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

MIKE VAN GRAAN FOR AFRICA CENTRE (article first published : 2008-04-20)

The Africa Centre has announced the appointment of arts administrator and playwright Mike van Graan to the position of Executive Director of the organisation.

“The Africa Centre is a truly exciting project and I am honoured to be part of it”, says Mike van Graan who has been recognized as one of the most influential people in the South African arts and culture sector.

The Africa Centre is a non-profit organisation that seeks to document, promote and celebrate the arts, culture and heritage of the African continent. Its major projects since its inception in 2007 have been the launch of the biennale Spier Contemporary visual arts exhibition, the Spier Poetry Exchange and the Spier Performing Arts Festival.

For the last year, besides working as an independent theatre producer, Mike van Graan has served as the Secretariat for the Arterial Network, an informal, dynamic network of individuals, institutions and funding partners working to support the effectiveness and growth of Africa’s arts and culture civil society and to enhance the sustainability of creative industries in Africa. The Arterial Network was launched on Goiree Island, Senegal, in March last year.

“There is potentially great synergy between the vision of the Africa Centre and the work of the Arterial Network, and I’m looking forward to the Centre pursuing its objectives beyond the Limpopo, and to it being shaped and influenced by increasing contact with colleagues in other parts of the continent,” said Mike van Graan. “One of the major projects of the Africa Centre will be the creation of an on-line directory on African arts, culture and heritage to facilitate greater networking and collaboration within the continent and between practitioners from Africa and elsewhere.”

Mike van Graan takes over the reins of the Africa Centre from Tanner Methvin who has nurtured the organization since its inception as a board member assigned this responsibility while the organization searched for a suitable director. Tanner Methvin will continue to play an active role in the governance of the Africa Centre as a board member.

For more information, visit www.africacentre.net




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