Artists and musicians descended at Emfuleni Local Municipality's council chamber to attend the Arts and Culture Summit on the 17th January 2014. This summit was the second of its kind to be held in the area under the theme “Skills, Sector Growth and Sustainability”.
The summit focused on creating new models for arts and culture development within Emfuleni which include the introduction of new ways of funding cultural development, strengthening leadership of the sector locally and nationally, tackling barriers to the growth of creative business and ensuring that there are creative skills in the area for the future.
Josias Moleele, Desmond Mthembu and Shane Maja were some of the prominent artists who attended the summit to share knowledge, ideas and experiences with the young artists. Josias Mollele is credited with developing and coaching big names such as Fezile Mpela, Tony Kgoroge, Tshepo Maseko and Shane Maja himself.
Shane Maja, a businessman, a political activist, a former SABC presenter and now a director of Creative Arts and Cultural Affairs in Gauteng presented on the Gauteng Province's policy and framework on arts and culture affairs. In his speech, Maja urged artists to be vigilant and make use of opportunities presented to them by the summit on the day.
“You must take advantage of Creative Industry presenters from Gauteng, they are here and they are responsible for addressing the artists unemployment challenge. It is expected that by 2016, 150 000 decent jobs will be created” Maja said.
About 12 presentations from well recognized arts and culture organizations from around South Africa were made. Three musical items were rendered by Soul Renovators, Motswako Performing Arts and Blaq2day with one poetry item by Soul Renovators in between presentations.
The MMC for SRACLIS, Shaka Radebe said he felt honored to be hosting the second Arts and Culture Summit. “I must say that this is a second summit in the space of 2 years. In 2013 we organized a summit which was not as highly organized as this one” Radebe said. Radebe made it known that he was very happy with the way the summit turned out.
“With fresh faces you ought to have fresh ideas. This summit is about giving Emfuleni Arts and Culture Department advises from the artists' perspective. What are the challenges you as artists are facing in the industry and how can the municipality help in overcoming them,” Radebe said.
Radebe urged artists to be supportive of each other's work and advised them to work as a collective. He said it was a very informative event that allowed artists to interact on business framework. Moleele says there is a lot that needs to be changed as far as artists and professionalism of artists is concerned.
By Chuchi Radebe