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Gauteng's creative industries

The cultural landscape of Gauteng has always been vibrant and energetic, generating inspiration for audiences and consumers, and satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment for participants. Gauteng provides jobs for thousands of people working in arts and culture.

What is the contribution of arts to the Gauteng economy?

Gauteng has established a business case for the arts and cultural activities, arguing that they make a social and economic contribution to the province by providing opportunities for self-employment, job creation and urban regeneration. The creative industries have the potential to be one of the key drivers of the Gauteng economy.

The Creative Industries Development Framework guides the implementation of sector-specific programmes, targeted at growing Gauteng arts and culture industries. This will be done through supporting the creative workforce, communities, clusters and sectors that are active in the Gauteng creative economy.

What exactly are the creative industries?

Creative industries include advertising, architecture, crafts, design, audiovisual media such as film, television, video and broadcasting, live and recorded music, performing arts, dance, cultural heritage, visual arts, publishing and cultural tourism.

These industries range across traditional artistic activities to electronic media and communications, and into a growing range of business and associated services. This all requires the ability to foster and market creative intellectual property.

Natural clusters emerge between sectors in the "entertainment-based" sub-sectors such as music, film, television and the performing arts, and "arts and design-based" sub-sectors such as design, craft and the visual arts.

Who supports the creative industries?

The cultural sector (especially performing arts, dance, parts of the craft sector, and heritage) as a whole is heavily dependent on government funding and as such is relatively unstable, given the inconsistency of the arts funding landscape. This is not necessarily the case for the creative industries (music, elements of the craft sector, fashion, film and video production), which are able to operate on business principles and generate income.

The Creative Gauteng brand will build pride in the creative industries and define the vision of growing the Gauteng creative industries nationally and internationally.

What strategies has the department adopted?

To support the positioning of Gauteng as an economically active and sustainable city region, the Department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation has developed a range of sector strategies in line with the province's Growth and Development Strategy. These include:

  • The Competitive Sport Strategy
  • The Creative Industries Strategic Framework
  • The Craft Strategic Framework
  • The 2010 Integrated Implementation Plan

These strategies are underpinned by programmes that support the province's overall response to the challenges of poverty, unemployment and underdevelopment as well as creating opportunities for growth. These initiatives include:

  • Branding and promoting Gauteng as the preferred destination for competitive sport and positioning the province as the top driver of the South African creative economy
  • Supporting the growth of a knowledge-based economy, including the promotion of sectors such as creative industries and competitive sport
  • Making strategic economic infrastructure investments to support the growth of creative industries and the competitive sport sector
  • Mobilising major international initiatives such as the staging of the Lion King and Soccerex, which, together with the 2010 FIFA World Cup, provide the impetus to grow the sport, arts, and culture and recreation sectors

In all programmes, the department remains committed to mainstreaming target groups including people with disabilities, women and youth.

What is the state of crafts in Gauteng?

The Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation completed an in-depth audit of all craft assets in the province. The audit shows that Gauteng's craft industry has a diverse offering of products that includes traditional art forms from different areas of South Africa and further afield, as well as innovative variations on traditional themes using recycled and alternative materials.

The information from the audit will be utilised to develop a focused craft development strategy for Gauteng. The directorate will work with all Gauteng municipalities and the national Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Gauteng Tourism Authority and the Gauteng Enterprise Propeller to harness the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of the crafts community.

What craft development projects are in the pipeline?

The Department is working on a targeted niche-market product development and market access programme that will result in a vibrant new range of exciting products aimed at international and national arts, culture and sporting events.

In partnership with the DTI, the Gauteng Craft, Design and Arts Centre will be launched. The hub will provide a coordinated strategy that focuses on demand-driven product development; finance and business support; skills development; improved networking and sharing between stakeholders; and more focused market access.

What's happening with performing arts, music and dance?

The Department partnered with the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz and Moshito Music Conference in keeping with its commitment of contributing towards the promotion of Gauteng as a preferred destination for major arts and culture activities and promoting arts and culture development. These events contribute to growing music businesses and musicians and showcasing Gauteng's artistic talent.

The Puisano Roving Jazz programme showcases emerging jazz talent in the townships through fostering partnerships with local jazz associations and stakeholders, thus contributing to the Home of Jazz brand in Gauteng.

The directorate of Arts, Culture and Heritage is responsible for the identification, preservation and promotion of arts, culture and heritage within the province of Gauteng. The Arts programme has identified dance, craft, music and theatre as its core areas of focus. The programme is aimed at identifying talent and capacity building through grants in aid, training and development programmes, and the promotion of artists and arts organisations.

How does the department work with communities?

The strategy of the Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation is to increase community awareness of the developmental, economic and educational value of arts and culture. Training is critical for the development of arts and culture to achieve both the developmental and economic potential of the sector.

The Department has identified five major areas of focus or legacy projects that will best assist in not only positioning the province nationally, but also in terms of the global economy. They include dance, jazz, choral, craft and theatre.

Each of these five programmes has been carefully designed to cater for the specific dynamics in each field; however, they share three common elements. These are:

  • Talent identification
  • Training and development
  • Promotion

The first aspect, talent identification, is done through mass participation in regional craft fairs, auditions or showcases.

These take place in community halls, church halls, theatres and civic centres from Cullinan to Sebokeng. The events are marketed and promoted on a regional level as mini festivals. Groups are identified and invited to participate in training and development programmes that are facilitated by the Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation.

What festivals does the department promote?

After training, groups are provided an opportunity to promote their talent in provincial and national festivals. They have been selected as the 'best of Gauteng' emerging artists and are marketed as such.

Festivals in which these artists participate include:

  • Arts Alive Heritage Month Festival
  • Oppikoppi
  • Joy of Jazz
  • Jazz on the River
  • FNB Vita Dance Festival
  • Sasol Choral Festival
  • Grahamstown Arts Festival
  • Pale ya Rona Carnival

The Department's Pale ya Rona Carnival is unlike any other cultural or artistic medium as it is a free event in which all participate. The carnival paved a way for a new art form that gives Gauteng province vibrancy during Heritage month (September). It was primarily used as a marketing tool and an opening event for the month's activities, creating an environment where communities of Gauteng develop a carnival that reflects a truly South African experience.

The intention is to implement the programme so that it can become self-sustainable. International best practice shows that Carnival has enormous scope to combine both the performing and visual arts in one of the largest participatory events possible. 

<August 2017>