SCA Holds Maiden Creative Arts Conference

The School of Creative Arts (SCA), in collaboration with the Centre for Research, Culture, and Creative Arts, University of Education, Winneba (UEW), has organised its maiden Creative Arts Conference. It was under the theme: "(Re)developing Creative Arts Education Policy and Research for Sustainable Industrial Development."

The three-day conference, under the chairmanship of Prof. Mawutor Avoke, Vice-Chancellor of UEW, was graced by the Director of Creative Arts Council, Ghana, Ms. Gyankroma Akufo-Addo, the Executive Director, National Commission on Culture, Madam Janet Edna Nyame and other notable figures in the creative arts space.  

The conference was held simultaneously in person at the SCA Theatre and virtually via Zoom, from Tuesday, 28th to Thursday, 30th June, 2022. The conference created an opportunity for participants to connect and discuss issues to strengthen the effective facilitation of arts education in Ghana. 

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Andy Ofori-Birikorang, who represented Prof. Mawutor Avoke, called for much more attention to be paid to the creative arts sector to help the country achieve significant development.

“If we want to brand this university, we must pay attention to the School of Creative Arts. The creative arts industry inspires us to do things, and it is only through this inspiration that we get the energy of creativity. Unless we are inspired, we can never be creative. It is, therefore, heartwarming that this event is creating cultural visibility for what we do as a university and what we do as members of the Creative Arts industry," he said.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Andy Ofori-Birikorang highlights the importance of creative arts in the branding of UEW.

The Dean of SCA, Prof. Patrique deGraft-Yankson, expressed delight in Ghanaians’ general consideration of arts as part of problem-solving avenues, especially through culture and some informal sectorial practices over the years. 

He, however, indicated that the formal and informal training attitudes and proficiencies required to make the arts a significant tool for defining and planning result-oriented human activities for quality living were lacking. He stated that this could be accomplished through conscious and deliberate participation in Creative Arts Education policies and research.

Some art educators and art lovers who participated in the event

"Our responsibilities, as art educators, should be to think through ways in which implementable policies and research in arts education in Ghana could become integral to our duties so that our functions can lead to effective expression and participation in this increasingly arts-mediated world. It is for this, and many other such reasons, that this conference has been organised," he revealed.

The keynote speaker, Prof. Daniel Kodzo Avorgbedor, suggested a new rationale to stimulate and guard projects in (re)developing creative arts education policy and research for industrial development. He was hopeful that the ideas and examples mentioned would certainly inspire creative arts professionals towards taking initiatives to help accelerate the momentum towards decolonising Ghanaian educational policies and pedagogies beyond narrow conceptions of the creative arts and towards advancing research projects that would support and diversify the creative arts industry.  

From bottom (L-R); Keynote Speaker, Prof. Daniel Kodzo Avorgbedor, Ms. Gyankroma Akufo-Addo, Prof. Patrique deGraft-Yankson and Madam Janet Edna Nyame

The Director, Creative Arts Council, Ghana, Ms. Gyankroma Akufo-Addo, stated that arts education improves skills such as literacy and critical thinking that are transferable to other subjects like the sciences and humanities. She underscored the need to support and encourage children who show an interest in the arts to pursue their passion and unearth budding talents.

The Executive Director, National Commission on Culture, Madam Janet Edna Nyame, on her part, encouraged lecturers and students in the creative arts field to conduct research that would identify critical political, socio-cultural, and economic issues and provide creative solutions, adding that the country would produce more entrepreneurs, who would, in turn, create more job opportunities. 

Prof. Andy Ofori-Birikorang and faculty members pose in a picture after successful conference