Ismail Mahomed talks 40th National Arts Festival

Ismail Mahomed talks 40th National Arts Festival

by Ismail Mahomed –

Forty years is a milestone for any arts festival. This year the National Arts Festival celebrates the fortieth year since its founding in 1974. Until 2003, I spent twenty of those years trekking to Grahamstown as a freelance producer on the Fringe. In 2008, I found the mad courage to take up the position of Artistic Director of the National Arts Festival.

Reflecting on those early years as a Fringe producer, I guess there was much similarity between me and an alcoholic. For some reason, I trekked to one festival after the next in very much the same way as an alcoholic who was reaching out for his next bottle. Anyone who has produced work on the fringe will acknowledge that there is nothing that quenches the thirst for creativity more than drinking from the bottle of euphoria that one finds at festivals. (more…)

BASA reveals biannual Artstrack findings

Business and Arts South Africa’s has revealed a double digit growth in arts sponsorship, in spite of the tight economic conditions faced by companies over the past two years.

Specifically, the research predicts that an estimated R438 million was spent on arts sponsorships in 2013 – an 11 percent growth on the R394 million spent in 2011, as measured by BMI Research. (more…)

Copyright – What it means for Visual Artists

Copyright – What it means for Visual Artists

by Andr&#233 Myburgh –

Copyright is pictured, with some justification, as a complex area of law best left to experts. Yet, copyright in an artistic work is potentially a valuable source of income for the artist who created it, and it is therefore important for artists who make a living from their works to have a basic understanding of copyright. Financial benefits from the copyright in a work can endure long after the original work has been sold, since the copyright in an artistic work normally does not pass to the buyer with its sale. This article aims to set out how visual artists can use copyright to be remunerated from licensed use of their works, over and above the income generated by sales.

The term “artistic works” in the South African Copyright Act, No 98 of 1979, includes “paintings, sculptures, drawings, engravings” and other works of craftsmanship. It also includes “works of architecture” and photographs, which are not dealt with specifically in this article, since they enter the commercial markets differently from the other fine arts, and slightly different rules apply to them. Each one of them justifies its own article. (more…)

PR dreams and media nightmares

PR dreams and media nightmares

by The Famous Idea Trading Co –

It is important to engage with people online, as that’s where so much information is gathered these days and where most people look for events to attend. 71% of South African internet users are going online via their cellphones and most say they use the internet to surf for information and to connect with people via social networks. It’s a big market, and a relatively cheap one to access BUT it isn’t the only one. If you want more than your followers and friends (and maybe their friends) to come to your event, you need to share the details via wider platforms, and here traditional media like newspapers and magazines are a great publicity resource for artists.

Basically, there are three different kinds of ways a journalist/media outlet will mention your project – either as a listing (ie What’s On); an interview/story about the event or people involved ahead of the time; or a review after.  (more…)

Publicity pitfalls to dodge

Publicity pitfalls to dodge

by The Famous Idea Trading Co –

Too often we see artists consumed by the detail of putting final touches to manuscripts or scores, in the throes of rehearsals or perfecting their sets, but neglecting the most important variable – marketing yourself to a potential audience. Like those familiar hypothetical trees falling in the forest, does our art have an impact if no one is around to witness it?

This reality of the *business* of arts at least gives us a clear priority: A potential audience member needs to know – first and foremost – that your production/event/exhibition is taking place, otherwise you have no chance of getting them there! (more…)

Publicity pitfalls to dodge

Publicity pitfalls to dodge

by The Famous Idea Trading Co –

Too often we see artists consumed by the detail of putting final touches to manuscripts or scores, in the throes of rehearsals or perfecting their sets, but neglecting the most important variable – marketing yourself to a potential audience. Like those familiar hypothetical trees falling in the forest, does our art have an impact if no one is around to witness it?

This reality of the *business* of arts at least gives us a clear priority: A potential audience member needs to know – first and foremost – that your production/event/exhibition is taking place, otherwise you have no chance of getting them there! (more…)

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