Lore Watterson is the Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of Creative Feel Magazine
Recently I was accused by some arts practitioners who had had their funding applications turned down of not using Creative Feel for some serious research into how arts funding infrastructures are currently operating – or as they feel, not operating. ‘As a magazine that writes about the arts in South Africa, we believe it would be the right thing to do: research, interview, investigate and let’s get this out there… the artists are the ones suffering and it’s just not fair that people turn a blind eye to the situation.’ In their opinion, most arts and culture organisations are non-profit and it is absurd to expect projects/companies to survive given the ‘current circumstances’ in the funding sector.
One of our team members put it quite eloquently: ‘In as much as theatres have an artistic vision and that they programme according to that vision, arts magazines also have a specific editorial vision and commission their articles to complement that particular vision. Creative Feel is characterised by the way in which it celebrates the arts. Its loyal readership has been built over many years; and they subscribe to the magazine particularly because of its very focused editorial content and specific style of writing.’
We feel that there are definitely other platforms that can do the kind of research suggested. The South African Cultural Observatory (SACO), for example, is a research agency funded by the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) whose specific mandate is to research the state of the arts in South Africa and to offer recommendations to the DAC and its stakeholders.
Creative Feel is not funded in any way and is entirely dependent on advertising revenue, subscriptions and retail sales. We would not have the financial resources for this research – even if we wanted to go that route.
Creative Feel is characterised by the way in which it celebrates the arts. Its loyal readership has been built over many years; and they subscribe to the magazine particularly because of its very focused editorial content and specific style of writing.
Creative Feel is a platform where we show the very active, vibrant creative arts environment in South Africa; the excellence and the talent in all art forms. Corporates who believe in our country’s talent support us by placing advertisements. In turn, these adverts allow us to meet with artists (chosen by us or those that are supported by these corporates through their CSI or marketing departments). Any publicity only helps artists, and if we could generate more money, Creative Feel could fill at least have twice as many pages with amazing talent.
Just as we were debating all of this and feeling rather attacked for not doing a ‘proper job’, we received the following message on our website contact page:
‘My name is Elena du Pisanie and I am a South African actress currently based in New York City and I recently discovered Creative Feel online! I absolutely loved reading about all the amazing productions and talent emerging from South Africa. It made me hopeful about returning to a fresh and diverse industry when my journey here in NYC comes to an end!
‘I am currently part of an international cast of women who are putting on a production of The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler in New York City with the goal to empower women – all of our ticket proceeds will go to charity organisations that support underprivileged women. We have a diverse cast with women from countries in Asia, Europe, South America, Africa and North America. I am so excited to be representing South Africa alongside another South African actress… Our vision is to use theatre to come together despite the borders, racial, religious, cultural and social differences that often separate people.’
I feel that Elena du Pisanie has said it all. This is what Creative Feel is all about!