ARTISTS took a step yesterday towards establishing a "uniting body" in Nelson Mandela Bay.
It is hoped the Nelson Mandela Bay Arts Council (NMBAC) will advise the municipality and other relevant stakeholders on arts, culture and heritage matters.
Monde Ngonyama, who facilitated a meeting of artists at the Nangoza Jebe Hall in New Brighton yesterday, said there had been attempts in the past by "well-intended individuals to establish formations aimed at representing the arts".
"None have succeeded to persist long enough to carry on the cause of the sector. These and more paint a dismal picture about a section of the population that is supposed to play a pivotal role in the remaking of the perceptions about the society that we are.
"Today we are starting a process of consultation and we wanted to meet with the general artists to get their buy-in on the purpose of establishing a uniting body.
"We will also organise structures representing artists in the Bay to be units that operate within a legal framework [and] recommend projects that the municipality should support."
Filmmaker Gqabi Njokweni said the meeting was productive.
"It was also crucial in terms of organising and centralising artists around Nelson Mandela Bay. As artists we would be able to move together as a collective," he said.