Scintillating Performances Set To Bring Arts Alive

By Phumzile Mavimbela

 The annual Johannesburg International Arts Alive Festival, now in its 29th year, is billed to feature a range of artistic performances in a variety of offerings designed to enthral local and international audiences with a uniquely Joburg flair.
This year’s festival is jampacked with an exciting line-up of events and artists to cater for a cross-section of audiences from various artistic disciplines, including theatre, music, crafts, visual arts, dance, and film. The prestigious event will run at various venues across Johannesburg between Tuesday, 7 September and Sunday, 12 December, with the Newtown precinct at the heart of most performances.
The 2021 edition will also feature a series of educational programmes such as webinars, workshops, conferences, and masterclasses, with most events hosted using a hybrid model of attendance to cater for both virtual and physical audiences.
“Supporters of the festival can take comfort in the hope that regulations will be relaxed gradually and the allowed capacities for indoor and outdoor venues will be increased to allow audiences to experience Arts Alive,” says Cllr Margaret Arnolds.
Highlights of this year’s Arts Alive programme include an online beat auction, online product demonstrations, a beatmaker of the year competition, Afro-Jazz and Afro-Pop performances, a Kwaito legends concert featuring prominent artists, and free dance workshops.
The festival’s flagship event, ‘Jazz on the Lake,’ will be hosted as a virtual performance dubbed ‘Jazz @ Arts Alive’ and will be streamed live. It’s set to feature performers from a diverse selection of award-winning South African artists.

The festival will also host a theatrical production, The Red on the Rainbow, which follows the aftermath of the death of a young man on a maize farm at the hands of a farmer’s son and his friends. The play explores how time seems to remain frozen in unending apartheid.
For the first time in its history, this artistic showcase is scheduled to be held over three months under the theme ‘A Redefining and Artistic Creative Future,’ with activities hosted across all seven regions of the City to bring economic relief to a range of artists.
The Johannesburg International Arts Festival is an annual showcase held ahead of the summer season to promote creative industries in the City. With Covid-19 affecting many lives and industries across the globe, Cllr Arnolds says artists are the hardest done by the associated lockdown.

“We must create conducive conditions for people from all parts of the world to desire to work, learn and play in our City. The Johannesburg International Arts Alive Festival is well poised to reposition the City for practical tourism, promotion of cultural diplomacy, and activating the local economy,” she says.
“To those who have not yet vaccinated, the City encourages you to take the jab to avoid the spread of the coronavirus. The City also encourages artists to continue doing their job in teaching and informing society about the importance of arts and culture,” says Cllr Arnolds. 

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