„Business beyond festival“ – was the topic of the discussion the staff of the Village Scribe Association was invited to. As part of the Fingo festival which is annually held during the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown the event is meant to be a platform to discuss ideas and strategies to make the Fingo township a more attractive place during and after the festival. By encouraging Fingo’s venues and people to be more involved in the Arts Festival, new business opportunities not only for artists, but also for the community could open up.
One suggestion was to offer donkey rides or township tours to tourists. National Arts Festival CEO Tony Lankester participated in the discussion and called out local artists and businessmen to take more initiative. While the 11 days of the festival would not be able to solve all of Grahamstown’s problems, it would be a perfect opportunity to create creative business.
It was also pointed out that sometimes artists or event managers are not aware of how to apply properly for funding and that they’re not presenting themselves in a confident way. That’s where Kjetil from the VSA joined in the discussion: he advertised the Awarenet Open Lab as a place to learn about self-marketing; like building one’s own homepage and research about funding opportunities. If there was enough demand for this offer the VSA team could offer specific workshops for artists and entrepreneurs. It would be possible to open the lab for facilitators to organize their own workshops as well.
Our offer caused some positive feedback, and the VSA is eager to find out how a possible cooperation with Fingo entrepreneurs could look like.