Rolex Mentors & Protégés, A unique gathering

Rolex Mentors & Protégés

A unique gathering

March 2013 - Baxter Theatre Centre

The South African city of Cape Town is playing host, from 5 to 7 April, to A Unique Gathering: Rolex Mentors and Protégés, a weekend of artistic exchange bringing together renowned artists from nine countries.

The weekend, at Cape Town’s famous Baxter Theatre Centre, has been organized by Lara Foot, CEO and Artistic Director of Baxter and, in 2004-2005, theatre protégée in the Rolex Arts Initiative.

Taking part in the Baxter festival are three illustrious artists and Rolex mentors – William Kentridge (South Africa, visual arts mentor 2012-2013), Peter Sellars (United States, theatre mentor 2010-2011) and Wole Soyinka (Nigeria, literature mentor 2008-2009) – and eight highly talented Rolex protégés – Lara Foot (theatre, South Africa); Edem Awumey (literature, Togo), Maya Zbib (theatre, Lebanon), Anani Dodji Sanouvi (dance, Togo), Antonio García Ángel (literature, Columbia), Aurelio Martínez (music, Honduras), Josué Méndez (film, Peru) and Mateo López (visual arts, Columbia).

Rebecca Irvin, head of philanthropy at Rolex, said that the Rolex Arts Initiative was launched over a decade ago “with a long-term goal of creating a network of artists – both great artistic masters and bright young stars – who would benefit from the interaction between generations and nationalities and from contact with each other.

“We are seeing the fruits of the programme as the mentors refresh their own outlook on their discipline by viewing their art through younger eyes and, significantly, as protégés around the world have begun working together on projects. The unique gathering at the Baxter Theatre Centre is the best example we have to date of this cross-pollination of disciplines,” she added.

The weekend’s four key public events are:

- A workshop by South African visual and theatre artist William Kentridge entitled Getting Started, in the Baxter Flipside. Kentridge will explore the origin of ideas and impulses, examining how they become artistic material. All eight protégés will participate in the discussions.

- In Concert with Neo Muyanga and Friends, in the Baxter Concert Hall, at which Honduras-born singer (and 2008-2009 music protégé) Aurelio Martínez will perform with well-known Cape Town composer Neo Muyanga and a band of South African musicians.

- Artists on the front line, a workshop led by American opera and theatre director Peter Sellars with two protégés from the Rolex Arts Initiative, Togolese creator of dance Anani Sanouvi and Lebanese theatre artist Maya Zbib. The discussions will explore how art and culture contribute to a healthy society.

- A major public discussion between three mentors in the Baxter Concert Hall – Turning the world into material: William Kentridge, Peter Sellars and Wole Soyinka. Impulses behind the idea and the materialisation of an impulse: how does the world come into your work?

News from the weekend will be posted on the Rolex Arts Initiative website. Information about tickets for the events can be found at