Artscape awarded prestigious international award

The Artscape Theatre Centre was honoured with a Fair Saturday Foundation Award in Spain in June for being at the helm of transformation through the arts. The award recognises both the theatre and its CEO, Marlene Le Roux.

According to the Fair Saturday Foundation’s awards committee, the Artscape Theatre Centre was chosen for its “commitment to promoting essential values through its wide range of diverse and accessible programmes”.

The award also acknowledges, in particular, the courage and determination shown by Le Roux as an advocate for human rights and as a social leader in support of the rights of minorities and vulnerable groups, including people with disabilities.

It also commended her for her role in promoting social justice through culture as the CEO of Artscape Theatre Centre and facilitating access to the cultural expression of the inhabitants of Cape Town, the Western Cape and broader South Africa – especially groups at risk of exclusion. Le Roux is the first South African and the first person with a disability to receive a Fair Saturday Foundation Award.

At the Social Innovation through Culture Forum at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, Le Roux delivered her speech, titled “Is it possible to move from dehumanisation to hope through the arts in a post-apartheid society?”

It reminded the international audience that the journey to restore the humanity and hope of people through the arts after apartheid remains a quest for justice. Le Roux said: “I accepted this award on behalf of all the marginalised individuals, the voiceless and, especially, people with disabilities who are still without resources and remain invisible to the world.”

Celenhle Dlamini, chairperson of the Artscape council, praised Le Roux, stating: “We are exceptionally proud of Marlene Le Roux, who has championed the cause of ensuring our state theatre is accessible to all our diverse audiences.”

Fair Saturday is a global movement that aims to create a positive social impact annually on the last Saturday of November – the day after Black Friday, which is the greatest expression of consumerism. Artists and cultural organisations from all over the world get together in a global festival for one purpose: To support a social cause of their choice through the arts.

At the 2019 Fair Saturday Foundation Awards ceremony, six organisations from Spain, the United States, Germany, South Africa and Rwanda were acknowledged – all of which have created inspiring projects contributing to social transformation through culture.

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