Artscape Theatre Centre was honoured with a Fair Saturday Foundation Award in Spain on June 24, for being at the helm of transformation through the Arts. The ceremony was held at the prestigious Guggenheim museum in Bilbao.
The award is for Artscape as well as for CEO, Marlene Le Roux’s sterling work as Arts practitioner in the country. According to the Fair Saturday awards committee, Artscape Theatre Centre was chosen for its “commitment to promoting essential values through its wide range of diverse and accessible programmes.”
The award is also to acknowledge, in particular, the courage and determination shown by Le Roux as an advocate for human rights and as a social leader in the support for the rights of minorities and vulnerable groups including the disabled.
It equally recognised her role for promoting social justice through culture as the CEO of Artscape Theatre Centre, making it a benchmark in terms of inclusion and civil empowerment, facilitating access to the cultural expression of the inhabitants of Cape Town, the Western Cape and broader South Africa, especially groups at risk of exclusion.
Le Roux is the first South African, and indeed the first disabled recipient of a Fair Saturday Foundation Award.
Le Roux’s speech delivered at the “Social Innovation through culture” Forum in the Guggenheim Museum Auditorium in Bilbao was titled “Is it possible to move from dehumanisation to hope through the Arts in a post-Apartheid society?” It reminded the international audience that the journey to restore the humanity and hope of people through the Arts after Apartheid remains a quest for justice.
“I accepted this award on behalf of all the marginalized individuals, the voiceless and especially people with disabilities who are still without resources and remain invisible to the world,” Le Roux underscored in her acceptance speech.
Artscape’s Council chairperson, H.R.H. Princess Celenhle Dlamini, heaped praised Le Roux, saying: “ We are exceptionally proud of our CEO, Dr Marlene Le Roux, who has championed the cause of ensuring our State Theatre is accessible to all our diverse audiences”.
At this year’s Awards Ceremony six organisations from Spain, USA, Germany, South Africa and Rwanda were acknowledged: all of them individuals or organisations that have created inspiring projects contributing to social transformation through culture.
Fair Saturday is a global mobilisation that aims to create a positive social impact every last Saturday of November, the day following Black Friday, the greatest expression of consumerism. Artists and cultural organisations from all over the world get together in a global festival following just one requirement: to support a social cause of their choice utilising the Arts as conduit.