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January 28 2015

Creatives in conversation at the university of johannesburg

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With the ACT | UJ Arts & Culture Conference approaching, a series of free public engagements entitled “Creatives in Conversation” will be presented. The Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) and UJ Arts & Culture, in partnership with the British Council Connect ZA, will present the third ACT | UJ Arts & Culture Conference in March 2015 at the UJ Arts Centre. Linked to the conference, a series of ten conversations with emerging and established creative practitioners will be hosted in the Upstairs Studios at the UJ Arts Centre.

The first five conversations will be hosted at the UJ Arts Centre (Thursday evenings at 17:30) on a weekly basis for five weeks from 5 February leading up to the Conference, and the series will continue with a further five conversations following the conference.

According to Fiona Gordon, ACT Project Manager for this year’s conference, “The first four conversations are themed around the more traditional arts and culture disciplines, focussing on theatre, music, visual arts and dance respectively; with the final one opening up the conversation to contemplate the creative sector more holistically. Continuing the series after the conference will provide opportunities for those engaged in the creative industries to take the conference conversations forward.”

The programme for the first five conversations is as follows:

05 February: 17:30
Warona Seane (Artistic Manager: Soweto Theatre) in conversation with Phillip Dikotla (emerging playwright/performer); facilitated by Brenda Sakellarides (ACT Ambassador and Director: Pink Room Productions).

12 February: 17:30
André le Roux (SAMRO Foundation) and Concord Nkabinde (musician) will discuss best practice for musicians while Violet Maila (Project Co-ordinator: Concerts SA) will present findings of research mapping the South African live music performance landscape.

19 February: 17:30
Mariapaola McGurk (Business Development Manager: Classicfeel Magazine) in conversation with Usha Seejarim (Conceptual Artist); facilitated by Precious Maputle (Marketing Officer: UJ Arts & Culture).

26 February: 17:30
Nadia Virasamy (CEO: Moving into Dance Mophatong) in conversation with Kieron Jina (independent dance practitioner); facilitated by PJ Sabbagha (Artistic Director: The Forgotten Angle Theatre Collaborative).

05 March: 17:30
Pieter Jacobs (CEO: Arts & Culture Trust) in conversation with Lynsey Smith (Creative Economy Programme Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa and Europe: British Council); facilitated by Grace Meadows (Producer: UJ Arts & Culture)

Entrance to the conversation series is free but space is limited. To secure your place please e-mail your contact details to indicating which of the conversations you would like to attend and how many people you would like to book for.

Entitled “Creatives Make It Happen”, the conference will run from 8 to 10 March. The two and a half day conference aims to provide a forum for developing and inspiring the creative community. Engaging with entrepreneurs, manufacturers, policy makers and implementers; in addition to the advertising, film, design and broader arts industries; it will showcase new ways of cultivating business ideas in a contemporary South Africa. The conference will host several thought-leaders and leading industry professionals from South Africa, Africa and abroad; and will provide opportunities for attendees to engage with speakers and conference participants alike.

The 2015 ACT | UJ Arts & Culture Conference is presented by the Arts & Culture Trust, UJ Arts & Culture and British Council Connect ZA, with support from the Department of Arts and Culture, Business and Arts South Africa (BASA), SAMRO Foundation, Pro Helvetia, the European Union, the SA-UK Seasons 2014 & 2015; and media partner Classicfeel magazine.

For more information please click here.

Tickets to attend the conference is available at

The Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) is South Africa’s premier independent arts funding and development agency. The primary aim of ACT is to increase the amount of funding available for arts and culture initiatives, and to apply these funds to innovative, sustainable projects that make a meaningful contribution to society. Through structured funding programmes, ACT provides support for all expressions of arts and culture, including literature, music, visual art, theatre and dance, and the support extends to festivals, community arts initiatives, arts management, arts education and arts administration. Follow ACT on Twitter or like the Trust’s Facebook page.

UJ Arts & Culture (Advancement) produces and presents world-class student and professional arts programmes aligned to the UJ vision of an international university of choice, anchored in Africa, dynamically shaping the future. A robust range of arts platforms are offered on all four UJ campuses for students, staff, alumni and the general public to experience and engage with emerging and established Pan-African and international artists drawn from the full spectrum of the arts. For regular updates follow @UJArtsCentre on Twitter or visit

British Council Connect ZA is a major new series of cultural exchanges between the United Kingdom and South Africa marking 2014 as a celebration of 20 years of democracy in South Africa. From 2013 to 2015, the programme will support cultural connections between young people aged 18-35 in the United Kingdom and South Africa with a series of arts projects, and use digital platforms to build creative networks through live music, film, visual art and design. The project is part of SA-UK Seasons 2014 and 2015 which is a partnership between the Department of Arts & Culture, South Africa and the British Council.

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