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National Eisteddfod of South Africa: Call for entries

The National Eisteddfod of South Africa™ – a non-profit organisation and the largest eisteddfod platform in the country – is calling for entries for its 2020 National Eisteddfod season.
     While many eisteddfod events and other festivals planned for 2020 have been cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 challenge, The National Eisteddfod Academy (NEA) is happy to announce that its national eisteddfod activities for 2020 will go ahead as planned. 

National Eisteddfod of South Africa 2020 call for entries
Cantona James – National Eisteddfod

Provisions have been put in place for whatever eventualities may arise from the prevailing lockdown level, and the NEA has introduced a new option for young performers – in addition to video-recorded entries, the NEA will now also be utilising technology to provide a virtual platform for participation.  

This new virtual performance mode will retain some of the excitement present in live performances:

  • it will be adjudicated in real time on an online platform
  • participants will be able to watch the performances of other participants
  • adjudicators will provide feedback at the end of each session 

The minimum requirements for a virtual performance include access to a smart phone, a stable internet connection, and data.
     The NEA has always, in its promotion of the arts-in-education, emphasised the importance of eisteddfod activities for personal development and growth of all learners and now, considering the current trying circumstances, the therapeutic value of arts activities and the influence of the ‘Magic of the Arts’ on young performers, cannot and should not, be ignored.

National Eisteddfod of South Africa 2020 call for entries
National Eisteddfod

     It was said by Albert Einstein that ‘it is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.’   With the current situation this may prove to be particularly difficult for teachers to apply as schools are faced with the challenge of completing the required curriculum; and to reduce that ‘difficulty’ some schools may well decide to cancel all activities that fall outside the core of their curricular requirements, including participation in eisteddfods.  For young, talented performers these activities are an essential and meaningful part of their schooling and preparation for a future career path – the cancellation of performance opportunities is as devastating for learners with a passion for the arts, as the cancellation of sporting events is for young athletes. 
     Dr Francois van den Berg, CEO of the NEA has put out an impassioned plea to schools not to cut out the arts because of the need to complete the curriculum. Quoting Einstein who said ‘Schooling should provide the means for a child to embrace his natural interests, and pursue his chosen passions,’ Dr van den Berg stated that, ‘It really must be kept in mind that for many learners, in many schools throughout the country, the arts are their chosen passion.’
     Recognising the fact that many teachers were actively awakening joy in creative expression in the past by assisting/training learners in their preparation for participation in the eisteddfod, and that this may not be possible for some now, the NEA has implemented a new online platform where interested learners can make contact with members of the NEA Adjudicator’s Forum for the purpose of virtual online training in the arts. Dr van den Berg stressed that ‘the purpose of this online platform is certainly not to infringe on what teachers and studios do, but rather it is to provide for those learners who have no alternative solution.’

The closing date for online entries has been extended to 31 July 2020 (with the possibility of a further extension if needed).  

Participants have a choice of three options of participation: find out more on the next page

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