Joburg�s cultural hub will be celebrating the female creative spirit on 9 August, when the Newtown Celebrates Women�s Day explodes into action.

Newtown is celebrating this Women�s Day with activities, events and surprises to delight, entertain and inform at venues located in the Newtown Cultural Precinct. The celebration is presented by the Newtown Management District, with the support of the Johannesburg Development Agency, City of Johannesburg�s Directorate of Arts, Culture and Heritage, Gauteng Film Commission, and Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Recreation and Culture.

Visitors can enjoy a feast of live music, dance, film, photography, performance, poetry, workshops, literature and late-night parties galore � all with a female flavor and all for free.

Dance

Festivities start at 9am with a traditional dance programme on Mary Fitzgerald Square, presented by ACUMDA and the Gauteng Province of Sport, Arts, Recreation and Culture. Mosadi Otswara Thipa Kabohaleng celebrates women�s right to be, as well as acknowledging their efforts in social life and nation building. This promises to be an experience of extravagant costume and colour, of soothing traditional music with finely crafted dance choreography. Exuberant performances will be done by girls, young women and women.

Moving into Dance is hosting a dance workshop from 10am to 12pm at their new building on President Street. The theme is �The Woman in Me�. It is a celebration of womanhood through dance and creative movement, a time for woman to get away from their routines and focus on themselves being the powerhouses that they are in family and society. All women are welcome and the workshop is free of charge.

Gladys Agulhas Theatre Works presents Pages of Dedication, a collaboration including dancers from Agulhas Theatre Works learnership programme, children and senior citizens from Eldo's. There will be performances at 1pm and 5pm on 9 August at The Market Laboratory.

Poetry

Also on 9 August, between 12pm and 6pm at the Bassline, emerging poets will participate in a word slam about women. This event is part of a festival hosted by the Sibikwa Arts Centre and this year�s theme is Seriti sa basadi or women�s dignity. Young female poets from the Basadi group in Kwa-Zulu Natal will make their second appearance in Gauteng. A new group of poets from Free State who recently appeared at the Grahamstown National Festival of the Arts will be participating. From Gauteng we have Sistah Raphulu, Buwa Africa and Poets of Light among others. Throughout the event, an open stage will be available for poets to buy the �mic� for R5 for a five minute slot. A DJ will keep the energy going throughout the afternoon. Audiences can expect to be wowed by the talent. The festival continues at the Sibikwa Arts Centre in Benoni on Monday 10th August from 10am to 4:30pm.

Film

A film programme including screenings and discussions with directors and producers, supported by the Gauteng Film Commission, will take place in the new auditorium at the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre on 9 August at 3pm. Various industry practitioners will be available to interact with young women with an interest in joining the film industry.

Literature

A new book entitled �The 30th Candle� by Angela Makholwa will be launched at Xarra Books at 2pm. Also on the theme of books, the Jozi Book Fair hosted by Khanya College and Botsotso Publishers takes place all day on 8 and 9 August at Museum Africa. The book fair brings together publishers, writers, translators, book distributors, libraries, resource centres, readers and the general public. The programme includes book launches, conversations, poetry readings and panel discussions. A full programme can be viewed by visiting www.newtown.co.za.

Photography

Face Her, a photograph exhibition opening at Museum Africa on Sunday afternoon at 4pm, showcases the work of emerging photographers from the Market Photo Workshop, inviting a dialogue about women�s lives and gender in our society. The images presented here show us faces we�ve seen before, so many archetypes and bear witness to the experiences of women across a multiplicity of locales, roles and ages. They also reflect on the lives, dreams and aspirations of these photographers as the new observers, producers and commentators. All too often, the ways in which people portray others is a reflection on the ways in which they choose to portray themselves. Here we celebrate women, in a fragment of time, in a slice of light, in Southern Africa.

Music, Performance and Projections

As evening falls, Newtown�s late night parties start with live music and DJs at Sophiatown, Kospotong, Cappellos, Nikki�s Oasis and Doppio Zero.

Nikki�s Oasis presents �Women in Jazz� with the Hlulani Hlangwane Quartet. Hlulani is a South African born female Jazz singer, arranger, and composer who has dedicated her life to music. While studying Jazz at the University of Cape Town, she performed in venues around Cape Town with a trio of students she had met at UCT. Her style is varied � she mixes soul and R&B into her sets and when she isn�t performing, she is usually composing contemporary music or arranging Jazz standards. The band will perform at 20h00 on Saturday 8 August and at 16h00 on Sunday 9 August.

The Market Photo Workshop will be presenting a public screening of select photographic works in celebration of Women�s day on Sunday 9 August. The screening will take place in the courtyard of No 1 Central Place, Newtown, from 8 � 10pm. The works being screened are all drawn from previous group exhibitions, curated by the Market Photo Workshop, which were exhibited as part of previous Newtown Women in Arts Festivals. Included in the screening are works from celebrated photographers and Photo Workshop alumni such as Nonsikelelo Veleko, Zanele Muholi, Sabelo Mlangeni, Tracy Edser, and Musa Nxumalo among others. Works from exhibitions as varied as In Transit, Chances are, Face her, and Seeing Women are going to be screened. Each exhibition, approached thematically, contains work geared towards a curatorial approach that responds to issues around gender roles, women and the social environments they occupy. No1 Central Place has convenient underground parking available and is across the road from Mary Fitzgerald Square.

And the Fast Art Girls will surprise and delight. After intense mayhem caused on the sidewalk outside Joburg Art Fair earlier this year, the Fast Art Girls will again make a much-demanded second appearance in their flashy cheap art-sauce trailer during the Newtown Celebrates Women�s Day weekend - on Sunday night outside Cappellos on Jeppe Street. The Fast Art Girls with their Fast Art Trailer, exchange their ideas about Art, Value and Viennas. A range of their exclusive, authentic artworks is available, to anyone wanting to engage with them. Don�t miss the opportunity to acquire one of their sought after and highly valuable products.

Kate Shand, marketing manager for the Newtown Management District, explains that this year�s event has evolved into a collective effort, with the various venues in the area taking the initiative to stage female-themed events in celebration of Women�s Day.

Visit www.newtown.co.za for a more details and any changes to the programme.