The PACE Team

The PACE Team is truly multi-national from across Africa and the world! Led by Nike Jonah the team is passionate about creating networks across the world to grow and develop creative industries in and around the continent of Africa.

White Grass

Mark Antony Dobson

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is currently the Programme Manager for the Pan-African Creative Exchange, a freelance Theatre practitioner and producer primarily working under the artist collective Vukallective for the past six years. He holds an MA in Post Modern Dance theory and the Grotesque Image from the University of the Free State South Africa. He has produced work around South Africa since 2014. In his spare time, he creates content and YouTube videos. Most recently, Mark won the award for Best Dance Debut Production at the Vrystaat Arts Festival.

Thuthukani Ndlovu

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Thuthukani Ndlovu is a Zimbabwean poet, digital artist and XR fanatic currently completing his Honours degree in Marketing at the University of the Free state in Bloemfontein, South Africa. He is also the Vrystaat Literature festival assistant coordinator, founder of The Radioactive Blog, and author of his debut poetry collection "My Poetic Collage". A passion for social activism, capacity development and creative branding are evident in most his work.

Isabel Lock

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Isabel Lock is currently the Assistant Coordinator for the Vrystaat Arts Festival. She holds an Honours degree in Film and Visual Media (2018) from the University of the Free State and has previously gained experience in the commercial process of video production.

Ricardo Peach

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is the Director of the Vrystaat Arts Festival, a multi-artform festival in Mangaung, South Africa. He developed and is the Co-Director of the Programme for Innovation in Artform Development at the University of the Free State, partnering with the Vrystaat Arts Festival. Previously he managed the Capacity Development Program at the Australia Council. 

Nike Jonah

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is the Executive Director of PACE, Nike is also the Director of Connecting Dots, an arts consultancy that works with a range of clients across the arts and creative sectors. For almost a decade she developed and produced four editions of the Arts Council England’s Flagship Diversity initiative, Decibel Performing Arts Showcase. Nike is a visiting research fellow at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (2017-2019). As a keen champion for diversity and equality in the arts, Nike has led numerous discussions and workshops during her extensive travels across the globe, including North America, Europe, Africa and Australia. Nike is a Boards Trustee for The European Cultural Foundation, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, The Royal Africa Society and The Bush Theatre.

Erwin Maas

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is a New York-based theatermaker, educator and international arts advocate from the Netherlands. He has worked extensively in Australia, South Korea, Europe, South Africa and the USA. Erwin is the Co-Founding Director of PACE, 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 2016-2020, he was Artistic Director of the International Society for Performing Arts and from 2010 to 2014, he 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.

'Funmi Adewole

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is an academic whose research interests include the production of knowledge for the cul­ tural and creative industries  in Africa. She was the designer and lead-facilitator of the PACE Dramaturgical Lab in 2019. She presently works as a dance lecturer at De Montfort University in England and as a storytelling artist and dramaturge for theatre-makers with a dance or combined arts focus. Her approach to professional development draws on work ex­ perience in the fields of education, performance, media and arts management. She started out as a media practitioner in Nigeria, writing for the arts press, producing for TV and act­ ing on radio. On moving to England in 1994, she began touring as a performer, mainly with Physical/Visual theatre and African dance drama companies. Her credits include perfor­ mances with Ritual Arts, Horse and Bamboo Mask and Puppetry Company, Artistes-in-Exile, Adzido Pan-African Dance Ensemble, Mushango African dance and Music Company and the Chomondeleys, a contemporary dance company.

Jenni-Lewin Turner

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has maintained a long portfolio career as an international creative producer, cultural broker, consultant and curator. She holds an MA in Cultural Leadership and also an MA in Media Practice for Development & Social Change.  She is the founding director of Urbanflo Creative, a socially engaged collective of arts professionals who share a vision of equity and empowerment - supporting marginalised communities and humanitarian causes through arts and culture.  Jenni has devised and delivered numerous multi-artform projects designed to establish an innovative, creative platform to connect communities across traditional, geographical, cultural, generational, social and economic divides. 

Isobel Hawson 

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

Naomi Velaphi

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is an arts producer and programmer of Zimbabwean and Japanese heritage based in Naarm (Melbourne). She is currently the Program Producer for the Australian Performing Arts Mar­ ket (APAM) where she develops key programs for international market development and ex­ change. She also has an independent practice centered on experimental arts practice with a strong commitment to working with culturally diverse artists. She has held producing roles both independently and for a number of arts institutions including Arts Centre Melbourne, Arts House, Federation Square, Melbourne International Arts Festival and Melbourne Inter­ national Jazz Festival. Independently she works with theatre-makers, dancers, spoken word artists and new media artists with a focus on new work and commissions. Her curatorial fo­ cus as a creative producer has been to amplify decolonial practices and voices of the Afri­ can diaspora in the Australian context. In 2017 her curated program at Arts House was nom­ inated for a Green Room Award. Naomi has over 10 years of experience in the arts sector working across all facets of arts production including, curation, funding and budget man­ agement and audience development. She holds a Masters of Arts and Cultural Management from the University of Melbourne and holds a Bachelor of Arts (Communications) from Cur­ tin University.

Khoekhoegowab: Vrystaati di Dī//khasib !Gâi!gâisens ge #an!gâs tsī !gôasiba Khoe-San Khoena ra mâ. Nē khoen ge //în aboxan !na /gaisa #goms tsī !hû//arede! kho/gara hâ,nâu khoen !hūb din /khas khami.

Afrikaans: Die Vrystaat Kunstefees erken en respekteer die Khoe-San van die Vrystaat en die diep geestelike verhoudings wat hulle met hul voorouers, hierdie land en sy mense het.

 

English: The Vrystaat Arts Festival acknowledges and respects the Khoe-San of the Free State and the deep spiritual attachment to their ancestors and relationships they have to this country and its people.

Sesotho: Mokete wa tsa Bonono Freistata o ananela le ho hlompha morabe wa Khoe-San wa Freistata, le kamano e tebileng ya semoya eo ba nang le yona le badimo ba bona hammoho le dikamano tseo ba nang le tsona le naha ena le baahi ba yona.