Arts Alive Festival launched as a mainly virtual platform without international participation this year

07 September – 12 December 2021

By Edward Tsumele

The City of Johannesburg yesterday, September 7, unveiled the programme for its flagship festival, Arts Alive, which is mainly going virtual this year, but which does not have international participation.
The City of Johannesburg will be presenting the 29th edition of the Annual Arts Alive International Festival under the theme A Redefining and Artistic Creative Future  from the 7th of September to the 12th of December 2021. The new  Executive Mayor,  Jolidee Matongo was supposed to attend the  launch at the Joburg Theatre, but could not attend.
The festival though a great artistic fusion featuring artists from various sectors of the creative industries in a range of creative offerings planned to scintillate Joburg and global audiences with a uniquely Joburg artistic flair. Though ony glaring anomaly this year though is the lack of participation by international artists, as they have always added a new flavor to the event, which every year has always billed itself as an international event.
Though it is mainly virtual, some shows will happen in a traditional physical manner and therefore is a hybrid event that will be presented for both virtual and physical audiences.

The window of opportunity presented by the Covid-19 pandemic will see the festival activities streamed to cater for wider audiences that would not otherwise be able to attend the festival. The 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 afford   audiences the live experience,” the organisers said without explaining further.
“In paying homage to our flagship programme, the “Jazz on the Lake” we have curated a virtual jazz offering titled “Jazz @ Arts Alive” that will be streamed live on Sunday the 19th of September 2021.
We have an exciting line up of events and artists planned to cater for a cross-section of audiences across disciplines such as Theatre, Music, Crafts, Visual Arts, Dance, Film and a series of educational programmes such as webinars, workshops, masterclasses and conferences,” the organizers said in a statement yesterday.
Some of the Arts Alive Highlights of 2021 will include the following as unveiled yesterday:
 Jazz @ Arts Alive -19 September 2021
A quality house band featuring 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.

  Beatmakers Market-26 September 2021
An innovative networking event geared towards artists and producers to meet and build successful business relationships with programming that will include online beat auctions, virtual workshops, live streaming of panel discussions, online product demonstration and beatmaker of the year.
Kwaito Legends Concert -22 October 2021
This will be a kwaito legends concert featuring prominent kwaito artists and producers. The concert will comprise of a dialogue with Kwaito producers and a concert by Kwaito music artists. The key focus of the dialogue will look at where the kwaito genre is currently and where it’s going and the influences the genre has had in SA music.
Theatre Production and Acting Masterclass-28-31October 2021
The play titled “The Red on the Rainbow” 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. It explores how time seems to remain frozen, picture-style, in an unending apartheid-ghost-dance. As an addition to the performance, there will be a workshop for artists who have a desire to re-charge and experiment with new ideas.
 Global Dance Supreme: September -29-31 October 2021
A diverse offering 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.
The Imbalance Phenomenon of Economy Exhibition by Azael Langa”-17 November 2021
This is a body of work from the medium of fumage. Fumage is the use of smoke and fire to create artistic works that are unique yet very striking. These works will be an artistic representation of the City of Johannesburg. They will depict the lived experiences of the people of Johannesburg and capture their aspirations. 
 Digital Audience Development-27-28 November 2021
The programme will support, strengthen and advance the arts marketing and audience engagement skills of arts and cultural professionals. The 2021 edition features hybrid workshops and conference sessions that are designed to empower attendees with tangible and applicable solutions to today’s digital challenges.

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