Ghanaian Creative Arts practitioners have been tasked to engage in positive action using the arts to ensure national development. This call was made by Nana Kobina Nketiah V in his welcome address at the opening ceremony of the Atuu Festival of Arts in Essikadu in the Western region.
Nana Nketiah said the symbolism of opening the Atuu Festival at the Essikadu Positive Action Circle is to reinvigorate the nation’s creative arts practitioners for the emancipation of the people’s minds and the ultimate development of our nation. He said the early fighters for Independence which gave birth to the Positive Action call by Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah were from Essikadu hence the naming of the Positive Action circle.
The chairman for the occasion and Omanhene of Lower Dixcove Traditional Area, Nana Kwasi Agyemang IX described the Atuu Festival as a great opportunity to celebrate the cultural diversity of Ghana. He said the hugging aspect of the festival will drive home the togetherness of our people as we hug each other in brotherly and sisterly love.
Nana Kobina Nketia V was also honored as the Chief Patron of the Atuu Festival of Arts in recognition of his immense support for the arts and culture of Ghana. A citation in his honor read in part, “Over the decades of your reign you have extolled the virtues of Ghana’s tradition and culture and you have been known to have participated fully in all major national festivals of the arts and culture in Ghana and elsewhere. From your academic and creative writings, you have proven yourself as a personification of the New African forcefully espoused by Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah. This is epitomized in your incessant quest for inclusive development strategies that will accentuate livelihood and well-being for Ghanaians.”
The Atuu Festival of Arts is an initiative by the Joint Committee of Collective Management Organizations (JCCMOs) which comprises the three collection management organizations in Ghana. These are, Ghana Music Rights Organization (GHAMRO), Audio Visual Rights Organization (ARSOG) and Copy Ghana.
The chairman of the Atuu Festival Planning Committee, Asare Konadu Yamoah described the festival “a window for the people of Ghana and of course the world to understand Ghana as a country and the culture of the people. It is also an important platform for the exchange of cultural ideas and cooperation between the various actors who are the rights holders.” He noted that, “the Festival also would eventually bring talents to the fore and help promote these talents and offer them the opportunity to showcase their creation to the world.”
Mr Yamoah added that the Festival therefore is intended “to respect our cultural diversity, promote intra and inter cultural exchanges, focusing on the importance of having friendly relations amongst the various tribal entities in Ghana and drawing together the people of African descent in the diaspora, for the common progress of African culture and identity.”
There was a story telling performance by B.O Entertainment, a Takoradi based drama group, cultural displays and a cameo appearance by Tic Tac who thrilled the crowd with his unannounced performance. There were exhibitions of books and an exhibition of paintings and photographs generated much interest.
Present at the ceremony were members of the various boards of the three collection management organizations. Also in attendance were students of selected schools in the municipality with Miss Aboagye of Fijai Senior Secondary School delivering the Vote Of Thanks.
As part of the festival, entries are invited from the youth aged between fifteen and twenty-one in the areas of songwriting, sights and sounds and creative writing. The songs are to be recorded and submitted in mp3 format while the creative writing should be on culture and development. For the sights and sounds, entries can either be pictures, paintings or five minute videos with a cultural or tourism angle and must be submitted to the Copyright Office in Accra. Details are available on the Atuu Festival website and social media platforms.
Members of the J.C.C.M.O Planning Committee are Rex Omar, Abraham Adjartey, Ahmed Banda of GHAMRO; Dr Annor, Dr John Kweku Ganu, Ben Nyadzi of Copy Ghana and Abeiku Sagoe, Richard Prempeh, Augustine Abbey of ARSOG and Ahuma Bosco Ocansey as Project Officer.
The Atuu Festival of Arts will comprise community exhibitions and performances nationwide; a musical concert, a symposium and climax with an awards night on August 25 in Accra. The theme for the festival is “Our Culture! Our Development!”