This past week saw much excitement at the Phansi Museum when 45 artists graduated from a professional development programme. The programme, housed at the museum, aims to up-skill unemployed people through the arts, hoping that it will lead to entrepreneurial endeavours.
Undeniably, Covid-19 has taken a heavy toll on the arts and culture sector, and many people require extra support. The programme, sponsored by the National Arts Council, includes an array of workshops from beadwork and sculpture to ceramics and visual art. It also delves into the art theory and shows artists the practical elements of exhibiting their works in a gallery. These business skills include discussing commissions with galleries, meeting prospective buyers, and sending introductory emails. The students also visited the KZNSA Gallery to get a feel for other artists and see an exhibition in action. The eight-day course thus covered a lot of ground, highlighting to the students how their passions could lead to sustainable livelihoods. By amalgamating art theory and business theory, the programme emphasises the economic possibilities for artists, even during these difficult times.
Supporting Durban’s local museums
Despite the economic struggles that the pandemic has brought, cultural centres around the globe are stepping up for their communities. One could argue that for many, it is the arts that have gotten them through some of the darkest days of the pandemic. The Phansi Museum works hard to support the local art community and uses art as a tool of empowerment. The museum also aims to go digital as of this year so that the Phansi experience can also be enjoyed in homes across the country and even worldwide. This will undoubtedly be a challenging task as the Phanisi Museum is a place you go to hear stories and engage with the collections. As the museum’s Similo Gobingca shares:
We are not a typical museum where you walk in and look at a tag (with a long description). We give you a tour, tell you stories and tell you things about every aspect of the artefacts. We are a feel good museum, you can walk in here and touch and feel stuff.
If you are passionate about the arts and want to support local museums, be sure to visit Phansi by booking a private tour. You can also explore our exciting local museums, including the Old Court House, KwaMuhle, Cato Manor Heritage Centre, and the Maritime Museum, amongst others. While travel might be off the cards for a while, it’s a fantastic moment to explore all the sites on your doorstep. As they say, “local is lekker!”
What is your favourite museum in Durban? Let us know!