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SACO to Host Domain Workshop in Mpumalanga

As of 18 August 2016, the South African Cultural Observatory (SACO) and the Department of Arts & Culture (DAC) will host a series of domain workshops.

The event targets all Mpumalanga-based creatives from the Arts, Culture and Heritage sectors, as well as academics and researchers, local and provincial government, private and non-government firms and organisations that work in the sector, and relevant stakeholders from civil society to attend the workshop on Thursday, 18 August.

The workshop series is based on profiling the six UNESCO Cultural Domains, which for now form the backbone of the SACO’s research in the creative and cultural industries (CCIs). The domains are outlined in the 2009 UNESCO Framework for Cultural Statistics (FCS) and include: Cultural and Natural Heritage; Performance and Celebration; Visual Arts and Crafts, Books and Press; Audio-visual and Interactive Media; and Design and Creative Services.

According to this report, the Cultural Domains represent a common set of economic (such as the production of goods and services) and social (such as participation in culture activities) undertakings that have traditionally been regarded as “cultural”.

“This report has defined how many countries engage with and measure their creative sectors. Although the framework is not perfect, it goes a long way in taking into account new concepts that have emerged in the field of culture since the 1986 version was published. It includes the strides made in digital and other technology, and how these impact on the CCIs; and then how these have fundamentally changed human culture and the ways it is accessed.” – Prof. Richard Haines, SACO CEO.

Attendees will be introduced to the SACO and its activities, and in general are encouraged to share ideas and help develop the SACO Research Agenda. “Also on the cards, is a discussion around how we can collaborate more closely with role-players across the domains in Mpumalanga and also create opportunities of mutual benefit,” Haines says.

The Mpumalanga domain workshop will be hosted by Prof. Jen Snowball, the SACO’s Chief Economist, and Mphikeleli Mnguni, DAC Project Manager for the SACO. Snowball will be presenting a new framework for the monitoring and evaluation of publically funded arts, culture and heritage. “The purpose of the framework is to help practitioners, arts managers and funders to express and measure the economic, social and intrinsic values of culture,” Snowball says. “It is designed to be adaptable to a wide range of cultural events and institutions, and takes into account the aims of arts institutions and how they align with those of public or private funders”.

“It is undeniable that CCI’s have an increasingly important role to play in economic growth, development and employment creation in South Africa. To aid us in our mandate to meet and fulfill the objectives of the national cultural policy, the SACO officially invites all those interested to this important domain workshop,” adds Haines.

Mpumalanga Domain Workshop details

The workshop takes place on 18 August 2016, from 9:30 to 16:00 at the Bundu Lodge, on the R40 to Nelspruit, Polokwane. Dates for the upcoming provincial and regional workshops will be announced in due course.

Focused on mapping the impact of the South African creative and cultural industries, the Observatory is a new national research institute, hosted by Nelson Mandela University on behalf of the Department of Arts and Culture, with partnership support from the University of Fort Hare and Rhodes University.

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