National Arts Festival aims to host 2021 event

The National Arts Festival started its call for artists to submit for the 2021 festival.

THE National Arts Festival (NAF) has announced that there will be a Festival in 2021 and has already opened the call for artists to submit their interest in being considered for the festival, which is expected to be in July.

“It’s obviously difficult to predict what will happen next year, but we will be going ahead with a 2021 festival and will adapt our formula if need be,” said artistic director, Rucera Seethal.

The 2020 National Arts Festival went entirely virtual as the lockdown made it impossible to host a live event in June and July 2020. The Virtual National Arts Festival attracted over 80 000 visitors online during its month-long run.

The festival team envisages a hybrid festival for 2021 with an online and live component. Makhanda (formerly Grahamstown) continues to be the home of the festival but the live event is likely to be smaller, more compact and focused.

These plans will of course depend on the prevailing Covid-19 regulations and protocols.

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“We are designing a safe and inspiring experience for everyone involved – audiences and artists alike, and we think a smaller festival is apt in these times,” said Seethal.

Artists have been particularly hard-hit by lockdowns, and the arts are only just starting to emerge from months of inactivity in the live space.

“As an arts festival, we are going to do everything we can to support artists, while also facilitating the presentation of new directions in the arts,” said Seethal.

The NAF has posted the call for Expressions of Interest General for programmed work for the festival last month, and the call for the Fringe event will go live on 25 January and those interested in participating in the Village Green will also be invited to apply in 2021.

The new approach includes a simpler and shorter application form which the festival hopes will make it easier for artists to apply.
For more details artists can also follow the social media channels @artsfestival (Twitter) and @NationalArtsFestival on Facebook and Instagram.


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