JOHOR BAHRU: Fifteen years on and the Johor Arts Festival is still doing its best to educate, engage and empower the community through the arts.
Festival director Suzie Yap said that The Johor Society for the Performing Arts (JSPA) which organises the festival yearly is extremely proud of its achievements throughout the years.
“Fifteen years ago, when we started this, we reached out to as many schools as possible and we managed to plant the art-loving seed in them.
Now, they keep coming back to our festival. They bring their friends, their spouses, their children and slowly the art community grows,” she said during the launch of the 15th Johor Arts Festival (15JohorAF) held at the Persada Johor International Convention Centre on Sept 3.
Suzie said the Johor Arts Festival has hosted hundreds of local and international artists and has also played a part in the discovery of many local talents as well.
“For example, the image of our festival this year is a beautiful intricate warrior by talented Johorean graphic artist, Mulo.
“Like Mulo, we work with many other local talents and we’re proud to show them off and shine the spotlight on them,” she said.
Suzie also thanked the community, the government and the many private organisations for their support and hoped that they would continue to do so in years to come.
“We have the passion but we also need help especially monetary help in order to keep holding these art events which in my opinion, contribute to shaping the soul of the community.
The launch of 15JohorAF coincided with a spectacular performance by the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) entitled from Mozart to Totoro.
The performance included Mozart’s celebrated Marriage of Figaro Overture and Symphony No. 40, followed by the lively Mercu Kegemilangan by local composer Vivian Chua.
The audience was also brought on a journey into the fantastic worlds of Hayao Miyazaki with music from Castle in the Sky and My Neighbour Totoro.
15JohorAF takes place from Sept 1 until Sept 23 and will include an array of performances including a special show by comedian Joanne Kam, a big band jazz performance called Tarakucha! by Sean Ghazi and Ida Mariana, forums, exhibitions, film screenings and many many more.
For further details, log on to www.jspa.org/15johoraf or log on to JSPA’s Facebook page.