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First Youth Arts Festival planned for 2017

The Namibia Youth Arts Festival is a week-long event characterized by film, photography, music, theatre, storytelling of kid’s books, dance, poetry, the culinary arts and many more activities. It will include interactive workshops and debates in schools commencing January 2017. These activities are set to become the seeds from which the festival will grow.
The Youth Arts Festival offers young people an opportunity to interact with local performers with a view to develop their own careers. “Through the Youth Art Festival, we celebrate diversity, knowledge and respect with national and international artists” stated the project’s co-founder, Ms Chitalu Kaibele, adding that the overall theme is captured by the concept “EL NINO¨. “We celebrate that we are all different but can and should live together in harmony and respect within the protection of the environment. We can do this by enjoying new and innovative forms of art and culture that the festival offers side by side” she said.
Kaibele elaborated that the Festival aims to create an empowerment platform where youths and the much younger generation may be able to speak out and implement change by using art. The project further focuses on bringing a spotlight to art as a valuable contributor to shape the norms of society. At the same time, art must be an income generator for the artist. Therefore, expanding the foundation for art education is vital.
The project’s core message encapsulated under the El Nino theme, is to inform thousands of learners about the dangers of climate change and create solutions how to take care of the planet. The instrument to convey this message, is art.
In the run-up to the implementation of the Youth Arts Festival, ten schools will be selected this year. These will consist of three primary schools, four high schools, two after-school centres and one school for learners with special needs.
Explained Kaibele, “the schools will be required to take part in an application process. All workshops will be facilitated by professional artists.
The facilitators will include artist and performers such as Shishani, Elemotho, Stanley Maneka, Miss H, Lize Ehlers and Sandrine Thiebaud. It is also the intention of the project organisers to include many other lesser-knows artists to offer their expertise and knowledge to the younger generation that aspires to become artists or would like to learn more about arts in general.
“There are some other children’s arts festivals for example Chi Namibia Youth Festival but none on such a large scale as the Namibia Youth Arts Festival. We invite everyone to support and attend the festival as it is an encouragement of unity amongst the diversity of the people in the country” she said.

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