The Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Lechesa Tsenoli, was present to launch the Artscape Theatre Education and Training Programme last month.
The year-long arts education programme, in collaboration with the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape government, among others, seeks to remove barriers that stand in the way of people accessing the arts; give a platform to previously marginalised art forms; and develop South Africa’s next generation of arts and performance practitioners.
It also attempts to address some of the socio-economic challenges facing today’s youth, such as distance, transport, lack of funds and disability.
“It’s the arts that has brought our nation together from the 60s and played a key role in the country’s liberation. South African artists were invited to Denmark to teach the Danish kids revolutionary songs in the various African languages and this was a true celebration of the arts.
“The aim of the partnership with Artscape is to continue the work done in this sector and to implement the Constitution; to also work together to create artistic educational content,” said Mr Tsenoli.
The main theme that ran throughout the programme was the impact that the arts has on youth through innovation and problem solving.
Artscape CEO Marlene Le Roux said: “In the light of all of this, it’s about giving back, writing new narratives, storytelling, to value young artists on stage, to develop critical thinkers, writers and journalists and this all starts at schools.
“It’s about youth development and creating dialogue, new productions, new voices and we can tell the young people taking part in the High School Drama Festival to write about what is happening in their communities and to dream of the new South Africa and what they can actively contribute to society.”
The year-long programme assists with the Artscape’s transformation goals that has as its aim, to highlight that which was hidden or marginalised.
“By giving participants access to world-class stages with professional lighting and production values, our programme inspires young people’s creative dreams, helps them to grow as performers and artists, and drives employment,” says Ms Le Roux.
“Our Schools Arts Festival, as a mere example, will see learners from about 15 schools deliver a programme of choral music, theatre and contemporary dance, while the High School Drama Festival engenders latent creative talent.”