Event Lifestyle

National Arts Festival calls for artists to submit Expressions of Interest for 2021 Festival

November 25, 2020

The National Arts Festival has announced that there will be a Festival in 2021 and has opened the call for artists to submit their interest in being considered for the Festival, which is expected to be in July. 

“It’s obviously difficult to predict what will happen next year, but we will be going ahead with a 2021 Festival and will adapt our formula if need be,” says Artistic Director, Rucera Seethal.

The 2020 National Arts Festival went entirely virtual as the lockdown made it impossible to host a live event in June and July 2020. The Virtual National Arts Festival attracted over 80 000 visitors online during its month-long run. 

National Arts Festival
A scene from Pepper’s Ghost by the Centre for the Less Good Idea, one of the shows on at the 2020 Virtual National Arts Festival. Image supplied.

The Festival team envisages a hybrid Festival for 2021 with an online and live component. Makhanda (formerly Grahamstown) continues to be the home of the Festival but the live event is likely to be smaller, more compact and focused, in keeping with the L1 lockdown provisions. These plans will of course depend on the prevailing COVID-19 regulations and protocols. 
“We are designing a safe and inspiring experience for everyone involved – audiences and artists alike,” says Seethal, “and we think a smaller Festival is apt in these times.” 
Artists have been particularly hard-hit by lockdowns, and the arts are only just starting to emerge from months of inactivity in the live space. “As an arts festival, we are going to do everything we can to support artists, while also facilitating the presentation of new directions in the arts,” says Seethal. 

National Arts Festival
Nobulumko Mngxekeza and Philisa Sibeko in Macbeth, one of the shows at the 2020 Virtual National Arts Festival – image by Nicky Newman. 

The NAF has posted the call for Expressions of Interest General for programmed work for the Festival. The call for the Fringe will go live on 25 January 2021 and those interested in participating in the Village Green will also be invited to apply in 2021. The new approach includes a simpler and shorter application form which the Festival hopes will make it easier for artists to apply. Artists can apply with a work in progress, an idea for a new work or a piece that has already been made or performed. The deadline for submitting Expressions of Interest General is midnight on 20th December 2020.

Artists wishing to find out more about submitting an Expression of Interest General can attend a webinar being hosted by the Festival on 30 November 2020 at 2pm. Registration for the webinar can be completed here on the Festival’s website Nationalartsfestival.co.za. For more details, artists can also follow National Arts Festival on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

To submit a National Arts Festival Expression of Interest General form, artists can visit  the Festival’s website https://nationalartsfestival.co.za/open-call-for-expressions-of-interest-for-national-arts-festival-2021/

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