All set to become a culture, arts hub.

HERITAGE: George Town is poised to be the stage for an arts and culture festival with the entire city serving as the backdrop and venue for events and performances, writes Looi Sue-Chern.

THE entire George Town will be the stage for the month-long George Town Festival (GTF) 2013, from June 7 to July 7.

The city’s old pre-war houses, shoplots, heritage buildings and even kaki lima (five-foot way) will host the festival’s numerous art exhibitions, talks, forums and performances.

While the art pieces and performances dazzle their audience, the venues — including those with old paint peeling off their walls and cracked floors — will give the people a rare chance to feel and experience the pulse, spirit and history of George Town.

GTF director Joe Sidek said the festival would be taking a rather unconventional approach by holding events at unlikely venues, instead of inside convention centres, halls or theatres.

With George Town, a Unesco World Heritage site, as the “backdrop” for the whole festival, he said the venues would be community and public spaces, where everyone could enjoy the events and interact with each other.

“Art should not be disconnected from the people … that is why we aim to bring art and culture to the people. There is a perception that people who appreciate art are those from privileged backgrounds. Some still think that going to see an art performance requires them to be in tuxedos … not in this George Town Festival,” he said in an interview.

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