The Windybrow Arts Centre is rising like a phoenix in Johannesburg’s cultural landscape. It is situated in Joburg's Inner City.
Windybrow is a national treasure that not too long ago was facing ruin but has survived, and impressively so. Through a subsidy from the Department of Arts & Culture, the Market Theatre Foundation re-opened the doors of the heritage house.
The 121-year-old Windybrow Heritage House has recently been restored, holding onto its 1896 Johannesburg appearance with a slight touch of the fresh and new Mzansi era.
It now plays a great role in the activity of youths preparing for their dance, drama, marimba and visual art classes. And it has a reading room for children, sponsored by Exclusive Books.
The aim of Windybrow is to develop its arts centre as a hub for excellence in in pan-African expression, while still being responsive to the requests of the creative and cultural economies.
A wide-ranging research programme commissioned by the Market Theatre Foundation forms the axis of a vibrant and dynamic programme for the Windybrow Arts Centre.
Windybrow is well on its way to becoming a model for how SA multi-arts facilities can serve their communities. In Hillbrow, these are mainly poor people from immigrant groups.
Children are able to find a haven of creative expression, visit the venue after school, play, be children and be inspired.
The centre allows for a stream of information, ideas, and development and as a safe space for young adults – a space where the public around the Windybrow Arts Centre can engage with confidence and optimism.
The Centre’s sees its foundation in this new era as boldly engaging with its community around social issues. It does so through art-based methodologies and with a long-term goal of building a strong creative economy in and around the centre.
In May this year the Market Theatre Foundation introduced an eight months arts residency project bringing together Sticky Situations and The Coloured Cube to start a series of arts, cultural and heritage events using neighbourhood engagement methodologies and participatory management.
Both Sticky Solutions and The Coloured Cube have great experience working in the Inner City and Hillbrow communities.
To get involved visit the Windybrow Arts Centre on Facebook.
This article first appeared on 702 : Windybrow Centre for the Arts a creative Inner City hub