About Bethesda Arts Centre

You ate dust on the winding Karoo roads getting to the beautiful dorp of Nieu Bethesda? You visited Miss Helen's Owl House? Now just around the corner from the Owl House is a fascinating stop - the Bethesda Arts Centre. Here you will receive a warm welcome and a full tour. Catch a rehearsal or a starlit performance in the open air theatre.

The Courtyard Theatre began its life in 2002 with a play from a visiting company about domestic abuse. The play, Behind Closed Doors, was followed by an animated discussion. The theatre was officially opened in January 2003 with a live reading of new work by Athol Fugard. After two successful productions – The Rainbull and The Conference of Birds – playing to packed houses in the Centre’s own Courtyard Theatre, the Bethesda Theatre Company was established.

They have performed at the Grahamstown Festival as well as at various schools and nearby theatres. Members of the Company are encouraged to learn all facets of theatre, including writing, directing, theatre design and stage management.

The Gallery
A conversation between Kudus, San dancers around the fire, the extraordinary mass of rock that forms the gateway to Nieu Bethesda – the artists from the Bethesda Arts Centre are as varied and individual in subject matter as they are in style.

From Hartlief’s striking animal prints to Booysen’s linear, timeless landscapes or Swiers’s spirited snapshots of daily life, each of these artists has captured something of the parched land and dusty Karoo town of Nieu Bethesda. In all of these upcoming artists, despite their varying age and experience, is a feeling of Africa, in all its richness and variety, and a sense of their place within it.

Centre artists can exhibit and sell their work in the Centre’s own gallery. Income from sale of art goes directly to the artists, in many cases making it possible for them to support their families.

Where can I stay? Dive under the quilts in the magical Bethesda Tower Accommodation.

Things to do in Nieu Bethesda

Accommodation near Bethesda Arts Centre

Bethesda Tower

43 Reviews
Sleeps 8 in 4 rooms

Unique accommodation experienced in an enchanting tower at a vibrant arts centre in the Karoo village of Nieu Bethesda. The Bethesda Arts...
from R350
per night for 2 guests

And the Cow Jumped Over the M...

16 Reviews
Sleeps 10 in 3 rooms

And The Cow Jumped Over The Moon is a purpose-built establishment offering two Self-catering...
from R600
per night for 2 guests

Owlhouse Backpackers

14 Reviews
Sleeps 15 in 12 rooms

Owlhouse Backpackers is a quiet, homely lodge set in an established garden. Accommodation includes private en-suite rooms, dormitories,...
from R280
per night for 2 guests

Starry Nights Guest House

15 Reviews
Sleeps 13 in 4 rooms

Starry Nights Guest House is situated in the lovely town of Nieu Bethesda, and is perfectly situated for guests to enjoy dramatic sunsets...
from R500
per night for 2 guests

The Water Tower

6 Reviews
Sleeps 2 in 1 room

A circular double-storey with an interesting past, The Water Tower sits in a pleasant garden in the heart of Nieu Bethesda. This quirky...
from R420
per night for 2 guests

The Ibis Lounge

7 Reviews
Sleeps 6 in 3 rooms

Has the Karoo’s siren call beckoned you to linger? Now you can rest your weary head here at The Ibis Lounge with a choice of three...
from R900
per night for 2 guests

Bethesda Arts Centre Map

Bethesda Arts Centre is 0.3km from the centre of Nieu Bethesda , the nearest airport 263km (Port Elizabeth Airport).
*Distances are shown as the crow flies and not necessarily the actual travelling

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