Celebration focuses on all the Marketing, Advocacy and Eventing which BASA is involved in. This includes 20 Years Strategy, Institutional Marketing, BASA Awards, Symposiums, Foundry Dinners and Arts Journalism Awards. We also continue to work closely with its media partner KayaFM – celebrating the work of BASA members, and their partnerships with the arts. The BASA feature can be found on the Business slot at 17h55 weekly on a Thursday.
We are very proud to announce that our annual awards turn 20 this year! In partnership with Hollard & Business Day, the 20th Annual BASA Awards recognise and celebrate excellence in businesses that embrace and support the arts and culture across South Africa. These partnerships, sponsorships, initiatives and support programmes are critical to growth, job creation and diversity in the arts and broader society. This year, South Africa’s foremost awards celebrating business and arts partnerships are part of a broader commemoration of our 20th anniversary. As we mark this landmark event, BASA has an invigorated focus on Growth, Research, Connectivity and Celebration – all of which serve to confirm our standing in as a leading force in business and arts on the African continent. The 20th Annual BASA Awards will also be used to honour those who have contributed to the growth and success of BASA over the past two decades, including awards partners Hollard & Business Day, both of whom are founding business members of BASA. Entries closed on 30 June 2017 and are currently being processed for judging. Finalists will be announced at a media event in Johannesburg in August, and winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on 17th September.
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Kicking off our 20-year celebration of shared value and equitable partnership was the second successful iteration of the Conduct an Orchestra initiative. The event saw six business and cultural leaders bravely step up to the rostrum to conduct the Johannesburg Festival Orchestra. Ismail Mahomed, CEO of The Market Theatre; Kelly Jackson, GM for Contiki SA; Laurent Miraucourt, Hyperion Analyst Investec; Mark Hawkins, Moving Into Dance’s Artistic Director; Tim Nuttall, Rector of St Stithians College; and Margie Whitehouse, Chief Marketing Officer South African Tourism, were the novice conductors who took the orchestra through a diverse repertoire, under the confident guidance of renowned conductor and BASA Board member Richard Cock. Taking place at the Linder Auditorium Space Frame and part of the Johannesburg International Mozart Festival, this innovative arts-based initiative is growing in popularity. The impetus for the event – which debuted in 2016 – comes from the real similarities between the role of a business leader and a conductor. Through diverse insights, the conducting exercise provides an entertaining way for senior managers to think about their own organisations and leadership skills.
BASA facilitated a panel discussion, supported by a discussion note, at the second South African Cultural Observatory (SACO) National Conference which took place at Johannesburg’s Turbine Hall on May 24th and 25th. Respected global and local subject matter experts, researchers and practitioners spent this time exploring and debating the theme of Creative Economy and Development, drawing on perspectives from around the world and Africa. BASA’s panel, titled Junk status – different futures, different opportunities? asked what the recent conferral of junk status on South Africa means for the cultural sector in real terms, as we move into the future. There was also an examination of how this could impact the economy, the politics, and specifically the daily survival of cultural entrepreneurs and practitioners. Yacoob Abba Omar, Senior General Manager of Strategy and Communications at the Banking Association of South Africa opened the panel with a breakdown of the economic and political results of the status amendment. This overview considered timelines for impact, unexpected outcomes, comparative countries, and possibilities for being upgraded out of junk status. Next up was Luiz Coradazzi, Director of Arts at British Council São Paulo, Brazil, who considered the parallels between South Africa and Brazil, with an analysis of the Latin American context and how an over-connected world is affecting local cultural scenes. He also gave an overview of some of the public debates and initiatives currently taking place in Brazil to address the crisis. Different financial models and scenarios that the creative sector may be required to engage with were explored in the discussion note as potential futures, ranging from a continued combination of public and private sector funding, to only private sector funding, to funding at all, and the discussion pondered how those futures could play out.
CEO Michelle Constant presented at the Shared Value Summit, sponsored by ABSA, in June, on the topic Shared Value – Supporting Empathy, Innovation and Creativity in the Corporate Sector.
Michelle Constant, was part of an Alliance Francaise discussion, facilitated by Imcebo Trust in KwaZulu-Natal. Raymond Perrier, Director of the Denis Hurley, chaired the discussion, and Constant was joined by Rosemary Mangope, CEO of the National Arts Council of South Africa, and Xavier Clarisse, Durban-based international artist and Founder/Designer at Clarisse Design. The theme Business Arts Africa: adding value was chosen to embrace the many ways that artists can come together with their peers, with business, with civil society and government, in order to identify and pursue opportunities to develop and market their skills in South Africa and elsewhere in the continent, particularly in Francophone countries.
BASA’s Head of Programmes and Development, Lonwabo Mavuso, was invited to present on private sector investment in the creative industries as part of a panel in Kenya. The event, Finance in the Creative Industries, was organised by HEVA Fund and held on March 8th and 9th. The purpose of the event was to explore different financing options for the creative industries. Equity finance, debt finance, the role of grants, sponsorship and angel investors were covered. “The success of this event is that it has given me new ways of thinking with regards to financing the creative sector in South Africa,” says Mavuso. “There is an opportunity to further explore different options of how the private sector can engage in the creative and cultural sector.”
On June 23rd BASA presented at the “Youth Empowerment Public Art Exhibitions in the Year of OR Tambo” which brought together approximately 100 young people from Ekurhuleni to participate, discuss and contribute to the importance of this political icon. Linking with Youth Day, the event also discussed the importance of the day and highlighted some of the challenges facing youth today – including HIV-Aids, unemployment and substance abuse. The aim was to encourage young people to find solutions to some of their challenges and address what the contemporary issues are that can help uplift young people. The National Youth Policy, the African Youth Charter, and socio-economic opportunities through DAC’s, MGE and Ekurhuleni Municipality were explored in interesting creative ways. BASA’s presentation introduced the youth of Ekurhuleni to the organisation, addressed the value of the arts in society, and explored potential career opportunities in the arts.
BASA was invited to host a stand at the DAC Youth Trade Fair, which aimed to share information about opportunities available in the creative sector. This gave BASA the opportunity to begin interacting with individuals who will be the future entrepreneurs in our budding creative industry, and to market the Debut Programme to young artists and creative entrepreneurs.
BASA has welcomed these new staff members this year:
In April, BASA CEO Michelle Constant was selected to attend a Cultural Leadership Course at King’s College London. Leading Culture in the 21st Century saw 18 cultural and organisational leaders from countries including China, Russia, Ethiopia, Australia and more, engaging in a week-long course focusing the challenges of leadership with regards to policy, infrastructure, HR, strategy and broader society. “I feel very lucky to have attended the course, not least because of the learning’s through extremely diverse experiences, but also because of the excellent connections I’ve made internationally,” says Michelle. She was supported both by a British Council bursary and by RMB.
Stemming from our role in the COSY project, BASA was invited to participate in the Entrepreneurial Africa: Training of Trainers Conference, hosted by the British Council Senegal in Dakar from May 8th to 13th. The training was attended by representatives from British Council offices and their partner organisations in seven countries in Sub-Sahara Africa, with Kim Sanssoucie, BASA’s Programme Manager – Creative Management, representing BASA. Plans are currently underway to cascade this training in South Africa, starting by training staff members of COSY partners (British Council South Africa, BASA, Livity Africa, and Lifeco Unltd South Africa). This will enable the partners to incorporate the training within the framework of the COSY project, as well as in separate training events (in BASA’s case, within the Established Education Programme).