CULTURAL ENGAGEMENT AT KEYES ART MILE
Since it first opened in 2016, Keyes Art Mile has closed off Keyes Avenue to traffic on the first Thursday of every month so that people can enjoy an evening of art, music and casual street food in a safe and ambient environment.
Due to the immense popularity of the event, visitor numbers increased over the months – at times reaching up to 6 000 people – and some of the galleries opted not to extend opening hours late into the evening for safety and security reasons – of both people and art. The success of the event was becoming a liability to the very core of the reason for gathering at Keyes in the first place and people’s safety became a priority.
In October 2018, Keyes Art Mile took the decision to implement a ticketing system and a gated entrance so that numbers could be limited to 2 500 people. The first 600 online tickets are FREE to ensure that the event is accessible to all and the balance of the tickets are well-priced at R65 online or R95 on the night at the gate.
Keyes Art Mile does not profit from vendor takings or from ticket sales. Ticket sales contribute directly towards the live music as well as the logistics needed to comply with the City of Johannesburg requirements to make the event safe and secure for everyone.
There are a number of aspects to the arts programme at Keyes. Currently, there are four galleries in the Precinct – Everard Read, CIRCA, SMAC and TMRW – all of which are open and free from Tuesday to Saturday every week for the public to enjoy at no charge. The Atrium and Mesh Club host exhibitions and art programmes and Talking Art at Keyes is into its second season. These initiatives are free of charge to the public.
Of these offerings, SMAC, The Atrium, Mesh Club and TMRW Galleries are open in the evening on the first Thursday of every month.
The evenings are further enhanced by arranging live music in the form of a band and a DJ, while food trucks offer people various options to eat and drink. Closing off the street for pedestrians to move freely and safely is also a significant undertaking and something quite special to do in Johannesburg, at night and mid-week.
Keyes Art Mile has been making incremental changes to the format and offering of the evening – not only to address the safety and enjoyment of the experience, but to ensure that cultural engagement is at the core of every event.
Please watch this space because we will shortly be sending out an announcement with updated information of the event.