Imibala Arts Festival started as a tiny seed and a very brave idea in the mind of pioneer Tarynne Swarts. This talented musician, producer, singer/songwriter, music teacher and CEO of Imibala Arts Festival rallied many creatives to invest in this brand and with hard work and determination made it happen. With persistence and three successful editions behind Imibala, the objective and outline of Imibala has been redefined and re-evolutionsed.
Tarynne Swarts: After two successful iterations of the Imibala festival in 2017 and 2018 in addition to two successful Imibala Unplugged festivals, we reached out to the emerging artists that participated in these festivals and hosted focus groups in order to gain feedback on how to redefine Imibala the Imibala brand and to add more value.The artists were in agreement that the Imibala platform opened many new doors and expressed a desire to learn more from the Imibala program through interacting and engaging with industry professionals. This is where the concept of the Imibala Creative Lab was birthed. Our aim was to offer a new educative layer to the festival with the introduction of a capacity development program for the youth in Cultural and Creative industries that would benefit emerging artists in their careers.
What is the Creative Lab about and what’s the objective of organizing it?
Tarynne Swarts: The Imibala Creative Lab is an extension of the Imibala Arts festival (Cross colours/ cross cultures). Imibala aims to foster mutual cross-cultural exchange, cooperation and global collaboration in the Creative sphere. It is a meeting place for creatives, a place to network,learn, engage and create. It encourages global exchange and mobility with Sub Saharan and the rest of the globe and capacity development for the youth in the CCI’s. One of our key objectives is a mentorship program for young women. Currently there is a scarcity of women in key stakeholder positions in the Music industry, which is predominantly male dominated. Our aim is to develop young women in the music industry for them to have a bigger voice in this industry.
During two days of Imibala Creative Lab participants had a chance to learn from international speakers.
Tarynne Swarts: In 2019 we hosted the first Imibala Creative Lab which was the third edition of the Imibala Arts festival. It was hosted at the Alliance Francaise Pe (French Alliance). The Imibala global network is quite strong and we have been fortunate enough to partner with the Spanish Embassy the Alliance Francaise global network and Canal 180 (Portugal). Some of our keynote speakers included, Luis Fernandes, Executive Producer of the Cannes Award winning television Channel, Canal 180 in Portugal, Dr Lee Watkins who is a Senior Lecturer at Rhodes University and the Director of the International Library of African Music was also a part of our Panel as well as CEO of Business and Arts South Africa, Ashraf Johaardien.
And what is coming this year?
Imibala is all about adapting to change. Due to the Global Covid_19 pandemic we have had to adapt, redefine and re-evolutionise our strategy for Imibala 2020. We have decided to host an online Imibala festival and Creative Lab for 2020. We are super excited to launch our first digital festival. This will enable us to have a bigger international reach and involve more of our international partners.
How has Covid_19 pandemic impacted the Cultural and Creative industry and will this be addressed at the 2020 Lab?
The Covid_19 pandemic has been extremely devastating for artists across the globe. Many gigs and live concerts have been cancelled and this has placed the livelihood of many artists in jeopardy. We hope to address these concerns at the Imibala Creative Lab 2020 and aim to open this discussion to artists and our international panel and discuss possible solutions and avenues on how these challenges can be bridged.
How can the public get involved?
We are excited to be launching our first Patreon campaign. Due to the economy being affected by the global Covid_19 pandemic, this has placed a great strain on artists and NPO arts organizations in the Cultural and Creative industries such as Imibala. New and inventive alternative solutions to fundraising need to be
put in place in order keep programs such as Imibala alive and sustainable. Hence, we will be calling on all individuals and companies who believe in the power of the Arts to support our Patreon Campaign and become a Patreon of the Arts to keep programs and NPO’s such as Imibala alive. Imibala is a movement by artists for the artists and I believe together we are
stronger, and if we can all do our part however small we can help keep the Cultural and Creative industries alive. For more details please follow our up and coming Patreon page on the following link