Think art is for the birds? Think Creative Week

New: co-design Cape Town by fluffing your feathers before the Loeries in a week-long showcase of local creativity.

Let’s cut to the chase. Cape Town is quite literally the centre of the world - if you’re  in it, that is.  The self obsessed and the self respecting agree on that one.  Ironically, spoilt as we are by metaphor and mountains, art, parties, beauty and location, location, location, we still get jealous. Like when the Loeries come to town.

The Loeries? Those dang birds again.

Not the bird, I mean; the awards week (with, yes, the bird logo). Around this time, creative citizens who don't work in advertising, communication design and experiential media can feel a little spare, or even left out. The money-churners turn out in their finest, replete with television crews on every corner as the industries' prestigious practitioners fluff up their tail feathers and coo and woo and congratulate and console each other. And yet, all local artists contribute to communication and media and celebrating the city (and a lot of them work in the ad industry). So something’s got to give when the Loeries land; a bird in the hand, after all, is a handful if you're trying to build something.

Creative Cape Town gets this. As self appointed big sister to the explorers of the mother city psyche and administrator of positive perceptions of progress, it realises that we all need friends who fly. So it has slipped something called “Creative Week” under the lovely Loeries' wings.

Show your true colours

Creative Week is a new showcase of Cape Town art, expression and emotion, a veritable 'Loeries fringe festival' if you will. Supported by various partners including Cape Town Partnership, it’s a week-long a run-up to the Awards and a creative celebration in its own right. 

Based on its godfather, the New York Creative Week, this local brainchild is born once a year (24 Sept – 3 Oct), lives for seven days, and feeds off artists, actors, singers, songwriters, musicians, sculptors, fashion designers, graphic designers, shoe designers, life designers, life coaches, choreographers, photographers, musicians, theatres, creative collectives  and others of any creative inclination. Selling self-decorated T shirts? You’re in. Part of a music collective? Make some noise. Prone to colourful outbursts in the street? Show your true colours.

Because why wait? Instead of certain artists and arty others across the city feeling oddly out of place in the place they call home, you’re invited to get in first, get the party started and paint the town with  your thoughts, motions and notions. Basically, it's an open invitation to show off.  

What is Creative Week?

 *It's a chance for art of all kinds to get attention. For free*. Venues, collectives, event organisers, companies and individual artists in the greater Cape Town are invited to showcase their creativity.

*It's a “user generated” festival, which means the more you put in, the more you get out.

*Its purpose is to connect, inform, inspire. "The process of co-designing, customization, design democracy, participation, individualization and whatever else it is called is one of the most important themes in contemporary design." - Alice Rawsthorn, New York Times. Besides, the big ous are in town; it's a good time to shine.

*Creative Week is officially a legacy event, tying tightly into The World Design Capital bid that seeks to have Cape Town recognised as a global creative capital. In this capacity, all creative professionals and creative contributors are unofficial ambassadors to the Mother City, and Creative Week is your stage.

Creative Week Highlights

 *In addition to a series of sexy, self-generated arts events, the city’s sassy arts yearbook, “The Creative Cape Town Annual” will be launched over the course of the week. This "snapshot of creative and knowledge economy in Cape Town" is received with anticipation annually, and focuses on the World Design Capital 14 Bid in 2010.

*The whole city is involved. The Pan African Space Station celebrates Africa through your ears with its global showcase of music in unusual venues. Museums get out a bit, hosting a heritage weekend in the Company’s Gardens.  The Obs festival is makes its comeback as the ‘Obs Festival Of Arts’ at a favourite southern suburbs underground venue, The Bijou. Eye candy in the form of Loeries 2009 show reels and the 2010 winners will be screened at The Labia.

*Fancy a fat party? The Loeries street party jol in upper Long Street consumes the better part of the first weekend of October. Alcohol probably consumes the rest. 

How to be part of Creative Week

The bird's in your bush.

1 - Conceptualise a public event, be it a gig or communal cooking class in costume.

2 - Submit your event to Creative Cape Town, individually, collectively, or cross-collaboratively* - Go to and click on "events"

3 - Fill out your basic contact details.

4 - Fill out event details: where, when, who, how much et cetera, a quick overview and contact person.

5 - Check the site for handy tips to help you market your event to media and public and coordinate with others.

6 - Spread the word and Creative Week will too. Face it, Tweet it, write your grandparents about it, get bloggers blabbing about it, let local print and online media know, let others involved know. Creative Week will market the movement on social media including its Facebook fanpage and the Creative Cape Town page (more than 4 000 fans) as well as in print.

Remember the early bird catches the worm. Getting involved now strengthens your setup through networking.  Whether it's kinky cupcakes or delinquent doilies, a vuvuzela silencer, or a five story mural, Creative Week wants you to participate. An egg that is not sat on, after all, will not hatch. Pakaaaak!

For more info

* Creative Cape Town does not offer funding for your event. Try Mommy's coffer. Or cut your costs cleverly. Or pick up tip-offs 


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