15 Days & counting to a Meeting of Cultures: the first ever World Summit on Arts & Culture in Africa

08 September 2009, South Africa

The National Arts Council of South Africa (NAC) and the International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA), hosts of the 4th World Summit on Arts & Culture are gearing up to welcome delegates from across the globe in 15 days time.

In a first for South Africa and the African continent, the 4th World Summit on Arts & Culture is set to be a landmark gathering of policy makers, culture agencies and other players in the arts and culture arena.

“We anticipate the nexus of discussion to have a catalytic impact on the arts and culture sector in South Africa and across the African continent”, says Annabell Lebethe, NAC CEO

To date, over 300 delegates from over 50 countries across the world have registered for the Summit. Over 50% hail from the African continent – the highest ever Africa representation at a World Summit since its inception.

“The Summit theme - Meeting of Cultures: Creating Meaning through the Arts presents a rich backdrop for indepth analysis and sharing of best practices. This event is a critical opportunity for Africa to demonstrate success, illuminate challenges and the use of culture and creativity in addressing these so as to leverage our rich cultural heritage onto the global stage.
We hope that the Summit will also provide a platform for relationship building and strengthening networks. This is critical for sustained development”, she continued.

Significantly, the topics to be discussed during the three-day meeting will be presented by a diverse range of speakers programmed to provide perspectives and opinions which are rarely heard in mainstream discourse.

In a bid to engage broader participation of arts practitioners, civil society and the like, the NAC has created the ArtSpeak dialogue events. ArtSpeak forms a two-part series of preparatory dialogue sessions focusing on the key themes of the Summit namely; Cultural Diversity and Inter-cultural Dialogue.

The second event is held today, 8 September, at Museum Africa in the Newtown Cultural Precinct, Joburg.

Two speakers, Charlene Foster (Creative Industries consultant) and Khwezi Gula (curator and writer) will engage the ArtSpeak 2 theme: Freedom of creative expression versus cultural sensitivity. The session, to be chaired by the Summit Programme Director Mike van Graan will also include a respondent, Ms Julialynne Walker (Director: Africa Diaspora Development Linkages).

Entrance to Artspeak is free of charge.