ARTS enthusiasts and the creative business community were in for a treat when they attended the 8th Marketplace of Creative Arts festival (MOCAfest).
Activities this year included workshops, masterclasses, panel discussions, visual arts exhibitions, film screenings and performances by over 44 emerging and established artists from 20 Muslim and non-Muslim countries worldwide.
In keeping with the theme of “Preservation of Identity”, the eighth edition of MOCAfest was a hotbed of creative offerings, bringing together artists and audiences of different cultures and backgrounds in a celebration of diverse artistic expression.
Organised by the World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) Foundation, in conjunction with the 11th WIEF, the three-day festival connected people from various creative disciplines and served as an international platform for artists to network with prospective investors from the business community.
WIEF Foundation chairman Tun Musa Hitam said MOCAfest not only aimed to unleash a new wave of talent in the creative arts industry and exposing people to different cultures and art genres but also provided an opportunity to build bridges between the arts and business world.
“The thriving creative arts industry is a powerful development tool that fuels economic growth by igniting innovation and nurturing entrepreneurship among artists.
“It empowers them to use their creativity and skills to create sustainable partnerships with businesses, which will generate jobs, revenue and an improved quality of life.
“We are delighted with the overwhelming public response, especially the youth, with over 50 local university and college students in attendance.
“We believe the 8th MOCAfest was an eye-opening experience for the artists, audiences and potential investors in getting a better understanding of how the arts have an economic impact on the community at large,” he added.
This year’s fest saw the introduction of three new initiatives.
MOCAfest’s very own Souq ran across the three days.
The bazaar, held in partnership with Malaysian festival Tempatan Fest, showcased some of the freshest local brands in clothing as well as exotic crafts from countries such as Morocco, Afghanistan and the Philippines.
There was also the Ideapad, offering artists and budding creative entrepreneurs an avenue to pitch their innovative ideas to potential investors and business partners.
The Sharing Circle sessions that gathered artists, cultural producers and business delegates in fishbowl dialogues also discussed contemporary topics that affect the creative arts industry including the development of a creative workforce and social entrepreneurship.
The Soundscape Concert, one of the longest-running highlights of the festival, featured local and international artists who demonstrated unique combinations of different art genres, celebrating diversity and the power of the arts to bring people together.
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