The UCT Fairheads Clanwilliam Arts Project, which took top honours for youth development at the 13th Annual Business Day/Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) Awards in August, demonstrates the transforming power of creativity.
The project, which was also nominated in the sustainable partnership category, is a collaboration between UCT's Department of Drama and Michaelis School of Fine Art, as well as Magnet Theatre and Jazzart, with sponsorship from Fairheads International Trust for the past 10 years.
Launched in the mid-1990s, the project runs workshops that teach Clanwilliam children, aged between 5 and 18, about the rich heritage of the area. The week-long workshops culminate in a lantern parade through Clanwilliam, and a performance of /Xam (San) stories.
As a result of the workshops, a permanent drama group called Comnet, made up of high school learners from Clanwilliam, has been established.
Since the group's founding, two of the original 10 Comnet members have been accepted onto the training programme at Jazzart in Cape Town, and one of the leaders of Comnet receives a trainee bursary from Magnet Theatre to co-ordinate the group.
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