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Selection Panel

Chair of the Selection Panel

Ismail Mohamed

CEO, Market Theatre (South Africa)

Ismail Mahomed is CEO of the Market Theatre and previously the director of the Grahamstown National Arts Festival. Mahomed has worked in the arts industry for most of his professional life, including as a Senior Cultural Specialist for the US Consulate.As a practitioner he is an award-winning arts administrator, having won the Arts & Culture Trust Award for Arts Administrator of the Year, the Mpumalanga Premier’s Award, the Witbank Mayor’s award, and the U.S. State Dept Africa Bureau Award.He is also a prolific writer, critic and commentator on the arts and a playwright.



Selection Panel

Erwin Maas

Independent, Theatre Maker (USA)



Erwin Maas is a New York based theater maker, educator and international arts advocate from the Netherlands. He has worked extensively in Australia, Europe, South Africa and USA. Maas is the Artistic Director of the International Society for Performing Arts, Artistic Associate & Director of the Fellowship Program for the International Performing Arts for Youth, and Programming Director for the Off Broadway Origin Theatre Company. From 2010 to 2014, Maas was the Director of Performing Arts for the Cultural Department of the Royal Netherlands Embassy & Consulates in the USA. Erwin is a core-member of Theater Without Borders, and member of Georgetown University's Laboratory for Global Performance & Politics. – www.erwinmaas.com

Gacirah Diagne

Director, Kaay Fecc Dance Festival (Senegal)

Dancer, choregrapher, cultural operator, Senegalo-Somalian Gacirah Diagne has been evolving in the field of Dance for over 30 years. Trained in African dance, afro jazz, ballet and contemporary dance in various dance institutions,among which the Alvin Ailey Dance Center, Urban Bush Women, Rod Rodgers Dance Company, Mzawa Dance. Gacirah returned to Senegal in 2001 after several years in the United States and in Europe.
Between 1996 and 2010, she also gained great experience in the cultural administration with renowned institutions in USA and Senegal (Dancespace Project at St Mark’s Church, Arts International, BAM 651 Arts, Centre CulturelFranc¸ais de Dakar, Ecole des Sables/Germaine Acogny). In 2010, she is appointed Dance Curator of the 3rd edition of the World Festival for Black Arts and Culture (FESMAN III).
From 2012 to 2014, Gacirah held the position of Technical Counselor, in charge of Urban Cultures, at the Senegal Ministry of Culture.
In 2011, she founded the first hip hop dance company in Senegal and participated in the implementation of the Maison des Cultures Urbaines (MCU -House of Urban Cultures), an initiative of the City of Dakar, as a member of theCollectif des Organisations Hip Hop et Cultures Urbaines de la Ville de Dakar.
As a cultural leader for the past 15 years, she has led via theKaay Fecc Association, the artistic direction and organization of several national and international dance events and training projects, such as Programme National deReinforcement de Capacite´s en Techniques de Danse, Festival Kaay Fecc, Battle National – Danse Hip Hop, Urbanation BBoy, Cypher Senegal, Battle Of The Year Senegal, while pursuing her choreographic research.
In 2015, she organized, in Dakar, with the French Institute of Senegal, the Concert pour la Plane`te, within the frame of the Paris Climate

Isobel Hawson

Independent, Theatre Producer (UK)




Isobel Hawson is a freelance arts consultant and producer and Director of On Tour Ltd., a national and international arts consultancy. As a senior arts manager she has extensive knowledge and experience in theatre, arts funding, participatory arts projects, organisational development, project management and strategic planning.

Ricardo Peach

Director, Vrystaat Festival( South Africa)



Dr Ricardo Peach is the Director of the Vrystaat Arts Festival, a multi-art form festival in Mangaung, South Africa. He also developed and is the Co-Director of the Programme for Innovation in Art form Development at the University of the Free State, partnering with the Vrystaat Arts Festival. In Australia, at the Australia Council for the Arts, he was Acting Director and Programme Manager for the Emerging and Experimental Arts Office and looked after national client files such as the multi-cultural touring organisation Kultour and Bundanon Trust Artist in Residence program. He was also the coordinator of the Arts in a Multicultural Australia policy (2011-2012).

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