about us

Center for Young Talent in Music and Film

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The Under Joburg Skies initiative has been founded in Lorentzville, Johannesburg in 2015 in order to strengthen local structures in culture and arts. Currently based at a 4-story former factory building, Under Joburg Skies acts as a center of excellence for young talent with a focus on learning, training, networking and presentation of South African culture and arts through music, performance and film. With a variety of programmes and workshops, Under Joburg Skies is contributing to the cultural awareness and identity while supporting exchange between the various fields of arts and also between other countries. Its founders and supporters aim at encouraging young talent and providing for education, know-how and training tools and a platform for networking and presentation.

· focusing Arts and Culture:
With workshops, seminars and training sessions, Under Joburg Skies aims at capacity building and providing for the necessary tools to gain artistic skills and also become well-versed actors in marketing, promotion, and distribution of cultural contents.
With the aim to keep South Africa’s culture and traditions alive Under Joburg Skies provides young talent with the means to cultivate but also to professionally market and distribute their product. Therefore we are cooperating with national and international development organizations, schools and universities, cultural institutions and foundations.
By initiating international cultural exchange we work at maximising opportunities for South African arts and culture practitioners to interact with the rest of the world. Benefitting from this experience, exposure and expertise, local art and artists may take their places on the world stage.
Among several formats that will be housed regularly are the filmed Live Under Joburg Skies concert series and the O Mang talking sessions, both of which will be filmed and produced for TV and DVD market. An edutaining video tutorial on diversity in education will be produced for educational facilities. Furthermore there are regular poetry slams, lectures and seminars on related issues.
For music and film practiotioners, Under Joburg Skies is providing for professional training facilities and studios for rehearsal and recording and editing, respectively.
In the long run, Under Joburg Skies shall act as a foundation for the development of a creative milieu that will be a source of vitality to the precinct as well as to the South African entertainment scene.
With the cultural diversity that characterizes South Africa and a strong cultural self-confidence, artists shall become active players on both the domestic and the global market and also intensify the inner-African dialogue.

· focusing Community Development / Social and Neighbourly aspects:
In a broader sense, the project also focuses on community and human development. With regards to community development, Under Joburg Skies is set on involving the direct neighborhood for jobs and on collaboration with service companies from the precinct. During the process of preparing the pilot event, we have been collaborating with both some neighboring companies and local residents. While some people were involved or hired for jobs, meeting our neighboring entrepreneurs resulted in an ongoing exchange about common strategies in order to uplift the precinct. This includes regular cleaning, security, but also outreach programmes and attracting young talented people from the precinct.
The concept promotes social cohesion and supports a vibrant urban environment, resulting in a positive impact on the community. By establishing a hot spot for cultural entertainment for domestic and foreign visitors, we aim at uplifting the attractiveness of the area and completing another corridor of freedom in line with the COF project by the City of Johannesburg (GDS 2040 strategy).

· focusing Human Development:
Under Joburg Skies programmes are creating opportunities for education, training and entertainment through capacity building. Instead of merely giving money to interested people, Under Joburg Skies gives them a vision along with the tools to gain know-how, experience and to enhance creativity and productivity. Not least, targeting the youth has been viewed as an anti-crime measure.
We are also aware of potential side-effects and synergies, arising through stimulating economic activities in the surrounding area and creating opportunities in related fields for emerging entrepreneurs. Attracting new businesses or more opportunities for leisure, entertainment or recreation, will not only link jobs to the people living nearby but in the long run help creating a safe neighborhood and continuing to wipe out the traces of the apartheid past in this precinct.

· focusing Tourism Johannesburg
Eventually, Under Joburg Skies aims at tourism. By establishing a hot spot for cultural entertainment where the local scene interacts with domestic and international artists, programmes and events are uplifting the attractiveness of the area which will eventually connect with other vibrant quarters. By addressing city marketing & communications, Gauteng Tourism Agency and foreign offices of South Africa Tourism along with tour operators, we are putting the destination on the tourism map. The development of another cultural quarter and a destination for tourism would eventually serve as a valuable foreign exchange earner and job creator.

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Who will benefit from the project and how?
The main target group is young people who have a strong, proven interest in creative processes  in music, film and arts. They benefit through learning basics and ethics, receiving a professional infrastructure and by using a new platform for networking, exchange and performance. The aspect of talent is here less seen as a God-given gift but as the wish to learn and make more of one’s interests, the capability to improve oneself and become an active player in the market.
Furthermore, Under Joburg Skies addresses semi and full professionals, offering a serious working infrastructure and a professional platform with access to key players in the market, both domestic and international, asking them to join the network platform to enrich and motivate younger students.
We also encourage teachers from other institutions to become part of the concept through teaching the teachers-programmes, through seminars and studio tours for other institutions.
The rooftop venue will be open to the public for performances. Our targeted audience is music, film and arts-loving people interested in high-quality productions and also in behind-the-scenes looks.

Under Joburg Skies promotes social cohesion and supports a vibrant urban environment, resulting in a positive impact on the neighborhood:
• by initiating and supporting mixed-use development in the neighborhood. Involving the neighborhood in various jobs and linking jobs to the people living nearby,
• by encouraging new private sector investments and stimulating economic activities in the surrounding area and creating opportunities in related fields for emerging entrepreneurs,
• by strengthening local structures, uplifting the Lorentzville precinct and connecting it with the Newtown-Downtown-Doornfontein areas,
• by attracting new businesses in the neighborhood, retail, offices, and more opportunities for leisure, entertainment or recreation, creating a safe neighborhood, thus continuing to wipe out the traces of the apartheid past in this precinct.

Fundraising process:
Under Joburg Skies Pty Ltd is now initiating a major fundraising campaign for the purpose of full project implementation and realization of the concept. Therefore we are looking for corporate sponsors and further funding through governmental departments.
For the time being, programmes were financed through private fundings and an initial grant through the Department for Arts & Culture South Africa. Workshops and music productions were run by the founding members who act as strategic planners and project managers. The team is currently assisted by an office manager.

With further income and funding, the following positions shall be open:
· Manager programmes
· Office manager,
· Facility manager,
· Events and workshop coordinator.

Please contact us for any questions or your support.


Photos, Webdesign © COLITA. Andreas Cohrs


6 thoughts on “about us

  1. I am an aspiring musician ( vocalist) and a Development studies honours graduate. I would like to be part of this initiative for both community development and arts. How do i go about ?

  2. Kindly furnish me with Leon Erasmus of Yebo Studio contact details who I understand has moved from Newtown to a new venue. I need to discuss with him my recording done some years ago.

    Your urgent response will be highly appreciated.

  3. OH MY WORD!!! taking the initiative to make a difference is absolutely AMAZING!!!knowing that my sister(Khwezi N) is a part of this group of geniuses is simply blissful. Wishing you all the best guys!!

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