Introducing Bluez Cafe
Situated in the heart of the city of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, at the corner of Lobengula Street and 8th Avenue Extension, Bluez Cafe is:
- A social enterprise by Nhimbe Trust, in partnership with the Youth Contact Centre of Bulawayo
- A cultural hub, serving largely, but not exclusively, the arts community in Bulawayo comprising producers of arts, arts practitioners and audiences
- Multi-disciplinary: music, poetry, theatre, food-as-culture
- A premier cultural citizen’s meeting space
- Event-driven, measuring results in terms of number, diversity of arts events and benefit to and attendance of arts audiences and artists
- Commercially regulated in legal terms (noting there are no up-to-date or specific laws applying to a cultural hub or a social enterprise)
- Mostly funded by self-generated revenues: box office, food and beverage, functions, hire
- 80-85% self-sustainable through such revenue generation
- All management and policy decisions relating to the work and programming (arts content) of Bluez Café are made with the view of responding to a defined and articulated need of the arts community, mainly in Bulawayo but increasingly embracing national outreach (cultural decentralisation).
The primary focus of Bluez Café is towards local arts production and dissemination to national and global audiences, while hosting some of the finest Zimbabwean and international artists:
- Creative concept and skills development (performance platforms, workshops, exchanges, collaborations and dialogue)
- Arts production and delivery/dissemination to local and international arts audiences
The secondary focus is towards Pan African and other cultural exchanges:
- Arts collaborations, fusions, inward and outward exchanges, tours and residencies involving cultural exchange between Zimbabwe and mainly African countries as a partial fulfillment of the 2005 UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, and the AU Agenda 2063’s Aspirations on Culture.
What’s in a name?
Bluez is a colloquial name for Bulawayo, a tribute to its beautiful wide blue skies.