South African Cultural Observatory

Tzaneen is final stop of SA Cultural Observatory national tour

BY 18.10.17

THE South African Cultural Observatory (SACO) closes its eight-stop countrywide domain workshop tour in Tzaneen on October 26.

Since July the SACO, a project of the Department of Arts & Culture hosted by Nelson Mandela University, has been on a South African roadshow, reaching across the nine provinces and into rural and urban nodes to share the think tank’s research, mandate and to gain insights from the creative sectors.

“It’s been an incredible experience moving across South Africa and really listening to artists, creatives, and academics,” said Unathi Lutshaba, SACO Research Manager. “Although we had a message and research to share, the real value has been paying attention to the insights from the sector and hearing sector-specific solutions to some of the greatest challenges and opportunities the creative and cultural industries.

“We have learnt that the vibrancy that we know exists across sectors from the research we have been doing, is tangible. We have noted some of the most pressing concerns and challenges – funding, access, time, resources, markets – of the sectors. But we have also learnt that the level of collaboration, passion, and willingness to make things better is greater than the challenges,” she said.

“South Africans are creative. We want to be more creative – now we have to start imagining how that is possible.”

One of the SACO’s primary activities is the promotion capacity-building across the cultural domains – in large part driven by events such as the domain workshops.

The workshop series was designed to inform creative practitioners, researchers, academics and others about the Cultural Observatory, share a growing body of research and some useful tools developed by the think tank. It is also intended to help the SACO gain insight and feedback from the creative sectors on their priorities and concerns.

The domain workshop series is a critical part of stakeholder engagement to share the insights, trends, information and policy influencing South Africa’s creative economy and make a difference to creatives across South Africa, the organisation said. In addition, its research products, tools and frameworks for monitoring and evaluation are all free for use, open source and available on the SACO website.

The workshop series has seen stopovers in: East London, Pietermaritzburg, Bloemfontein, Paarl, Upington, Mafikeng, Vereeniging and finally Tzaneen between July and October.

The events are open to all arts, culture and heritage sector and CCI practitioners and stakeholders; academics and researchers; interested parties from local, provincial and national government; arts managers, administrators, organisations, fundraisers and funders; event and festival organisers; and relevant stakeholders from civil society and are free of charge.

WORKSHOP DETAILS: Tzaneen

DATE:                    26 October 2017

TIME:                    9:30am– 4pm / Registration from 8:30am

PLACE:                  Tzaneen Country Lodge

COST:                    Free – lunch & refreshments will be served

RVSP:                    20 October 2017

MORE INFO:       041 504 4930/ info@southafricanculturalobservatory.co.za

Attendees are encouraged to register online for the Tzaneen workshop on October 12: https://www.southafricanculturalobservatory.co.za/event/saco-domain-workshop-tzaneen-26-october-2017. Space is limited and attendees are encouraged to sign up urgently to avoid disappointment. 

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