I CALL on the artists of Nelson Mandela Bay. It is high time that they come together in building a strong sector that is recognised and respected.
I therefore on behalf of the interim committee inform artists that we are establishing a structure that will represent them, but we do not want to do that without their support and endorsement. We are calling them to a meeting to present the process of establishing the Nelson Mandela Bay Arts Council to get their inputs in the process.
Since the advent of the historic amalgamation of Port Elizabeth, Despatch and Uitenhage into one metropole named after the legendary struggle icon Nelson Mandela, the voice of an artist has remained on the periphery of developments and as such in the doldrums as a meaningful sector. An ignorant voice may be tempted to point blame at other people rather than an artist oneself.
A pertinent question is whether artists have done enough to contribute to the unity among themselves, and in taking arts, culture, heritage and creative industries forward from the pre-amalgamation arrangements.
There can be no one other than the democratically elected artists, with proven track records as practitioners in various aspects of arts, who can claim legitimacy as representatives of artists in the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan region. Such representatives shall live by the adage of selflessness and sincere intentions of seeing human activity through arts/culture/heritage growing and excelling beyond racial, religious, gender and creative levels.
The only such representative structure is supposed to be the Nelson Mandela Bay Arts Council for Performing Arts, Music, Visual Arts, Craft, Film, Literature, Heritage and Culture.
The interim committee has drafted the founding document to guide the process of establishing the Nelson Mandela Bay Arts Council. The committee is inviting the artists and public to contribute in making this document a workable document until a proper constitution is in place.
The meeting will be held at Nangoza Jebe Small Hall tomorrow at noon. Please contact me if you need further information at tel (041) 582-3662 or e-mail gpoltini @gmail.com. I am hoping to see you all there.
Gcobani Poltini, Port Elizabeth