Durban - The future of four acclaimed arts festivals in Durban could be in the balance as Peter Rorvik, director of the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Centre for Creative Arts, is being replaced next year.

Rorvik is to take up a post in mid-January as secretary-general of Arterial Network at the African Arts Institute in Cape Town. The organisation, with official chapters in 40 countries, plays a critical role in supporting arts advocacy and development in the creative sector in Africa.

During his 13 years with the centre, Rorvik, who announced earlier this year that his extended contact with the university would expire on December 31, ushered in an exciting period for arts and culture in the city.

This was represented by the centre’s annual festivals – Time of the Writer, Poetry Africa, the Jomba! Contemporary Dance Experience, and Durban International Film Festival. Rorvik has been instrumental in growing the festivals and related industry programmes into locally and internationally acclaimed events.

“It has been a privilege working with amazing cultural practitioners from numerous artistic disciplines, and creating public platforms for their work. Culture feeds the soul of society and should not be taken for granted,” said Rorvik.

He added: “I trust that the work we have built up will continue to flourish.”

Rorvik said the advertising, shortlisting, interview and appointment process for his replacement could take three months. Dr Yolisa Nompula, of UKZN’s faculty of education, has been appointed as acting director of the centre since November, and would oversee the centre’s activities until the new director was appointed.

Asked if he had concerns about the centre and the future of the arts festivals it supported, Rorvik replied: “We have built up some… important festivals and the potential exists to grow them… We trust the incoming management will take up this work with enthusiasm and diligence.”

Kishore Gobardan, director of professional services for the College of Humanities said:

“The appointment of the film festival manager and the project manager should be finalised before the end of the year as interviews have already been concluded.” - The Mercury