THE Zimbabwe International Festival of Arts (HIFA) organisers have announced that the annual six day arts fiesta will, in 2016, change its format with quite a number of activities spread across the year as build up to 2017.
Organisers, however, dispelled the notion that 2016 will be a gap year.
HIFA, the country’s biggest arts event, has come to be seen as an important symbol of something positive about Zimbabwe at a time of political turbulence and uncertainty.
Addressing journalists at Royal Harare Golf Club Thursday afternoon, HIFA Founder and Artistic Director Manuel Bagoro said the festival hopes to expand and more people will be participating with plans to fuse sports with art in future already underway.
“We have decided to embark on a mission of developing local artists in different ways so we have introduced a new programming set that is going to sustain the festival in 2017,” said Bagorro.
“The new programming will include five new areas, thus Hifa presents, Hifa Play, Hifa Engage, Hifa Events and Amigos which will be rolled out throughout that period.
“Through these five branches, we will be expanding our reach into various parts of the country and engaging with artists in those areas at a more intense level.”
The festival Executive Director Maria Wilson also insisted that HIFA was not going anywhere.
“We are here to stay, what you are about to see is expansion that will create more platforms for artists and their development.
“For the next 18 months we will be building up to the next HIFA as you know it will be in 2017.”
The 2017 edition will be held under the theme ‘Next Level’, she said.
HIFA was established in 1997 and held its first festival edition in 1999.
The event showcases visual Arts and Culture focusing on Music, Spoken Word, Applied Craft and Design, Theatre, Fashion and Dance.