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BAT CENTRE'S OPEN DAY (article first published : 2004-03-16)

The BAT Centre Open Day on March 19 promises an afrocentric avant-garde happening with visual art exhibitions and music from 10h00 to 14h00 at this popular venue in the Small Crafts Harbour.

Awards of performance will also be given out to the group that has gone through the debut six months course of Artists in Action Residency Programme. One of the bands performing on this day will be the Bat Centre's own Bat Band.

The Open Day is geared to showcase BATís activities regarding the music studios, art galleries, art studios and an opportunity to catch artists in action!

There will be walkabouts and viewing of the exhibitions from 10h00, followed by music. After 11h00, Bat Centre's Chairperson Dr. Aubrey Mokoape and guest speaker Professor Itumeleng Mosala, the Director General from the Department of Culture will give addresses.

The event is sponsored by the National Lottery Development Distribution Trust Fund and the Artists in Action Residency Programme was initiated by Nise Malange, one of the trustees and the director of the Bat Centre. This initiative seeks to address the exasperating situation most KZN musicians are faced with, like not enough venues for performing and other relevant infrastructure. As a result many KwaZulu-Natal artists are more likely to trek to Johannesburg for greener pastures. This visual arts and music programme takes in existing artists who are given an opportunity to enhance their skills and also to be able to experience their chosen genres on the field. According to the Artists in Action Residency Programme Manager, Mr. Kevin Gordon, (renowned keyboardist and jazz muso), the programme started because " there was a need especially for self-taught musicians to acquire skills which will enable them to survive in the industry'. The programme, which embraces all South Africans, is made up mostly of students from the formerly disadvantaged communities. Nonetheless all races and both genders are equally represented in this initiative.

Facilitating the venture are lawyer and musician Johnny Dimba who teaches music administration, bass maestro Sipho Gumede who shares his music business and marketing skills with the students, Dave Marx of 3rd Ear Music, Vince Mthethwa and George Mari.

More details from Kevin Gordon (Artists in Action - Music Programme Manager) or Njabulo Hlongwane (Artists in Action - Visual Arts Coordinator) or Bat's Publicist Faith ka-Manzi on 031 332 0451.




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