The creative industries in Nelson Mandela Bay have a home in the renovated Athenæum building complex – upgraded specifically to nurture and transform arts, culture and heritage in the city. Located in the historic suburb of Central, Port Elizabeth, within walking distance of all major city wide transport routes, the building serves as a nexus for creative thinking and pursuits, linking various public art and creative industry sectors.
The Athenæum, a multipurpose creative space, has been restored to its former glory as part of the Mandela Bay Development Agency’s (MBDA) inner city precinct upgrade on behalf of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM) with the financial support of the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF).
The building is Nelson Mandela Bay’s renewed creative hub for showcasing Nelson Mandela Bay and the Eastern Cape’s art, culture, creativity and heritage offering. It offers a variety of spaces for performances, exhibitions, events, conferences, meetings, launches, shows, theatre and workshops, as well as studio and office space. The building has been guided by a collective association known as the Athenæum Club (now Council) – an open society of organisations dedicated to promoting and developing arts, culture and heritage for all the people of the city – for over 100 years.