Describe the main features of the policy/measure:
The Cultural Seasons programme is intended as a vehicle to deepen South Africa’s cultural links with the rest of the world. These programmes significantly enhanced SA’s bilateral and cultural relations with these countries, and brought concrete benefits to SA artists and institutions. The features include showcases of a diversity of cultural expressions in the partner countries; participation in key international festivals and events; networking with promoters, distributors and producers to secure future engagements; educational events, master classes, dialogue sessions and colloquia highlighting values, culture and heritage; media engagements (TV, radio, print) to highlight and promote activities and speak to the purpose of the seasons; establish greater collaboration and cooperation between departments of government, civil society, media agencies, and with arts, culture and heritage organisations and stakeholders within host country; and, to focus financial resources (government and private) and administrative efforts (national government and its entities) to realizing the objectives of the seasons.
What are the results achieved so far through the implementation of the policy/measure?:
The Seasons, as a component of the Department of Arts and Culture’s Cultural Diplomacy Strategy, are expected to promote the country’s value systems and cultural identities through various genres of culture including art, science, music, gastronomy and education. It is expected that the cultural sector will be strengthened, that the seasons will lead to further opportunities for showcasing, for trade and for opportunities for artists and practitioners, and that greater collaboration and cooperation between departments of government and across the tiers of government will be achieved, as well as between government and civil society, media agencies, and with arts, culture and heritage organisations and stakeholders within host country.
Partner(s) engaged in the implementation of the measure:
|Name of partner||Type of entity|
The National Arts Council
Has the implementation of the policy/measure been evaluated?:
If yes, what are the main conclusions/recommendations?:
The French season has been evaluated with substantial reporting on other seasons. The evaluation report prepared by the National Arts Council (the lead implementing organisations for this season) on the South Africa-France Seasons contains a key section on objectives, successes and impact, some of which are recorded here. The Commissioners General, Bongani Tembe and Laurent Clavel, noted in 2013 that ‘the Seasons saw over 1000 South African and French citizens travelling to each other’s countries and an immediate benefit of this has been the increase in the number of French tourists to SA in 2013’. The CG for South Africa, Bongani Tembe highlighted a link between the French and UK seasons: the French Seasons has ‘enabled the refining and packaging of product for the UK Seasons, with 40-60% of the UK Seasons being drawn from the French Seasons’. In effect the French seasons created arts and culture product which was being exported, in addition to products from other sectors. Evaluation evidence included: − Waiving of visa fees for all 1011 participants visiting France over a seven-month period. − Support from SA Revenue Services with regards to goods for temporary importation (e.g. artworks/ stage sets). − Participation of partners (269 South African and 186 French). − Implementation of 15 reciprocal projects. − 350 media houses covering the seasons with 1026 media mentions. − 16% increase in French tourism to South Africa. − 233 projects in more than 150 cities across France. − Strong messages of support from other partners for the seasons (Ghana, Argentina for instance). − Advertising value in the region of R28m ($2,38 m). − PR Value of R84m ($7,15 m). − 1800 jobs created for 632 male and 379 females with 577 for the youth. − Legacy projects established such as the signing of an agreement between the Instittut national de l’audiovisuel (INA) and the DAC; Seminar: an Anthology of Poetry; and a Children’s Parliament as well as a publication by Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund of learners’ experiences of Children’s Parliament. In addition a strong multiplier effect was evidenced from the consolidated partner-to-partner relationships. A few of these are noted here: − Kunjanimation/Annecy, a reciprocal project between Animation SA and Gobelins (Animation School in France) and a strong presence at Annecy Film Festival in 2013. A South African studio offered the opportunity to produce a 2D animation series for a French studio. The local SA animation industry was in talks with the Department of Trade and Industry to adopt a cluster model presented to SA, which would create many opportunities for South African animation businesses and creators. − Dada Masilo’s Swan Lake played to sold-out houses at the Theatre Rond du Pont in Paris for three weeks. The production toured for four months in France. This further resulted in an invitation to Rome for the 15 young South African dancers who benefitted from extensive employment. − Kudu, a reciprocal project between Vuyani Dance Company and French musician, Eric Truffaz, successfully received in South Africa and France was invited for further performances in France (April 2014). − Via Katlehong participated in various performances resulting in a three month tour providing employment for 19 youth. The production continued to tour to more than 20 cities across France, and was also invited to Poland. − Delft Big Band Youth music development band from Delft, Western Cape, partnered with Burgundy Province, and was invited to perform in various cities across France. This project provided a remarkable opportunity for impoverished youth to travel abroad and display their musical talent resulting in strong social upliftment. − Ouroboros Puppet Show, as part of Festival Mondial de Marionettes Handspring Puppet Company, was invited to return to France as part of a six-week tour. − The My Joburg exhibition at La Maison Rouge was a three-month visual art exhibition at a prominent gallery in Paris, exhibiting the works of 57 South African artists. Due the success, the exhibition was invited to Dresden, Germany from October 2013 – January 2015. − Ster City, a theatre production hosted at Festival d‘Avignon and Festival des Metallos was invited to tour 17 African countries in October/November 2014. − More than 800 artists travelled to the UK to perform in more than 15 cities across the UK − The SA government invested more than R20 million in this stream of the programme. The UK partners (major arts festivals, arts institutions, arts council and performing arts institutions) contributed more than R60 million to the initiative. − In a partnership with the Edinburgh International Festival, South African artists participated in 6 different categories across the festival. They were able to secure future invitations to tour nationally and internationally. − 3 South African fashion designers were amongst 130 emerging designers from 30 countries in the largest public fashion exhibition of its kind at the international Fashion Showcase in London. − Two octogenarians were included, namely Abdullah Ibrahim (jazz pianist) performing at London’s Southbank Centre and Esther Mahlangu (Ndebele artist) with an illustrative solo exhibition at the Irma Stern Museum in Cape Town. Both events were part of their 80th birthday celebrations. − Young artist, Bokani Dyer (Standard Bank young artist award winner and pianist) teamed up with UK counterparts for a series of workshops and music education events, live performances and jam sessions. − To promote multiculturalism and cross-cultural understanding and tolerance, and deepen the experience and knowledge of other cultures, 133 screenings of 25 films were screened across 47 venues in the UK. Two films were picked by UK distributors for release (Hear me Move and Four Corners). Critical lessons learnt include inter-alia: − The lack of involvement by other national or provincial departments led to the creation of ‘partner platforms’ to seek buy-in and keep lines of communication open. − Different legal frameworks in partner countries led to appointment of local staff with translation competency and gaining prior knowledge of legal frameworks within which to plan. − High volume of travel and movement of artistic goods and equipment in a concentrated period with unusual travel routes requested led to a decision to set travel parameters and seek reciprocal agreement with regards to customs clearances. − The limited provincial reach, lack of awareness of Seasons within arts communities and applications received from France without a South African partner led to information kits for provinces to guide participation in Seasons, the creation of platforms for provincial participation, and the setting of targets for different genres/ levels of entry and provincial spread. − For the South African Season in France there were expectations from SA partners for NAC to source French partners with the short lead times, lack of seek funding leading to inability of SA artists to secure venues in France. − The lack of corporate sponsorship to strengthen programme and the uneven spread of provincial participation. − Poor showing of SA craft, or legacy projects and limited presence of SA team at events led to the need to seek partnerships with art fairs that could result in sales of works. − Secure venues for visual and performing arts well in advance, establish a mechanism for new / changed projects during Season. − Design sponsorship packages for different genres or key events, set targets for different genres / levels of entry / provincial spread, − Appoint a curator for craft exhibitions incorporating widespread of SA craft, need to find key projects that can result in legacy projects and budget for project coordinators to travel to host country for more events and/or appoint bigger staff complement in host country. − The limited reach for skills development, particularly among emerging artists led to new partnerships facilitated with local and overseas institutions to allow for a greater awareness. − Amounts of finance and funding, timeous payments and unexpected costs (such as freight) were a key challenge with the need to create varied and relevant contracts for partners, enable urgent payments, and in some instances, emergency funds, clearly define reporting requirements and ensure tranche payments are made timeously.