Today marks the start of the annual National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. Running from 28 June to 7 July, this year's offerings promise more showcasing of the best talent South Africa, and indeed Africa, has to offer.
This amazing festival is billed as being the biggest annual celebration of the arts on the African continent. The very first festival was held in 1974. With the exception of 1975 an arts festival has been held in Grahamstown every year since.
The small university town of Grahamstown is once more transformed into a Mecca of the artistic community of this country and thousands have already taken residence in every available room. The economic impact of this cannot be underestimated in one of the poorest areas of the country.
With the eyes of the international arts community on this celebration, lets hope that more investment of funds and education of artists will result.
On another note I was disappointed to see that the IOL news site had no mention of the festival at all. This event is a major event in the national calendar and deserves greater media coverage! If I missed it, please let me know and I will edit this post.
I managed to find a really nice site from 24.com detailing the festival and offering MP3's, photos and programme details.
Official site : http://www.nafest.co.za
24.com Festival site : http://www.24.com/events/?p=nafestival