Rondebosch school to host virtual arts conference

Rustenburg Girls’ Junior School pupils doing an African Dance.

Rustenburg Girls’ Junior School in Rondebosch will host a virtual creative arts conference at the end of the month.

The two-day conference, with the theme, “Equity and Diversity in the Creative Arts Classroom”, will be held in collaboration with the Western Cape Education Department.

According to the school’s head of music, Hendrik Marais, it will be a major boost to the teaching of the creative arts in schools.

The conference will include more than 20 local and international speakers, 16 workshops and seven panel discussions. Among those taking part are writer and poet Siphokazi Jonas, dean of the AFDA film school and former 7de Laan actress Diaan Lawrenson, head of education at Zeitz MOCCA Liesl Hartman, and artistic director of Onbeperk Hugo Theart

Education MEC Debbie Schäfer and the founding Director of Education Through Music, in New York, Dr Katherine Damkohler, will deliver keynote speeches.

The conference is open to all primary and high school teachers involved in the creative arts at their schools.

Rustenburg Girls’ Junior School principal Belinda Petersen said the 127-year-old school had a responsibility to “support other teachers who are not teaching in well resourced schools”.

The conference would give teachers the opportunity to discover and explore ideas, she said.

“We want every teacher who is involved in creative arts at their school to walk away from this conference with the tools that will enhance their creative practices in their classrooms.”

WCED senior curriculum planner Anina Lundie said it was important for the department to be able to draw on a network of specialists in the arts.

“Our partnership extends to providing input in the programmes where necessary, as well as to advocate and market the conference to all our teachers in all our districts,” she said.

The conference will be on Friday August 27, from 3pm to 6.30pm, and on Saturday August 28, from 9am to 2pm. Tickets are R150 and can be bought at schoolscape.co.za/creative-arts-conference.

Hendrik Marais, the head of music at Rustenburg Girls’ Junior School, conducts a school orchestra.