The project is focussed on developing new content that is culturally relevant and which speaks to the needs of the local population. In addition, the project is developing the capacity to produce own content, thereby making us less reliant on very expensive licenses, and keeping our planetarium offerings fresh. The Iziko Planetarium in Cape Town was upgraded earlier in 2017 and has a similar digital planetarium projection system as that of the Naval Hill Planetarium. The exchange of locally developed content has already started.
The 2017 Free State Arts Festival taking place in Bloemfontein from 18-22 July is the ideal opportunity to showcase the content developed through this project so far. This festival is thus a 6 month milestone for the project.
In preparation for the Arts Festival, the project team held multiple work and training sessions. After the Arts Festival, new skills and techniques that members applied in their contributions to various shows and presentations will be shared with other team members during follow-up training and skills transfer sessions.
One of the critical skills for future programme development is to establish a smooth platform between graphics and animation software programmes used by South African graphics companies. To achieve this, a collaboration has been established with the graphics department of the Central University of Technology (CUT) in Bloemfontein to produce a special presentation for the Arts Festival that includes bespoke animations and original music compositions that will be performed live.