Cape Town Arts Festival 2023The Cape Town Arts Festival 2023 is all set to celebrate the dynamic fusion between arts, culture, and community with showstopping talent, taking place on Saturday 9 December  and Sunday 10 December 2023, against the backdrop of the Castle of Good Hope.

This two-day creative immersion promises an eclectic mix of artistic expressions, community engagement, with a strong focus on wellness. Festivalgoers can expect an exciting line-up of activities, including live music performances, poetry readings, engaging storytelling, the art of wellness (featuring Zumba, yoga, Tai Chi), live painting, art exhibitions, visual art installations, workshops, sculpting, food markets, and a Cape craft exhibition – all of which is designed to be good for the soul.

“The Cape Town Arts Festival stands as a testament to Community Arts for Community Wellbeing, with a mission to upskill, nurture and spotlight community artists within their own neighbourhoods, and recognize their exceptional contributions by showcasing them on the main festival stage – a meeting ground for emerging and established artists,” said Yusuf Ganief, Artivist and Festival CEO.

Many musical acts

The first of many musical acts set to appear at the event is Dee Koala (pictured above).  The South African hip-hop sensation will perform on the main stage on Sunday, 10 December.  Other artists include Afro Suns Marimba Band and Imad, with many more to be announced.

World-renowned storyteller, Fatima Dike, will be presenting a captivating and historic narrative about the rich history of the Castle of Good Hope in a narrated parade, adding depth and context to this iconic venue and the event.

In the week leading up to the Cape Town Arts Festival 2023, a visual art exhibition will showcase the works of 17 talented artists including Zanele Muholi, internationally celebrated South African photographer and visual activist. The exhibition comprises ceramics, visual arts, photography, sculptures, and a captivating live art installation.

Additionally, the festival will feature an interactive poetry masterclass by the esteemed Bulelwa Basse.  Basse is founder of the Lyrical Base Project, an arts and culture organisation which seeks to elevate the profiles of writers from marginalized communities through community-publishing projects and performance poetry. The masterclass is open to the public but with limited seating so early arrival is encouraged.

SHiNE as a theme

The festival’s theme for 2023 aligns with a national initiative of the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) entitled “SHiNE” (Social Harmony through National Effort). SHiNE aims to foster social harmony through effort, personal initiative, and positive dialogue, echoing the festival’s commitment to community well-being.

The Cape Town Arts Festival 2023 extends beyond the main event with a series of innovative programmes that span three months. These initiatives, such as Artists for Artists, Beyond Busking, and the Phillipi PESP Project, are designed to upskill community artists, align their training with the digital age, create job opportunities, and ensure the sustainable promotion of artists.

What: Cape Town Arts Festival 2023

Where and when: Cape Town Castle on 9 and 10 December 2023

Tickets: Free admission