City of Johannesburg’s Arts Alive Festival Goes Digital


This year’s Arts Alive will be like no other as we adjust to the new norm of living with a pandemic. With the arts sector being among the hardest hit by Covid-19, the City of Johannesburg feels the music, dance and cultural expressions are what is needed to inspire hope and keep the nation united.The Executive Mayor of the City of Johannesburg, Cllr Geoffrey Makhubo, will launch the 28th edition of the Arts Alive Festival on Wednesday, 9 September 2020, at Joburg Theatre in Braamfontein.To galvanise the City to some normalcy, communities are invited to celebrate the 2020 Virtual Johannesburg Arts Alive International Festival from September to December 2020. After five months of having to adjust to living with the coronavirus-driven pandemic and the country has just moved to Level 2, spring is finally here and “The Arts is Alive”. To keep the arts alive and artists creating new work, we have gone digital and are observing all the necessary Covid-19 protocols as outlined by the National Disaster Management Act and its regulations.Arts Alive events will be recorded at the Joburg Theatre and in other regions of the City. The festival will showcase visual arts, educational workshops and masterclasses, music, theatre, poetry, dance within the month of September as well stretching through until December.

The digital programme will create many and varied opportunities for employment and skills sharing for artists, both professional and emerging artists, other artistic practitioners within the industry as well as service providers in the eventing industry.The digitisation of the arts events and educational workshops/masterclasses will provide new opportunities for members of the community within South Africa and beyond to be part of the festival and its artistic and education offerings. Supported by the City of Johannesburg, Arts Alive has over the years consistently presented brilliant arts and culture events for the people of Joburg for the past 28 years. The virtual 2020 Arts Alive will once again deliver another excellent programme.

This year’s vibrant lineup of events reaches across traditional art barriers with an expanded appeal to the young and old, through commercial and avant-garde spaces, ensuring that many art forms of numerous genres and their contributions are recognized while highlighting the significance of keeping the arts alive. The Arts Alive programme will once again feature something for everybody.

Some of the Arts Alive Highlights of 2020 will include the following and much more:

1) Jazz @ Arts Alive -13 September 2020A quality house band which will feature guest performers from a selection of award-winning South Africa artists. With this programme, we will introduce audiences to a diverse range of Afro-Jazz/Afro Pop.

2) South African Legends Concert -24 September 2020Tribute Jazz Concert featuring prominent artists that will present a repertoire that pays tribute to legends of South African Jazz. The concert will be a reflective musical journey of South African Jazz and the extent to which the artists on the line-up have been inspired by the artists too who they will be paying tribute.

3) South African Hip Hop Awards-26 November 2020Partnering with the City of Joburg for the first time; the 9th annual South African Hip Hop Awards (SAHHA) are an annual Hip-Hop awards ceremony. The ceremony will feature pre-recorded performances by some of the nominees and different elements that happen on the night of the show.

4) Global Dance Supreme: September -29 November 2020Diverse offerings that will cover a range of topics and events such as Online Championship Programme; Free Dance Workshops and DJ Live streams; Facebook Live Workshops; Facebook Live Mixes and GDS Sessions covering the following topics: Next Gen; Defending Champions and Dance Styles.

5) Webinar on “Perspectives on the Visual Art Market Platforms”-17 September 2020Themed “Perspectives on the Visual Arts Market Platforms”, the webinar shall seek to share important lessons on the operations of the Visual Arts Market and empower artists on how to approach both the domestic and international market platforms, with a facilitated discussion featuring experts on the Visual Market that will include Atilla Ledenyi – Director of the Art Market Budapest; Vesna Latinovic – Gallerist from Serbia; Mandla Sibeko – Managing Director of FNB Art Joburg and facilitated by Vuyisile Mshudulu – Director – Arts, Culture and Heritage.

6) Clash of the Regions-12 December 202014 Young and upcoming artists across the seven regions (two per region) will be auditioned to battle it out in music, dance, DJ, Poetry and theatre in order to claim the title of the being the best in their region.

Members of the media are invited to attend the launch of Arts Alive. Details are as follows:Date: 09 September 2019Time: 10:00-12:00Venue: First Floor Foyer at Joburg TheatrePre-Confirmation of attendance is compulsory.

We will also create a live feed through which journalist may send their questions.

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