By Masilo Malakwane
BLOEMFONTEIN – The Free State Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation department convened a successful Creative Arts Summit in Bloemfontein to create a space for expressing creativity and enable arts practitioners to reflect on themselves.
Held under the theme ‘Towards a Structured Free State Creative Sector’, the three-day Summit has been described as a highly participatory platform to foster exchange for the one 140 delegates, in order to tackle challenges relating to the sector, as well as chart a way forward in terms of the development of the thinkers, dreamers, and doers in the creative sector.
Department deputy director, Goitsimang Pholo said this year’s summit basically aimed to bring together leading policy contributors, researchers and arts practitioners to the arts, culture and recreation under one theme and to explore artistic freedom as a fundamental pillar of the department, and examine how they can safeguard their artistic creativity.
“We did have a successful summit. We have managed to engage our different perspectives to understand and learn from each other and also to test and contest ideas; and ultimately, to inspire us to imagine new paths,” Pholo said.
Meanwhile, representatives from other districts lauded the adoption of the summit resolutions on the last day of the summit, and shared their different experiences about the three-day event.
Mojalefa Maluleke of QwaQwa in the Thabo Mofutsanyana district said they can only achieve their objectives if they can firstly recognise the responsibilities that come with creative arts.
“It went well. Even though there were a few elements that highlighted the importance for us to understand, not to politicise issues within the creative sector amongst us as delegates. That way we will be to identify and address threats to practising and fulfilling our mandate as performers.” said Maluleke.
Thabang Letshaba of Parys in Fezile Dabi district echoed these sentiments, noting that some delegates were perpetuating political elements during the debates and presentations.
“Most of the delegates were obviously hungrier for committee seats than fulfilling their respective districts’ mandates to discuss pressing issues like the exploitation of creative arts in the province. However, we are satisfied with the department’s effort to support us,” he said.