‘Art Moves Me’ wall takes centre stage
Curtain rises on packed, festive Grahamstown
ARTISTS, musicians, performers, locals and thousands of visitors have arrived in Grahamstown for the annual National Arts Festival.
For the next 10 days, festival- goers will spend time between productions, activities, restaurants or just hanging out in the town, exploring what’s on offer.
There’s something for everyone, from visual arts exhibitions, workshops, comedy and music, to film and crafts, all for a reasonable fee which makes quality performances accessible for all.
The local mime artists, children whose colourful faces have somewhat become the festival’s staple feature, are there to greet visitors to the 1820 Settlers National Monument.
Built on the slopes of Gun Fire Hill, it offers panoramic views of the town and beautiful sunsets.
Inside the monument, the auditorium vibrates as a group of flamenco dancers in colourful costumes clap and seductively sway their hips.
During the festival, eateries and bars will benefit hugely from the large numbers of visitors who will indulge in late nights of dining and drinking between and after the shows.
Colourful posters and banners advertising stand- up comics, music and theatre plastered on walls and fences provide the proof that deciding which productions to see is a daunting task.
This is where the NAF16 mobile app comes in handy, with show bios as well as updates on any schedule changes.
Yesterday festival- goers started arriving at the monument at about 9am for the early shows and film screenings. The interactive Art Moves Me wall on the first floor drew the most attention, with visitors getting the chance to record their thoughts on what moves them about the art world.
KwaZulu- Natal’s Pauline Cronje, who has attended the festival for the past 20 years, said each year the programme packed in a greater variety of performers, ensuring there was always something new to look forward to.
“It’s bigger and bolder and much more inclusive than before.
“There are more exciting genres on offer… I can’t get here fast enough,” she said, adding that she would spend the next days seeing about six theatre shows a day.
Student Andreas Valenzuela, from Swaziland said she was there for the music, and hoped to meet and interact with people of other cultures. Visit www.nationalartsfestival.co.za to view the programme. Facebook: www.facebook. com/nationalartsfestival Twitter: @artsfestival Instagram: @ national artsfestival
Colourful mimes are now a feature of the National Arts Festival.
The ‘Art Moves Me’ wall gives festival-goers the chance to explain what art means to them.