Creatives Doing it Differently & Owning it

Creatives Doing it Differently & Owning it

Own It, the third cluster at the 2015 ACT | UJ Arts & Culture Conference, is aimed at helping creatives find new ways of approaching the business world.

This cluster, taking place on the afternoon of Monday 9 March at the conference entitled Creatives Make it Happen, will be divided into four sessions that will host in-depth discussions with creative practitioners who have pursued different ways of engaging within their field.

Looking specifically at curating creative output, creative social solutions, doing things differently, and connecting the dots; these sessions will give insight to artists and creatives as entrepreneurs and investors. The conversations all focus on different ways of cultivating business ideas and best practice in a contemporary creative South Africa.

The first session in this cluster, ‘Curators of Creativity’ will focus on bloggers who began publishing online commentary on various topics of interest, and as a result, have built their sharing of ideas into successful online businesses. During this session, they will share a few of their secrets and how their gaze may have shaped online consumption. Following this, ‘Creative Social Solutions’ will see a panel of artists and social entrepreneurs share their successes and challenges in creating solutions for social needs; after which ‘Doing it Differently’ will present a creative panel who will share their ideas and experiences of doing business in alternative ways, allowing delegates and attendees to learn from their failures and successes. Lastly, ‘Connect the Dots’ will look at creative connectors and their processes of turning synergy into tangible opportunity.

After using a different approach, carrying out successful campaigns by offering innovative solutions for challenges faced in the performing arts, City Soiree’s Gerhard Maree (2014 Young Creative Entrepreneur finalist in Live Music) comments: “It’s rather easy to look at something like the music industry and get despondent because of what it was and what it is now. But that really is all a myth. There is no such thing as the ‘good old days’ because it has always been difficult and always will be difficult. It’s not easy to become a doctor or engineer so why should this be different? What has changed, though, is that technology and the abundant tools for independent artists have completely changed the landscape and everyone has a lot more options than before. I truly believe that this is the best time ever to be a musician.”

Co-founder of AfriPop, Phiona Okumu says: “Last year during a public address the president of Uganda said that humanities degrees are useless. He is of my parents’ generation, and that has been the thinking that has governed my country’s failing education system longer than I have been alive. The clever kids did engineering and medicine. The rest became lowly teachers to perpetuate the cycle. I have an interesting time explaining to some of my cousins that I make a living and actually add value without having gone the route they did. And I’m not the only one. I am seeing first-hand the tiny but excellent class of creative thinkers who sell a more positive story about Uganda than its lawmakers ever will.”

Facilitated primarily by 2014 Young Creative Entrepreneur Digital Publishing winner Uno de Waal, who has made a success of creative showcase Between 10and5; other contributors in this cluster will include one of the country’s most well-known comedians Kagiso Lediga, filmmaker Sibs Shongwe-La Mer and Godown Arts Centre Director Joy Mboya.

Due to take place from 8-10 March at the University of Johannesburg (UJ), the two and a half day conference aims to provide a forum for developing and inspiring the creative community. Engaging with entrepreneurs, artists, creative enablers, policy makers and implementers; in addition to the advertising, film, design and broader arts industries; it will showcase new ways of cultivating business ideas in a contemporary South Africa. The conference will host several thought-leaders, emerging and established industry professionals from South Africa, Africa and abroad; and will provide opportunities for attendees to engage with speakers and conference participants alike.

Tickets are now available via Tickets range from R200 for one cluster, to R1000 for a full conference pass (Clusters 1 to 5). Student passes are R350 for attendance at Clusters 2 to 5. To stay up to date with information and opportunities, visit @actujconference #creativesmakeithappen

Connect with the speakers above on twitter: @GerhardMaree, @ophiona, @Unodewaal, @KagisoLediga@godownarts

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