100 Days to the first World Summit on Arts & Culture in Africa

12 June 2009, South Africa

The National Arts Council of South Africa will host the 4th World Summit on Arts & Culture (4th WSoAC) at Museum Africa in the Newtown Cultural Precinct, Joburg in 100 days time.

Arts and culture policy makers, funders and representatives of international, regional and national artists’ networks will make up the 400 delegates, from over 70 countries across the world, expected to attend the landmark event – the first of its kind in Africa.

Created by the International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA), the WSoAC events have grown to become the most influential gathering in the global arts and culture arena.

“Winning the bid to host the 4th WSoAC is a significant achievement for the National Arts Council of South Africa and a major opportunity for Africa”, said Goodwin Mnisi: Acting CEO: National Arts Council

“South Africa’s history and demonstrated commitment to the development of the arts as a vehicle for social development is a perfect setting for a meeting of such calibre. We anticipate the highest ever number of delegates from the African continent and look forward to an event featuring dialogue and outcomes that propel significant advancement for Africa’s arts and culture sector”, he continued.

Meeting of cultures: Creating meaning through the arts is the chosen theme for the 4th WSoAC. The Programme Director, South African playwright, Mike van Graan, describes the progamme as exciting, relevant and catalytic.

“The 4th WSoAC theme provides a base for deep and broad-ranging engagement. We are living in a post 9/11 world where communities are increasingly divided by values, beliefs and religion – their culture, rather than political ideology”, said Mike van Graan

“Whether in Europe, Africa or Asia, immigrants often suffer the effects of xenophobia and nationalism based on fear and perceived vulnerability largely based on ignorance. The 4th WSoAC theme will explore how the arts can play a meaningful role in intercultural dialogue and social cohesion”, he continued.

In a bid to consolidate resources and extend the reach of the 4th WSoAC, the NAC is supported by a number of local partners including; the Department of Arts and Culture (national), The Gauteng Provincial Government Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, The City of Johannesburg: Directorate of Arts, Culture and Heritage, The Johannesburg Tourism Company and Business & Arts South Africa (BASA). Several international partners have also committed to support the participation of delegates from developing countries in Africa and around the world.

The collaborative partnership marks a first in South Africa for an event of this nature and is heralded as a best practice approach which will derive myriad benefits for the partners and the constituencies they serve.

Sarah Gardner: Executive Director of IFACCA said: ”Intercultural dialogue has emerged as a critical issue for the world. The previous three Summits have seen insightful dialogue and debate around issues of policy development for the arts across the globe.

“Each year, the discourse and resulting practice is enriched through the increasing numbers and variety of delegates and evolving global significance of this event. We look forward to a vibrant 4th WSoAC in South Africa”, she added.

Delegates interested in attending the event can register online on the official 4th WSoAC website: www.artsummit.org. A limited number of bursaries are also available.

Note to editors:
The 4th WSoAC is a triennial event created by the International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA). It is the only international event of its kind within the arts and culture policy development field. The World Summit events are a pivotal platform for national arts councils, ministries of culture and other agencies active in the global arts and culture sector across the world.

Key website links:
- Official 4th WSoAC website: www.artsummit.org
- IFACCA: www.ifacca.org
- National arts Council: www.nac.org.za
- Media Fact Sheet: http://www.artsummit.org/media/

Media contact:
Issued By Talawa Communications on behalf of the NAC and IFACCA

- Zaheda Mohamed:  083 656 4026  / e-mail:  zaheda@talawa.co.za
- Dianne Regisford Gueye: 083 449 0245 / e-mail:: dianne@talawa.co.za