ASSITEJ has officially moved to the Market Theatre’s Windybrow Arts Centre in Johannesburg. This comes after the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which outlines the rental terms and partnership exchange between ASSITEJ and the Market Theatre. The first activity to kickstart this partnership between ASSITEJ and the Windybrow Arts Centre was the hosting of the ASSITEJ SA Annual General Meeting on 5 February 2022.
The ASSITEJ SA team was previously based at the National School of the Arts in Braamfontein, but due to a growing staff and the changing needs of the organisation, it relocated to the Windybrow Arts Centre in Doornfontein. Yvette Hardie, Director of ASSITEJ SA and Honorary President of ASSITEJ says this move will ‘allow ASSITEJ to continue being a supportive partner to the work which the Market Theatre is already doing within the inner-city community and bring in a steady stream of artists to the Windybrow who might then be interested in collaborating around other projects.’
Situated in the heart of Johannesburg, the Windbrow Arts Centre stands as a Heritage house celebrated for its 123-year reign in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the dense inner-city landscape. The Windybrow is a Pan African centre of the arts with the hopes of igniting a vibrant love for Pan African theatre and the Arts in the community of Hillbrow. One essential ideal of Pan Africanism is the celebration of Africa. In the Arts and Culture sector this creates an opportunity to celebrate the cultural identities of the diverse cultures of the continent and the diaspora. In this case the Windybrow is flawlessly situated to embrace this opportunity. Embedded in the capital of Pan Africanism in Johannesburg, Hillbrow is an internal port for a number of migrators from the continent, creating an opportunity to tap into the cultural wealth peppered through the avenues of the inner city.
Together with the community, the Windybrow hopes to create lasting programmes that reflect the heritage of the inner city and also allow, through art, opportunities that empower the youth with knowledge systems that will expand their horizons and empower their vision.
In the spirit of Pan Africanism, the Windybrow is calling for unity this Africa month by hosting a series of events under the theme “Flipping the Globe” from Saturday 7 to Saturday 28 May 2022. The theme challenges perceptions about Africa, weaving through an inspiring series of performances, workshops, conversations, and exhibitions engaging artists young and not so young in collaboration with Lefika La Phodiso, Centre for the Less Good Idea, Puleng Plessie and Ub’Dope Shishini. Tickets for the comedy and music events will be sold via www.webtickets.co.za or at the Ramolao Makhene Theatre and Windybrow Arts Centre.
ASSITEJ SA is a membership-based organisation which, through its various projects, supports artists and arts-organisations working for and with children and young people. To celebrate Africa month, ASSITEJ SA is hosting a Creative Connections dialogue with ASSITEJ Rwanda on 12 May 2022. The event forms part of the Cradle ReWired series of hybrid events which aim to connect artists working in theatre for young audiences to their international colleagues, and enabling intercultural exchange with artists across the continent and the world. This event will be live on Zoom, participants are encouraged to register here: bit.ly/rsvp_crcc for a link to the event. In addition, a Creative Connections session celebrating and sharing information on African festivals will take place on Thursday 26 May 2022, ahead of Africa Day. We believe that the partnership between ASSITEJ SA and the Windybrow will not only be fruitful and beneficial to the inner-city community, but to the African continent at large.