Monday, 30 August 2010

Art & Music Trilogy

From the 21st to the 28th of August, the Keiskamma Guernica installation was on show in the Drama for Life Festival in Johannesburg. We celebrated the closing of this exhibition with the Keiskamma Music Academy and the Trio Hemanay.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Art - Collaborative book

The Art Project recently took part to the Collaborative Book 'Keeping in touch - A decade of South African Fibre Art', coordinated by Jeanette Gilks.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Education Programme – Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) support project - Mgababa Centre spreads its beautiful wings…

The Keiskamma Trust is responsible for three after care OVC centres, in Hamburg, Lovers Twist and Mgababa. Both the Hamburg and Lovers Twist centres are well established and providing valuable support structures and care to pre-school and primary school children in their feeder areas.

The progress at the Mgababa after care and nursery centre has been very exciting. Until a short while ago the centre was little more than a daily feeding scheme. The building has been completely repaired and equipped thanks to funding from the Douglas Murray Trust, new carers have been employed and the number of children benefitting from the services provided has almost doubled. The finishing touches have excited the whole community – a series of wonderful murals painted by a talented young man from the area (Xabiso Tokota).

At the beginning of 2010, the Mgababa community approached the Trust to set up a nursery for children from the age of 1 to 3 years. The Mgababa community is very poor with serious social and health problems. There are numerous small children on ARV’s whose families are unable to feed them adequately enough to support their treatment regimes.

A funding application was submitted to 25:40 who agreed to fund the set-up costs for the nursery and three month’s running costs which will be reviewed each quarter. Carers were recruited and the nursery started operating in April. It now has 27 children attending regularly. A community volunteer has joined the staff as two carers are overstretched caring for so many small children. The after-care staff also assist with the cooking and caring in the mornings.

Post by Colette Tilley

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Recent Board of Trustees Meeting and Changes in Our Organization

Board News:

On Saturday the 17th of July we had our annual Board of Trustees Meeting with the entire board in attendance. We spent the day reviewing the year as well as approving the organizations budgets and new Trustees were added onto the Board. Alan Velcich has joined us, a very experienced NGO and non-profit auditor from Johannesburg, and Mpumi Fundam, one of the Programme Heads of the Eastern Cape Development Programme who has been associated to us via the art programme for many years. Thabang Meslane will also be joining us on the Board in his new capacity as Director—see below. We are grateful for their willingness to serve on our Board.

Mrs. Mei, one of the founding members of the board of Trustees, a local business woman, and a long-time advocate of the Trust’s work, has asked to be retired from the board and we thank her sincerely for her many years of support.

Remaining on the Board is John Kincaid, Paul Roux, Andrew Hofmeyr, Novuyani Peyi, Annette Woudstra and Carol Hofmeyr who was elected Chair.

Carol’s New Role:

At the board of Trustees meeting Carol announced that she would be stepping down as a Director of the Trust. Carol began her work in Hamburg 10 years ago and founded the Trust in 2005. Her work-load has been enormous as the driver and creative force behind all of the craft work and all the major artworks the art project has create-- most recently the Guernica-- as well as the sole doctor in huge rural area with many urgent and unrelenting health needs.

She will of course remain very involved in the art project, and our most valuable advisor in terms of our health programme. She is also Chair of the Board.

Carol is taking a 6 month break from her clinic work as well and then will re-evaluate her role after that time.

As a trust we would like to partner with the government to recruit another doctor to this area. We are also in the process of interviewing nurses to work both with our village health workers and in our hospice inpatient unit.

New Director:

Thabang Meslane has been asked to join Annette as a Director. He has been working in various capacities over the past year, and increasingly called on to be involved in day-to-day operations management as Annette has had to be away in Canada for half of the year. This process had begun several months ago when Thabang accepted the role as Operations Manager. He has been doing an excellent job and has agreed to co-direct with Annette. This will ensure continuity of leadership in her absences and further free Carol to pursue other interests.

Their roles and responsibilities are as follows:

Annette: Trust Director

Donor Liaison
Reporting and Fundraising
Programme Development
Financial Planning
Maintaining Vision/Mission of Trust

Thabang: Managing Director

Responsible for daily operations management
Implementation of budget
Human Resources Head
Policy and procedures implementation
Chair Trust Management Team meetings

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Art - Kirstenbosch hosts Keiskamma Art Project

Kirstenbosch hosted the Keiskamma Art Project in July in preparation for the 2010 Kirstenbosch Botanical Art Biennale.

Click here to read more.

The Keiskamma Music Academy at the National Arts Festival 2010

The Keiskamma Music Academy had an incredible experience at the National Arts Festival (NAF), performing three concerts on the Fringe entitled "Keiskamma Songbook".

The NAF is South Africa’s largest arts festival, and one of the largest in the world (

It was amazing for us to be part of the Keiskamma Art Project’s participation in the same festival by association with the incredible “African Guernica” exhibition at the Thomas Pringle Hall. Visitors to the exhibition were invited to our concerts and we performed at the closing ceremony held in the exhibition space as a celebration of the Hamburg community and as a memorial for those who have passed away.

Throughout the festival, the music academy students grew in confidence, taking audiences by surprise with their unique vibe and music. The review in the festival newspaper (CUE) sums up the audience response: “This up-and-coming ensemble brings you the most beautiful pieces played on their recorders. It feels like you are drifting away to nature surrounded by the sounds that come out of their instruments. Through the creative use of the recorder they give a new meaning to it”.

Courtesy of the NAF’s outreach programme, the students were also privileged to attend 8 diverse shows, varying from Spanish dancing to acapella singing from Soweto to afro-jazz and finally a full scale symphony concert. They had an opportunity to formulate their own views on all that they experienced and what the festival meant to them by writing their own comments in a group journal.

Of all the festivals I have been involved in to date, I found this to be the most enjoyable and the students were exceptionally well behaved, receiving high praise from the staff of the dormitory where they stayed.

We also had excellent publicity material designed by Robbie Hofmeyr (Odd Digital Media), which raised the standard of our overall presentation tremendously. The concerts have already led to two further performance opportunities and our attractive programmes, posters and flyers have potential to further spread the word about the work of the academy.

Click here to view some photos from our first concert at the Commemoration Church on the 22nd of June 2010. (Photos by Stephane Meintjies. Used by permission).

Click here to view some photos from our third concert at the Rhodes Chapel on the 24th of July 2010. (Photos by Daniel Hutchinson).
Lastly, heartfelt thanks to the sponsors of our National Arts Festival experience, the German Development Service (DED) and Business Arts South Africa (BASA).

Post by Daniel Hutshinson

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Art - Keiskamma Guernica

From the 20th of June to the 4th of July, the Art Project presented a new installation at Grahamstown National Arts Festival in the main programme.

This exhibition was funded by the National Arts Festival. We thank them sincerely for their support.

The exhibition, which central piece is the new Art Project’s tapestry, was inspired by Picasso’s painting ‘Guernica’. While Picasso’s Guernica was a protest against the bombing on the small town of Guernica in Spain in 1937, ours is a protest about the slow disintegration and the death of a generation of people that seems unstoppable.

Alongside the tapestry, several elements were presented in memory of our community members who have passed away because of HIV/AIDS. Hundred of pots were made at the Keiskamma Ceramics studio, each of them in memory of a close friend or family member. Hand-made books containing the notes of who have worked in the Treatment Centre in Hamburg were a tribute to those who have worked with, healed, fed and comforted patients and were transformed into artworks. Around the room, sewed inside embroidered pillowcases were the medical files of all who have died in the Keiskamma project’s care in the past five years.

The exhibition was also an opportunity to launch two young ceramicists: Cebo Mvubu and Thobisa Nkani, who are working daily in the Keiskamma Ceramics Studio in Hamburg.The exhibition received rave reviews all over Grahamstown at the National Arts Festival. Major Article have appeared in Cue – the Arts Festival paper, the Port Elizabeth Herald and the National Arts Festival Blogspot. An interview was also aired on SA FM.

Links to press articles:

Week end Post

The Herald


Click here to watch a short movie about the Keiskamma Guernica exhibition, by Rhodes TV-Cue, the Art Festival’s TV.