UKZN Dance Lecturer on National Arts Festival’s Artistic Steering Committee
School of Arts and Dance Lecturer at the Howard College campus Drama and Performance Studies Programme, Ms Lliane Loots, has been invited onto the prestigious National Arts Festival’s Artistic Steering Committee.
This three-year appointment involves Loots sitting on the national committee to guide, steer and re-imagine the Grahamstown National Arts Festival (NAF).
Artistic Director for the NAF, Mr Ismail Mohamed, says the artistic steering committee is the backbone of the Festival as one of the duties members have is to collectively decide which artists are invited to the main platform of the Festival each year. ‘ Alongside me, they are key to re-invigorating and re-defining the Festival and finding ways to be its artistic ears and eyes on the ground,’ said Mohamed.
‘The NAF needs a shake up and we have called upon key national players in the arts sector – artists and academics – to take up the culturally and politically important work of steering the NAF into the future,’ he said.
Loots returned from a two-day plenary meeting of the committee in Johannesburg where heady debate was encouraged around the role of the arts in critical nation building and in the value and work inherent in the idea of a ‘national’ arts festival.
Loots said: ‘It is a big responsibility to take on and I am humbled by the invite. You realise that in taking this on, positions on your ethics and politics around arts and culture are put into action and that you have to be able to speak critically to national cultural policy.’
Loots, one of three new committee members, also takes on the NAF subcommittee of dance, where she acts alongside artist and activist Gregory Maqoma of the Vuyani Dance Theatre in Johannesburg and veteran dance journalist, University of Natal alumnus and Wits Ar(t)chivist, Adrienne Sichel.