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Call For Artist Press Release

The Vrystaat Arts Festival in Bloemfontein South Africa is proud to announce the first open-call for participants in the inaugural Pan-African Creative Exchange (PACE) 2018.

PACE was born in Bloemfontein at a long table conversation between professionals from the African continent and international visitors, and is driven by a coalition of the willing from the African Continent as well as cultural professionals outside of Africa.

The PACE 2018 starts the Vrystaat Arts Festival as a three-day provocation for the interdisciplinary arts in Africa, which aims to facilitate discussion on African cultural development with national and international presenters, producers, buyers, artists and the general public.

Nike Jonah, PACE Founding and Programme Director and Director of Afrovibes-UK says: ‘Currently the creative industries in Africa contribute less than 1% to the global (touring) creative economy. The aim of PACE 2018 is to increase the global reach of the interdisciplinary creative arts industries in Africa, and contribute to the development of future work from the continent.’

Erwin Maas, Dutch New York based PACE Founding Director and Artistic Director of the International Society of Performing Arts (ISPA) says: ‘PACE 2018 will facilitate connections between the growing creative and cultural industries within Africa as well as with international partners worldwide, to reinforce and reflect the wider, global cultural significance of the creativity of Africa.’

Wole Oguntokun, Artistic Director, Renegade Theatre, Nigeria says: ‘In all my years of practice, I never came across an organisation that truly helped facilitate a Pan-African exchange programme for the Performing Arts. Often, the only chances for cross-cultural exchanges are when we look to Europe and the Americas. It is why the possibility of being a part of the first edition of PACE and the benefits that might come with it, fill me with such excitement.’

Cornelia Faasen, CEO of the National Afrikaans Theatre Initiative (NATi) and Founding Sponsor of PACE says: ‘I am incredibly proud that NATi is a key partner of PACE. PACE is extraordinarily important for Africa as we enter a period of unprecedented visibility of our many cultures. In particular, PACE will examine how indigenous African languages, including Afrikaans in all its diverse forms, can be supported in a globalised context, to highlight the diversity of Africa and its cultures of excellence.’

For PACE 2018, we are expecting Artists and cultural professionals from a range of African countries, including Lesotho, Namibia, Nigeria, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. We also welcome a number of other international guests from Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, the Netherlands, Romania, Singapore, the UK and the US.
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