South African Cultural Observatory

National Arts Festival Back in Face-to-Face mode

BY 30.06.22

As you read this the final cultural shows of National Arts Festival are possibly on stage in Makhanda. The National Arts Festival came back in a face-to-face format for the first time in two years. The event, held in Makhanda every year since 1974, was forced to go online in 2020 as the industry could not gather physically due to the restrictions associated with Covid-19.  This year, the 11 days-long festival was held from Thursday, June 23rd until Sunday, June 3rd.

The event is said to be the biggest annual celebration of the arts on the African continent providing space for artists and audiences to get together, engage and create unique cultural experiences. The Festival programme offers a variety of cultural activities including drama, dance, physical theatre, comedy, music, jazz, films, exhibitions and industry conversations.

This year’s programme included what the Festival organisers termed ArtsTalk which allowed various organisations and cultural practitioners to engage with the audiences about pertinent industry issues. The South African Cultural Observatory took part in the ArtsTalk and held a lively and engaging conversation about the industry’s contribution to the country’s GDP and the impact of Covid-19 on sector.

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