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Sasol continues Investment in Arts Education

24 August 2005

Sasol today donated R620 000 to the Grahamstown Foundation's Sasol Schools Festival Series, which aims to promote an understanding and appreciation for the arts among school-going learners.

The Sasol Schools Festival Series is a dynamically structured, intense arts programme designed to capture the attention and spark enthusiasm among grade 11 learners through workshops, lectures, productions and interaction with artists and other industry experts.
The annual series comprises four festivals, two of which are held in Gauteng, and one in both Mpumalanga and the Free State.
Louisa Clayton, a director of the Grahamstown Foundation, is delighted that Sasol will continue its commitment to arts education through the festivals.
"Sasol's investment will allow us to expose learners, on the brink of making important career decisions, to an often under-funded and under-appreciated aspect of the South African school curriculum - art and culture."
Pat Davies, Sasol's chief executive says: "Sasol has been a proud supporter of school festivals since 1985. We are pleased to note that such festivals facilitate cross-cultural interaction among peers from diverse communities, while also helping to instil a sense of pride for our artistic and cultural heritage."
"Our involvement with this initiative demonstrates our commitment to inspire our youth by creating platforms for them to access, enjoy and experience our country's art and culture," says Davies.
Clayton adds that the Sasol Schools Festival Series supports the country's education curriculum in building an arts component into our school learning programme.
"The festivals do not only stimulate interest in the arts among a broad section of urban and rural-based learners, but they also expose our youth to career opportunities in the arts industry," says Clayton.
Aubrey Sekhabi, a theatre director and deputy chief executive of the South African State Theatre, decided to pursue a tertiary qualification in the performing arts after attending a school festival as a young learner in 1987.
"I fully support Sasol in its endeavors to expose youth to our rich artistic and cultural heritage. South Africa is bursting with talent, but resources are needed to advance the arts. By exposing learners to a broad and enriching arts-education programme, Sasol is playing a crucial role in supporting the arts community and stimulating cultural development," says Sekhabi.
This year's Sasol Schools Festival Series starts in the Free State and will be held on 26-27 August. The Gauteng festivals take place from 13-17 September and the Mpumalanga festival from 7-9 October.
As part of this year's Sasol Free State/Northern Cape School's Festival, some 340 grade 11 learners, from more than 20 schools, will congregate at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein for their arts extravaganza.
Learners will experience Hoot, a one-man theatrical cross-cultural comedy starring Matthew Ribnick, as well as Say Otherwise, a poetry programme designed around real-life issues confronting teenagers.
The youth will also participate in workshops involving their bodies, minds and musical voices like Viva España, Vocal Aerobics, Township Grooves, Performance Explosion and the (Re)actor.
Sasol is a dedicated patron of arts and culture and annually invests more than R80 million in social investment programmes which is channelled into five main areas: education, health and welfare; capacity building; the environment; and sport development and culture.

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