ORGANISERS of the “Let Them Schools Arts Festival” have cancelled the annual event due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
The festival is held between July and August.
“Our content comes from schools and because schools are closed in line with the regulations of the coronavirus pandemic, we have decided to cancel the festival this year,” founder Chido Musasiwa said.
Instead, the organisers are now focusing on plans to build an arts village in Domboshava during the Covid-19 national lockdown.
“What we are doing now is to focus on our plans of establishing the village during this period in preparation for future events after the national lockdown,” she said.
The village will be used to educate children, especially from urban communities, on the country’s culture.
“Children will be able to visit the village as part of organised school trips or for camps during holidays. The village will be laid out in clusters of huts designed in contemporary and traditional styles from around Zimbabwe.
“The regional variations of each cluster will reflect the artistic and cultural richness on Zimbabweans showcasing our cultural inheritance. Let Them Village will provide accommodation and camping facilities specifically tailored for schools, educational activities, youth arts and cultural heritage tours, workshops and retreats among others.
In collaboration with our clients, we will provide a unique cultural and arts experience which features the following activities; Let Them village music and theatre workshops, mbira workshops, conservation walks and talks, tour of sculpture village, tours of cultural heritage landscape, the art of ngano (fork tales), among other activities,” Musasiwa said.
Established in 2010, Let Them Schools Arts Festival was set up with the aim of promoting and nurturing arts and cultural activities among youth aged up to 19.
To achieve its objectives, Let Them Trust, which runs the festival, has conducted music, theatre and ngano (storytelling) workshops in over 400 schools and has consequently impacted on the lives of over 200 000 children over the years.