The Windybrow Arts Centre will become Johannesburg’s newest hub for the advancement of Pan-African literature, thanks to the recent partnership between Exclusive Books and the Market Theatre Foundation.
On 18 July 2017, the Windybrow Arts Centre will officially open its doors to the Exclusive Books Pan-African Reading Room for children and The Exclusive Books Pan-African Reading Lounge for adults.
CEO of the Market Theatre Foundation, Ismail Mahomed, said that The Market Theatre is at the forefront when it comes to producing and presenting cutting edge stories that have an authentic African artistic voice and which is inclusive of the rich tapestry of African diversity.
“When Exclusive Books launched their Pan-African series we immediately envisioned a dynamic partnership with Exclusive Books to make stories and literature from the African continent and the diaspora become more accessible to a wider audience.”
More than two thousand book titles will be kept in the Exclusive Books Pan-African Reading Lounge and Reading Room which will be housed in the 121-year old Windybrow Heritage House.
“Over 120 young people come to the Windybrow Arts Centre every day to engage in our inspiring cultural educational programming. We have 24 Market Theatre Laboratory alumni who teach at inner-city schools in Johannesburg. The launch of The Exclusive Books Pan-African Reading Room for children will be an excellent resource. It gives us the scope to promote a reading culture that will be inspiring, relevant and resonant with the African experiences of our constituency at the Windybrow Arts Centre,” added Mahomed.
Benjamin Trisk, CEO of Exclusive Books, explained that sponsoring space at the arts centre for the purpose of creating a reading room for the local community is an important project for The Exclusive Books Group.
“It is particularly important in contemporary South Africa to give back to the life of Hillbrow because Hillbrow was the genesis for the first Exclusive Books when it opened its doors in 1951.”
A monthly book club programme for children and a series of forums for adults focusing on African authors and on the titles available in The Reading Lounge will be hosted at the Windybrow Arts Centre. The Market Theatre’s weekly digital online publication, [email protected], will feature a book a week.
“We are pleased that we can create a safe space for children and adults alike to have access to books, to care for them, and to treasure the stories that the books contain,” Trisk concluded.
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