Visitors' perceived contribution of South African arts festivals to the arts
Pretorius, Susanna Cornelia
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The primary goal of the study was to determine the contribution of three distinct South African arts festivals to the arts, namely Klein Karoo National Arts Festival (KKNK), Innibos and Vryfees arts festivals as perceived by visitors to the festivals. To achieve this goal, five objectives were formulated. Firstly, to provide a literature overview of the arts phenomena, by exploring the relationship between arts and culture, the arts context, the arts-related tourism product and then the perceived contributions of arts festivals to the arts; secondly, to determine the perceptions that the visitors to Klein Karoo National Arts Festival (KKNK) have regarding the festival’s contribution to the arts and whether the perceived contributions differs according to the sociodemographic characteristics of the visitors to KKNK; thirdly, to determine the perceived contribution of Innibos Low Veld National Arts Festival (Innibos) and Vryfees Arts Festival (Vryfees) to the arts and, here, to analyse possible differences regarding festival visitors’ involvement in the arts according to their arts preferences; fourthly, to determine the perceived contribution of arts festivals in South Africa to the arts at three arts festivals, namely the KKNK, Innibos and Vryfees festivals, and then to analyse whether or not the festivals differ in terms of their contribution to the arts; and lastly, to draw conclusions from the research and to make recommendations regarding the contributions that these selected South African arts festivals make to the arts. The first objective was achieved by conducting a literature study. Literature was analysed to dentify the relationship between arts and culture when defining the arts. The arts were then placed in the arts festival context; explaining and identifying different art forms that can be present at these events, where after the arts related tourism products were explored with a particular focus on arts festivals. Six contributing factors that arts festivals have for the arts were identified from the literature and each was discussed separately. The contributing factors discovered include the emotional contribution, educational contribution, economic contribution, quality contribution, marketing contribution and the growth and development contribution. Achieving the second objective entailed using a destination-based survey administered at KKNK in Oudtshoorn, Western Cape. An exploratory factor analysis was subsequently conducted and five factors revealed themselves, being Visual arts enhancement, Performing arts enhancement, Emotional inspiration, Visual arts involvement and Performing arts exposure. The factor analysis indicated that KKNK is perceived to contribute to the arts. ANOVAs and ttests were undertaken for further statistical analysis to determine differences in perception between socio-demographic characteristics, such as age, previous arts exposure, arts preference and geographic location of the visitors to KKNK. As the festival is perceived to contribute to the arts, implications were structured for the festival to ensure its continuing contribution to all forms of the arts equally. The third objective was to determine the contributing factors to the arts of two arts festivals, the Innibos and Vryfees festivals, and to determine whether or not preference for a particular type of art might influence personal arts involvement at the festivals. Surveys were conducted at both Innibos in Mbombela, Mpumalanga and at Vryfees in Bloemfontein, Free State. Separate exploratory factor analyses and two-way frequency tables were subsequently conducted to determine the contributing factors of the festivals. This process was followed by independent ttests that were used to investigate any statistically significant differences between visitors who preferred the performing arts and those who leaned towards the visual arts and to their personal involvement to the arts. The results show some moderate differences between arts preference and personal arts involvement concerning the purchase of performing and visual arts products and activities. The results are relevant when the marketing and planning of arts festivals is considered in order to achieve both better arts contribution and personal arts involvement. The fourth objective sought to determine the perceived contribution of three Afrikaans arts festivals, the KKNK, Innibos and Vryfees festivals, to the arts. Differences in contributions amongst the festivals were analysed and those areas that seemed to lack contribution were identified. Questionnaire surveys were conducted, whereafter an exploratory factor analysis was performed to determine by means of factors the perceived contribution at these arts festivals. ANOVAs were done to determine any statistically significant differences in the contributions of the three festivals to the performing arts and to the visual arts in terms of each contribution as identified in literature. The results of this study indicated that the extent of their contribution varied in terms of both the type and the level of their contribution to the arts they presented. The results confirm that the visitors to Afrikaans arts festivals in South Africa perceive them as contributing to the arts. Marketing, programming and planning proposals to effectively increase the arts contribution at these three festivals were also made. The final objective, to draw conclusions and make recommendations founded on the results of the study, indicated that this study made a significant contribution to arts festival planning as it would lead to the development of arts festivals contributing to the arts more effectively and more efficiently. This research made a significant contribution to arts festival research and the contribution that arts festivals have to the arts, since this is the first of its kind. It was recommended that the actual contribution of arts festivals to the arts be measured and not merely the contributions these festivals may appear to have according to the perceptions of festival visitors. It was also evident that the personal involvement of visitors to the arts festivals must be considered when evaluating the contribution of the festivals to the arts. Future research on this topic should be conducted at other arts festivals in order to enable comparative studies. A better understanding of the contributing factors of the arts festival to the arts will assist festival managers in implementing strategies that ensures the livelihood and on-going contribution of arts festivals to the arts. Examining arts festivals based on their perceived contributions has, therefore, proved useful to comprehensively evaluate the festivals under review and particularly as they seek to increase their contribution to all types of arts.