Artscape theatre is currently the only theatre in South Africa that forms part of the Silk Road International League of Theatres (SRILT) that was launched at the Tianqiao Performing Arts Center in Beijing in October 2016. Initiated by the China Arts and Entertainment Group (CPAA), the largest State-owned company in China in the field of entertainment and arts exhibition, the league serves as a platform for performing arts that aims to promote cultural exchanges between China and other countries. It has since grown to more than 90 members. Artscape became its 96th member in early November 2018. The structure is approved by the Ministry of Culture of China. Artscape CEO addressed the opening ceremony of the 4th annual conference which was held virtually this year from 23 to 24 November.
SRILT’s aim is to encourage the promotion and exchange of arts and culture amongst its members. It serves to persevere in the principle of “negotiate, cooperate, and share” and proactively coordinate strategies of cultural and artistic development of member countries. The aim is to revitalize the ancient Silk Road, which will, in new ways, cement ties and bring to a new height mutually beneficial cooperation: between influential cultural institutions across Asia, Europe, and Africa. The China Arts and Entertainment Group (CPAA) cooperates with the SRILT members in diversifying product types and planning future development. The Silk Road is a venue of mutual respect and trust, a pathway for cooperation and common benefit, and a channel of mutual understanding.
The Silk Road International League of Theatres (SRILT) initiated by the China Arts and Entertainment Group (CPAA) selected Artscape to become its 96th member based on their research of the cultural institution’s promotion of indigenous languages, cultures, jobs and training. Additionally, the enhancement of access particularly for people with disabilities was acknowledged as a further milestone towards Artscape’s inclusion in this league. Most importantly, they were interested in our school programmes, jazz and classical training
- Similarly to other international agreements such as with Brouhaha International and the International Cultural Diversity in Urban Space programme, the SRILT will equally engender cultural exchange projects affording artists the opportunity to employment via artists-in-residency projects.
- The SRILT will through its structures facilitate training in arts productions which Artscape could tap into
- With its focus on cultural exchange, South African and African art forms as well as South African indigenous languages will be promoted through its member nations as diverse from South America, across Europe through to Asia.
- Subsumed in the Council strategy held in February 2018 an Arts Festival component was mooted. SRILT has as one of its aims to produce an art festival. An international arts festival would be beneficial to further outlet of a local festival through additional exchanges.
A further aim of SRILT is to promote international productions between its member countries. This would have a direct impact on additional professional producers seeking to hire Artscape Theatre Centre as venue which would consequentially see a committed and continuous income stream.
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