This week, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) hosted the annual Groot Drakenstein Arts Week at the Groot Drakenstein Cultural Centre in Simondium. Youths from the Cape Winelands region, between the ages of 17 and 35 and who have matriculated, were exposed to playmakers in the Arts industry.
From 18 – 20 February, youths from Ceres, Wellington, Paarl, Stellenbosch, Klapmuts, Ashton, Robertson and Worcester spent one hour sessions per day with DCAS partners: Cape Craft and Design Institute (Design), UNIMA (Puppetry), the College of Magic (Magic), the School of Animation (Animation) and the Red Bull Studios (Electronic Music).
Students were taught how to make electronic music, the art of puppetry, what it takes to be a magician, how the world of animation works and that design also means teamwork. They were also able to connect with these institutions which offer information, support and training to emerging artists. Each day ended with the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) assisting the students with ways to discover and identify possible economic opportunities in their respective creative and cultural industries.
Charles Maema, DCAS Cultural Officer, said that the aim of this project was to equip young people with tools to explore new ways of expressing themselves creatively. “The idea is for the youth from these communities to experience, explore and experiment with the Arts through our valued partners,” he said.
Western Cape Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Theuns Botha, commented on the exposure opportunity for young people offered by Arts Week. “The Arts Week is a wonderful opportunity for young people to expand their knowledge of possibilities in the creative industries. I really want to encourage young people to make use of these workshops. Our economy depends on new job opportunities in the informal sector, and the Arts Week can be a stepping stone towards a new career.”
DCAS offers young people the opportunity to gain exposure into all aspects of the arts. Communities should encourage their children to attend these kinds of events. Let us nurture and grow our country’s talent Better Together.