Schools can sign up for a regional schools’ festival, Future Arts Programme 2021. The National Arts Festival and Grahamstown Foundation’s Regional Schools’ Festival has been a fixture on the South African schools’ calendars for 45 years but it’s also adapting to the times by developing a film-making project called the Future Arts Programme.

They’re teaming up with the Market Theatre Laboratory to deliver this digital programme for schools. The deadline to submit participation forms is 24 February 2021. The project is open to participation from schools in all nine South African provinces, and is free.

Kgomotso MoMo Matsunyane presents a workshop on Devising for the Regional Schools Festival.
Kgomotso ‘MoMo’ Matsunyane will present a workshop on Devising for the Regional Schools Festival.

Pre-recorded workshops

The Market Theatre Laboratory has conceptualised a series of pre-recorded workshops for the Future Arts Programme, created by a selection of respected South African artists.

The workshops are designed to be experienced by students in their schools environment and facilitated by their own educators.

Schools can commence with the programme from 11 March, 2021 and it will be available to learners in March and April.

Workshops include

DEVISING, by Kgomotso ‘MoMo’ Matsunyane
NARRATIVE, by Ameera Patel
OBJECT/PUPPETRY, by Liezl de Kock
MOVEMENT, by Billy Langa
CAMERA/COLLATION, by Daniel Buckland
CAMERA/COLLATION, by Mongi Mthombeni
SOUND, by Nhlanhla Mahlangu

The schools enroll and learners work in groups to produce a short film. The project gives them access to new technology and tools, build skills and share creativity across schools, and ensures that they get feedback on the work produced.

The format will allow schools to integrate the two-day workshop process in a way that suits them. Participation is open to Grades 10, 11 and 12 learners within arts subjects, for example, visual arts, music, drama, dance and media studies.

Physical performer Billy Langa presents a workshop on Movement at the Regional Schools Festival
Physical performer Billy Langa presents a workshop on Movement at the Regional Schools Festival

Digital screens, vlogging kits

Digital screens and vlogging kits are needed to participate. With the support of the NAC and Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, the NAF has designed a “studio in a box”,  that includes a smart TV loaded with video-on-demand workshop content and a vlogging kit to enable participation in this pioneering programme despite the digital divide. The boxes will be loaned out based on the expressed needs of participating schools.

Says project director, Rucera Seethal, “In these times, what we need to be investing in is imagination; creating beyond our confines and imagining new ways of making art. It is so  important to find a connection to our next generation of artists, and support them to find ways to carve out their stories and share them. The pandemic has shown us that the arts can shift, reimagine and connect people and ideas in ways we never thought possible.”

Schools interested in participating in the regional schools’ festival can contact Lily May

What: Schools Future Arts Programme 2021
National Arts Festival: