Run-up to National Arts Festival

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By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK The Windhoek “Healing Arts Festival’, one of a number of similar events, was last Friday presented at the Katutura Multiple Youth Center with a programme of plays, poems, songs, visual and media arts and murals. The event was officially opened by the Director of arts in the Ministry of Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture, Retha-Louis Hofmeyr. “The Directorate of Arts has for 16 years actively promoted arts in Namibia because of its profound belief in the qualities of arts in the development of human character, integrity and a sense of citizenship. During this time the directorate has also explored the potential of arts as a powerful communication tool and as an instrument of peace, understanding and spiritual upliftment,” said Hofmeyr, who officially opened the day-long event. The national event, financially made possible by The Global Fund, involved more than 500 Namibian artistically-inclined people. “The Healing Arts Festival furthers our aims in the use of the arts in healing and in the development of positive attitudes towards life. The directorate actively tries to create opportunities for Namibians to discover their creative talents, to develop these talents and to expose these talents through exhibitions, concerts, festivals, film, etc. Arts can be used to convey information, to send out messages and to invite public dialogue and debate,” Hofmeyr argued. According to her 120 art facilitators and youth and health activists received special training as part of the programme consisting of 13 Healing Arts Festivals. “A selection of these works will be made available for presentation at the final National Healing Arts Festival in the capital next Saturday when participants from around the country will exhibit their works collectively. It is our wish that the works and messages created through this creative processes will become a long-lasting source of inspiration for a positive and responsible lifestyle in all communities of the country in which the programme was staged,” she concluded. Other towns involved in the programme are Katima Mulilo, Rundu, Tsumeb, Tsumkwe, Oshikuku, Otjiwarongo, Usakos, LÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚¼deritz, Keetmanshoop and Gobabis.