More than 113 Western Cape schools and a total of about 3 200 primary and high school learners will be taking part in this year’s Artscape Schools’ Arts Festival from Thursday 11 to Wednesday 31 August at the Artscape Theatre. “The Arts have a central role to play in nation building, and in building social cohesion,” says Artscape’s director of audience development and education, Thokozile Ntshinga.“The Schools’ Arts Festival gives learners the opportunity to showcase their talent on a professional stage in the form of music, verse or dance. The festival also stimulates a love for theatre and the performing arts, while creating an individual sense of self-esteem, pride and achievement.”The 2016 Schools’ Arts Festival was initiated and coordinated by Artscape’s School Liaison Unit with funding by the HCI Foundation and Die Burger. It aims to encourage nation building as young people and their parents from different cultural backgrounds come together to experience a common goal.From over 113 participating schools, 20 will be selected on merit and sponsored with transport to the Artscape Theatre. Approximately 15 schools will share the same stage each evening, contributing to an exciting and diverse theatre experience, from classical choirs to contemporary dance. The festival culminates in a glittering gala performance on Thursday 1 September by selected schools, attended by various dignitaries. This festival will also enable the learners to obtain theatre discipline and etiquette.This year’s festival will be adjudicated by Charles Banjatwa, Phillip Swales, Sifiso Kweyama and Anina Lundi.V Tickets to watch the performances cost R40 and are available through Artscape Dial-a-Seat on 021 421 7839 and Computicket.