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    National Arts Festival calls for 2023 proposals

    The National Arts Festival (NAF) has announced that the call for the 2023 National Arts Festival Curated Programme is open.
    Image by Mark Wessels: The ZipZap Circus perform in Moya at the 2022 National Arts Festival
    Image by Mark Wessels: The ZipZap Circus perform in Moya at the 2022 National Arts Festival

    The Curated Programme is the Festival’s multi-disciplinary offering, selected from proposals submitted by artists locally and abroad. The NAF programme also features a Fringe, comprising works that are not curated but brought to the Festival and financed by the artists themselves.

    The call for the Fringe is a separate call that will open on 1 November 2022 and close on 13 January 2023.

    Artists working in performance and public arts, theatre, dance, visual art, music, poetry, illusion, comedy and cross-genre arts mediums are invited to submit their proposals for work to be presented at the Festival between 22 June and 2 July 2023 in the Festival’s home town of Makhanda in the Eastern Cape.

    Work put forward can be new or previously staged, and proposals from producers on the continent and elsewhere in the world are welcome.

    The submission process is entirely online and proposals should be submitted by midnight (CAT) on 22 November 2022. An artistic committee makes the selection with representation from multiple genres and sectors working alongside the National Arts Festival’s artistic director.

    Image by Mark Wessels: Koleka Putuma performs in Hullo, Bu-Bye, Koko Come In at the 2022 National Arts Festival
    Image by Mark Wessels: Koleka Putuma performs in Hullo, Bu-Bye, Koko Come In at the 2022 National Arts Festival

    The artistic committee has shifted to alert artists to specific curatorial directions by putting forward thematic prompts for this year’s call. These prompts are far-ranging enough to enable many entry points for artists, while also indicating a more focused approach to creating the curated programme along thematic lines.

    The creative sector continues to face the headwinds of global financial constraints and complex local conditions, but the NAF’s 49th annual gathering of artists and art lovers will build on this year’s success as a groundswell for artists, producers, writers, directors and choreographers.
    The 2022 National Arts Festival saw attendance from international producers, and many artists who brought works to the Festival went on to tour with those works across the country in the latter half of the year.

    “The Festival remains a platform for a range of works, some of which may not yet have been seen on commercial stages. It is also a space for works that are being reimagined or that have toured elsewhere in the world,” says artistic director, Rucera Seethal.

    “The premise of the National Arts Festival has always been to create expansive worlds and moving experiences in South Africa. We are also focused on developing relationships, collaboration and professional association with artists on the African continent and internationally too,” Seethal concludes.

    To submit a proposal, go here.

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