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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

PANSA OPEN LETTER (article first published : 2004-03-16)

It is probably a strange thing to use one medium (artSMart.co.za) to campaign on behalf of another (D'ARTS magazine) but difficult times call for extreme measures.

This incredibly helpful, reader-friendly, one-stop magazine covers all the diverse arts, crafts, theatre, literature, festivals and arts happenings which take place in and around Durban. It has been published every month (bar January) for the past 20 years funded by Durban Arts and magazine advertisers. This modest magazine has won, and twice been a finalist for the national Arts and Culture Trust of the Presidents Award for being the best arts publication of its kind in South Africa. It is envied by arts practitioners elsewhere in the country: for example, leading theatre impresario, Pieter Toerien, has sung the praises of D'ARTS magazine acknowledging the important role it plays in the arts in Durban.

DARTS has particular value to the emerging community and township arts groups as it covers happenings, audition notices and funding details that are seldom covered in the mainstream press. As a result, the magazine is circulated broadly among township-based arts practitioners.

This month - March - there was no issue as Durban Arts didn't have the funding to bring it out. To the arts community and among arts supporters, having no D'ARTS mag is a huge blow. It is a strategically important communication tool, it serves a vital role in getting audiences for the various shows and events on offer, and it is a PR vehicle to showcase the phenomenal work which takes place in the Durban arts community to the rest of the country.

We implore Durban Arts - and indeed other potential partners, funders and distributors - to do whatever it takes to make sure that the D'ARTS magazine is not shelved, but continues to service the many arts practitioners and supporters in the city.

It would be a real shame if the February 2004 issue were the last.

Illa Thompson. On behalf of the KZN Steering Committee of the Performing Arts Network of SA (PANSA) 2004.




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crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
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crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
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