogic who started the event in 2007. The event has grown into Africa’s premier art fair. Sibeko spent the past three years as fair director and was focused on growing the fair’s audience to attract a more diverse group of collectors and to open up South Africa’s art world to a wider audience. He says “taking ownership of the fair brings an opportunity to stamp a fresh identity on the event and to chart an exciting new direction”. With Sibeko taking full ownership, the art exhibition is now 100% black-owned.

Sibeko asserts that the FNB Art Joburg’s goal is embodied in a new model focused on strong content and greater collaboration between galleries and all stakeholders in Johannesburg and around the world. This was reflected in fewer participating exhibitors and an innovative section devoted to new, emerging artists and spaces as well as international galleries and those who are looking to engage with a contemporary African audience.

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