Open Newtown Initiative to Showcase Jozi’s Cultural Precinct

Newtown Junction
Newtown Junction

On the 14 and 15th of March, Newtown’s creative community will join forces to remind the public exactly what Jozi’s cultural precinct is all about…

Newtown’s creative profile in 2015 may be viewed by some as low key, but the area is  considered home by a significant number of Joburg’s well-known creative personalities, many of whom trained at Newtown institutions that facilitated their entry into the world of professional creativity.

Artist Proof Studio (APS) is one of the oldest training organisations in Newtown, and in 24 years of operation has produced a plethora of South Africa’s leading printmakers and fine artists. APS is also the driving force behind the Open Newtown Initiative – a two day programme of performances, exhibitions and information sharing, supported by Department of Arts and Cutlure’s Mzanzi Golden Economy.

“Newtown is a very important creative hub,” says Kim Berman, Artist Proof Studio co-founder and Executive Director. “The Open Newtown initiative is a collaborative effort to expose the public to exactly what goes on in Newtown. It’ll be an exciting two days of art and creativity. It will also offer details about the many different training and creative organisations operating here.”

Alphabet Zoo, one of the organisations participating in Open Newtown
Alphabet Zoo, one of the organisations participating in Open Newtown

Open Newtown takes place on Saturday the 14th and Sunday the 15th of March. The weekend will centre around two main display areas, the famous Bassline music venue and the new Newtown Junction shopping mall. The initiative will also showcase the activities of long standing Newtown stakeholders, such as Nikki’s Oasis and Kaldi’s Coffee, who will be running their own programmes.

“The event is perfect for the whole family,” says Berman. “Special care has been taken to offer visitors secure parking and comprehensive on-street security. There will be something on offer for all tastes, and we’re really looking forward to showcasing and reminding the public of the incredible work our artists and organisations are doing.

Open Newtown @ the Bassline

The Bassline will feature a two day interactive exhibition featuring live music, dance, art, spoken word and much more. This segment of the Open Newtown Initiative will present an ever-moving, ever-changing showcase of work created by the region’s artists, young and old. Everything at the two day Bassline experience will ebb and flow, change and re-adapt, giving viewers the opportunity to observe and absorb dance, drama, fine art, music, photography, printmaking and beautiful craft.

Open Newtown @ The Junction

The Newtown Junction shopping centre will provide an information and education hub over the two days, and will offer rich detail as to what goes on in Joburg’s cultural precinct on a daily basis. The Junction will also display the complete programme and map for the Open Newtown weekend.

Organisations operating in the region will present overviews of their programmes and structures, while educational and craft creation workshops will cover areas such as printmaking, textile printing, acting classes and more. The Newtown Junction segment of the weekend will include live performances and presentations from Newtown’s educational organisations, as well as pop-up stores and art displays from Assemblage Artist Studios, Bag Factory artists, the Market Photo Lab and Artist Proof Studio, among others.

A few of the Open Newtown Initiative participating organisations and individuals:

  • Artist Proof Studio
  • Imbali Visual literacy project
  • Assemblage
  • Market Theatre Laboratory
  • Bassline
  • Kaldi’s Coffee
  • The Bag Factory Artist Studios
  • Nikki’s Oasis
  • Prince of Newtown
  • Phumzile August
  • Andile Magubane
  • Alphabet Zoo
  • The Junction Shopping Centre
  • Vuyani Dance Theatre
  • Moving Into Dance
  • Ikegeng
  • Lebs skywalker photo walks


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