National Arts Festival Seeks Executive Producer

Revised structure for NAF calls for dynamic new leadership

GRAHAMSTOWN – The National Arts Festival, the largest celebration of the arts on the continent, is changing the way it is produced and is looking to appoint an Executive Producer, whose primary role will be to prepare and stage the Festival’s Main programme each year.

“With the recent resignation of Artistic Director Ismail Mahomed, we have taken the opportunity to reinvisage our selection processes,” Festival CEO Tony Lankester said. “One of Ismail’s legacies is an extremely strong Artistic Advisory Committee, comprising some of the most respected creative voices in South Africa. Our new structure will capitalise on the strengths of this Committee, which will now be responsible for selecting and curating the Festival’s core programme,” he said.

The Committee will be supported by the newly created post of Executive Producer. Together with a wider artistic planning team, they will be responsible for bringing the programme to life in Grahamstown.

A curator in each genre will be appointed from among the Committee members each year. They will select the work to be staged, and the Executive Producer and a wider artistic planning team will work with them to bring the programme to life in Grahamstown. Apart from needing to be a solid administrator, the Executive Producer must bring an artistic sensibility to bear, as they will be designing a “Festival Choice” programme based on existing partnerships with institutions and international presenting bodies and funders.

“We’re looking for someone really special to be part of our amazing team, and to help us build and grow from the strong base that Ismail and his predecessors have established,” Lankester said.

Full details of the role can be found at and applications close on Wednesday 15 June 2016.

About National Arts Festival

The National Arts Festival is an important event on the South African cultural calendar and the biggest annual celebration of the arts on the African continent.

The 2017 National Arts Festival runs for 11 days from 29 June - 9 July and is held in the small university city of Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape, 130 km from Port Elizabeth.

The Festival consists of a Main and Fringe programme both administered by the National Arts Festival Office. The full programme comprises drama, dance, physical theatre, comedy, opera, music, jazz, visual art exhibitions, film, student theatre, street theatre, lectures, craft fair, workshops, tours (of the city and surrounding historic places) and a children’s arts festival.

The event has always been open to all regardless of race, colour, sex or creed. As no censorship or artistic restraint has ever been imposed on works presented in Grahamstown, the Festival served as an important forum for political and protest theatre during the height of the apartheid era, and it still offers an opportunity for experimentation across the arts spectrum. Its significance as a forum for new ideas and an indicator of future trends in the arts cannot be underestimated.

The National Arts Festival is grateful to the Department of Arts and Culture, Eastern Cape Provincial Government, M-Net and Standard Bank of South Africa.

National Arts Festival
National Arts Festival
PO Box 304
Grahamstown, Ec 6140
South Africa