Known for innovation, panache and trendsetting, the Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA) has announced a ground-breaking suite of programmes in what organisers have called a "365-day a year Festival".
Festival organisers last week announced five areas of programming designed to maximize HIFA's impact between now and the next 6-day Festival in April/May 2017.
Executive director Maria Wilson told NewZimbabwe.com that the programms offer innovative performances and exhibitions, community engagement, high entertainment sports events, audience development initiatives and high-quality event management services.
"Our new format allows people to enjoy different aspects of the HIFA experience throughout the year," she said.
"This year-round approach fulfils HIFA's mandate to promote arts and culture in Zimbabwe whilst developing new audiences and promoting the country."
Explaining the five programme areas, founder and artistic director, Manuel Bagorro, said 'HIFA PRESENTS' offers immersive weekends of intense arts programming throughout the year, as well as major stand-alone performances.
"HIFA EVENTS provides first-class professional services for conferences, brand launches as well as corporate, diplomatic and private events. HIFA PLAY produces major, high-entertainment and high production sports events," said Bagorro.
"The HIFA Amigos programme is a bold audience development programme for HIFA PRESENTS events throughout the year, as well as for the Zimbabwean arts sector more broadly."
The fifth category, HIFA ENGAGE will roll out 4 major education and community projects running over the next 18 months and culminating at HIFA 2017.
"HIFA's Travelling Arts Manufactory is a professional development, skills exchange and field support program working across the country," he said.
"It will see the voices of 1000 works in national schools, offering a creative learning project leading to a major mass choir happening at HIFA 2017."
The City Project is the third category under the HIFA ENGAGE section. It is a public art program exploring and transforming the experience of public transport in Harare.
Rounding off the developmental projects under HIFA ENGAGE is HIFA Access, an initiative that "convenes meetings, symposia and collaborative brainstorming conversations aimed at strengthening and emboldening the Zimbabwean cultural sector."
HIFA 2017 will showcase the spectacular artistic outcomes of the various programs running throughout the year and across the country, supported by the audience development programming for which HIFA has such a strong track record.