Spiritfest Celebrates Arts in Faith Context
By Samantha Carolus – This year’s Spiritfest at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival will celebrate the arts in the context of the Christian faith. Spiritfest runs throughout the festival, from June 28 to July 8.
Favourites which return this year include the Lucernarium, St Michael’s Marimbas, 40 Stones in the Wall Group Exhibition and Guided Prayer, as well as an open-mic session for poetry, story, music and sacred text lovers.
New to Spiritfest in 2018 will be Christian meditation sessions led by visitors from the World Community for Christian Meditation and the Centre for Christian Spirituality.
The Cathedral Choir will once again present a Choral Evensong featuring works by South African authors and composers in different languages. The Jesus College Choir from Cambridge, England, conducted by Richard Pinel, will sing the “Cantus Missae” by Josef Rheinberger at the Cathedral Festival Eucharist service, on the second Sunday.
In the visual arts section, Franli Meintjies will have a solo exhibition titled “Chicken Feet and Popcorn”. Sculptures by Niel Jonker will be exhibited in the Anglican cathedral, and artist Julia Skeen will lead an art walkabout with moments of silent contemplation in Rhodes chapel.
The two Sundays of the festival will see special services: A Unity Mass at which the congregations of four local Catholic churches will come together to worship, as well as a weekday Mass at St Patrick’s Catholic church, and services hosted by other churches.
On the last Sunday of the festival, the Methodist Young Men’s Guild will lead a Procession of Witness down the High Street with choir and musicians, culminating in a service in Commemoration church.
Music this year will include choral concerts by the Grahamstown Kwantu Choir and the Grahamstown Circuit Church Choir. There will be performances by the Trinity Tenors, organist Cameron Luke, soprano Emma Farquharson, the Choir of Jesus College, Cambridge, and poet-singer Fafa Hopkins.
The Spiritfest Winter School this year looks at the topic of “The Spiritual Journey”.
Speakers on “The Spiritual Journey”
Speakers will include theologian Dr Mary Ryan, philosopher Laurence Bloom on “The Immortality of the Soul”, and Phumeza Mntonintshi, a Methodist who is in training as a sangoma.
Al Gini, professor of philosophy and business ethics at the Catholic Loyola University in Chicago, will be looking at the importance of humour in our lives.
Books to be launched are Reminders of Connectedness by Jeanette Eve, and The Forgotten Feast by Michael Arnold.
For more information see www.grahamstowncathedral.org/spiritfest