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Meet this year’s mentor-adjudicators

Curro Holdings is set to kickstart its wildly successful Creative Arts Showcase (CAS) project for 2021, with the announcement of another stellar panel of expert mentor-adjudicators.

The CAS project, which forms part of the group’s creative arts arm, Curro Create, was launched in 2018 and resembles a future-fresh Eisteddfod format. In its pilot year, the project received 1 500 national entries, and was open to only high school learners. Three years down the line, the annual event has since seen great success and growth, with 2020 receiving over 6 000 entries from grades 4 to 12 learners. It has grown to become a platform that recognises and celebrates creativity across a broad range of categories, throughout the Curro network.

With the emergence of COVID-19 in 2020, the project needed to adapt for ‘the show to go on’, and therefore, moved online last year so that learners still had the opportunity to flaunt their talents. In 2021, CAS will offer three possible choices of adjudication: firstly, virtual; secondly, virtual live – here the young artist performs live during a TEAMS video session and the mentor-adjudicator provides support in real time; and finally, should COVID allow, the team may choose to visit schools if warranted by the number of learners who entered.

During the adjudication process, every learner receives individual mentoring input from the expert category adjudicators. The CAS categories range from social media to writing, photography, virtual world creation (coding), film, and arts and crafts, as well as more traditional performance-orientated creative forms, like vocals, instrumentals, reading, dancing, and acting.

The mentor-adjudicators are selected based on three requirements: they need to generate their livelihood from their discipline; they need to have reached a pinnacle of success in that discipline; and they must seek to nurture a flame for educating young creatives in their discipline. This year’s panel of mentor-adjudicators comprises:

  • Play it (instrumental): Melissa van der Spuy
  • Sing it (vocal): Lynelle Kenned and Kyle Seconna
  • Move it (dance): Trudy Fredericks
  • Act it: Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi and Hannah Borthwick
  • Read it: Devonecia Swartz
  • Make it (arts and crafts): Dineke van der Walt
  • Write it: Philip Rademeyer
  • Shoot it (photography): Robert Hamblin
  • Post it (social media): Wilmer Müller
  • Code it (game character design): Daoyi Roodt
  • Code it (worldbuilding and game design): Nielo Wait
  • Film it (music video / short film): SW Strauss
  • Roaming adjudicator (acting, reading, singing): André Terblanché

The CAS project is run in partnership with Wordsmith’s Theatre Factory, managed by renowned director/playwright Hennie van Greunen and actor/musician/television presenter Pedro Kruger. The pair believes that CAS brings the arts platform into a new era through the inclusion of categories beyond the traditional performance aspects of creativity.

Van Greunen stresses that the focus is on celebrating creativity in every child – not on competition. Creativity is such an important skill to be explored and developed at school level that the World Economic Forum earmarked it as one of the top three skills required to thrive in the workplace of the future. As digitisation increases, creativity is increasingly being recognised as a core skill of humanity.

“Our mission is not to create a new generation of musicians or actors or fine artists, but rather to stimulate creativity in each learner so that, no matter what career they end up pursuing, bottomless curiosity will always be part of their fibre. Operating from a place of creativity becomes as natural as breathing. “We reiterate that CAS is not a competition. This is a long-term arts platform where learners can use the mentorship notes that they receive this year, to improve year-on-year on their creative journey.”

“Both Pedro Kruger and I started in youth theatre, and revisiting this through CAS after two decades of professional work feels like coming home,” says Van Greunen. “Curro allows us to be the professionals that we are, and being able to do amazing productions with the learners is truly incredible. During the 2020 CAS project, which happened virtually, we were astounded at the number and quality of entries that we received. We cannot wait to see what the Curro learners come up with in 2021!”

For more information on Curro Create, visit