Best Practice Case Studies

Art Champion – Jack Ginsberg


Jack Ginsberg is a passionate supporter of South African contemporary art and founding patron of The Ampersand Foundation (TAF), a non-profit charitable Trust which rewards excellence in the visual arts by granting Ampersand Fellowship Awards to young professional South African contemporary visual artists and arts administrators. These prestigious awards enable artists to visit New York and its museums and galleries, thereby benefiting the artists’ career development. These Awards offer recipients a funded two month residency at the Ampersand apartment in New York. The fund also supports local artists by buying their artwork and donating it to museums and galleries.

Ginsberg received the 2014 Inyathelo Award for Philanthropy in the Arts. The Inyathelo Philanthropy Awards were established in 2007 by The South African Institute for Advancement to acknowledge, celebrate and profile those who have committed their personal resources towards broader social development in South Africa. Ginsberg now joins a list of over eighty philanthropists including the likes of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu.

In 2013, Ginsberg was awarded the Art Champion Award at the 16th Annual Business Day BASA Awards, in recognition of his outstanding achievement in support for the arts (over forty years of visual arts support). Alongside being the founder of the Ampersand Foundation Residency Programme in New York, he is a board member and on-going art donor to the Wits Arts Museum. Ginsberg also helps fund the Artist Proof Studio – an innovative and engaged community printmaking centre in Newtown, Johannesburg. He has provided New York fellowships for four of their artists.

BASA describes Ginsberg “as the epitome of a true art patron.”

Previous BASA Award Art Champion Winners:

Best Practice Case Studies

KPMG Services (Pty) Ltd. – “We are KPMG”


KPMG is an international network of member firms offering audit, tax and advisory services to business corporations, governments and public sector agencies, and not-for-profit organisations. Sustaining and enhancing the quality of this professional workforce is KPMG’s primary objective, and clients look to KPMG for a consistent standard of service based on high order professional capabilities, industry insight and local knowledge.

Realising that strategy needed to be clarified for stakeholders, the corporate “mood” needed lifting, and staff needed to be reminded that, despite a challenging business environment, KMPG offers a positive working environment, an arts campaign was employed. “We are KPMG” used art as a visual metaphor for high performance, since artists are creative, inspired, courageous experts that set new trends. This project was an integral part of refreshing and communicating the firm’s strategy, and communicating in a fun and uplifting manner.

KPMG used art as a vehicle to communicate a number of key messages in a very unique way to its people, while clarifying strategy and setting goals and targets for the business. A mobi-site was introduced, allowing staff to follow the campaign even if they were out of the office. This provided them with a platform to engage with KPMG and contribute to creating the strategy - their comments helped to clarify organisational priorities and guiding principles.

The project reached all 3 000 of KPMG’s staff through live activations and the mobi-site. Once the strategy was finalised, the strategic framework was introduced through department and office workshops involving every single individual at every level in the firm. These were presented by the departmental managing partners and focused on “creating the firm of the future.”

KPMG is particularly proud of the opportunity that was created for 13 South African artists to gain corporate exposure. One of the artists, Dot Vermeulen, went on to win the Sasol new signatures prize – she commented that the KPMG commission paid for the production of her winning work.

The 5 masterpieces (paralleled with KPMG’s proudest moments) and the 12 new works that were commissioned around the country (as interpretations of the unique contributions of each of KPMG’s South African offices) have been framed for display in KPMG’s offices. These have now become part of KPMG’s permanent art collection and will serve as timeless reminders of the firm’s proudest moments.

Furthermore, KPMG created an artists’ DVD, which included stills and video (where available) of each of the participating artists with their works and their interpretation of the artists’ brief. KPMG envisions that these will add value to the individual artists’ portfolios and assist them with accessing greater corporate exposure in future.

Business Case Studies

Standard Bank of South Africa Limited, with the National Arts Festival – Standard Bank Jazz Festival, Grahamstown.

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Standard Bank has a 151-year history in South Africa, and started building a franchise in the rest of Africa in the early 1990s.  The bank currently operates in 20 countries on the African continent, including South Africa, as well as in other selected emerging markets.  Standard Bank subscribes to the Code of Banking Practice, a set of principles governing banking in South Africa and ensuring the highest standards of professionalism, integrity, and fairness.  Furthermore, Standard Bank is involved in community activities, including bursaries awarded to top performers and sponsorships.  The Standard Bank Jazz Festival in Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, is in partnership with the National Arts Festival.

The National Arts Festival is the biggest annual celebration of the arts on the African continent, making use of approximately 50 venues throughout the Grahamstown area for 11 days over June/July.  It consists of a Main and Fringe programme, both administered by the National Arts Festival Office, comprising drama, dance, physical theatre, comedy, opera, music, jazz, visual art exhibitions, film, student theatre, street theatre, lectures, craft fair, workshops, tours (of the city and surrounding historic places) and a children’s arts festival.  The event has always been open to all regardless of race, colour, sex or creed – the lack of censorship or artistic restraint made the festival a forum for political and protest theatre during apartheid, and it still offers an opportunity for experimentation, a forum for new ideas and is an indicator of future trends in the arts.

Standard Bank has been a sponsor of the National Arts Festival since 1984, and in 1991 the bank took over the jazz festival.  In 1998 the bank also took over support of the National Youth Jazz Festival, and both festivals were united under one umbrella to create one of the leading jazz properties in South Africa.

The festival reaches a niche, discerning audience.  It operates in a genderless, non-racial environment that feeds the intellect, is aspirational in nature, and provides opportunities for unique hospitality experiences that support relationship building objectives.  It features a dedicated long-term programme of education and development, encouraging youth participation and excellence in jazz professions and performances.  The festival attracts high levels of loyalty and recognition from the jazz community and audiences.  This sponsorship has also formed the basis for Standard Bank’s ownership of the Jazz genre generally – territory that can be utilised by the Bank to great effect in driving business and deepening relationships with key stakeholders and customers.

This festival has a major impact on the music industry as a whole, developing skills, strengthening business and entrepreneurial expertise, and creating job opportunities.  It contributes to improved social interaction and understanding as young musicians from varied backgrounds spend a week learning and playing music together.  Support of the jazz festival impacts on the contribution to the overall festival which is the biggest income generator and job creator in one of the poorest regions of the country.  It positions Standard Bank as a leading organisation in South Africa, through the provision of select “money can’t buy hospitality” opportunities, as well as providing opportunities to drive relationship banking propositions where relevant.

The way Standard Bank approaches the investment in the Standard Bank Jazz Festival demonstrates how a company can effectively balance the three key targets and beneficiaries of arts sponsorship – audiences, artists and brand – and deliver value to all three.  The partnership goes beyond merely writing cheques and erecting branding.  The bank has contributed to the shaping and direction of the Jazz Festival over several decades, building it into one of the country’s most respected music events, while never intruding on, and always remaining true to, the event’s core values.

Business Case Studies

Nando’s Chickenland (Pty) Ltd. partnered with Yellowwoods Art – Nando’s Art Initiative

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Nando’s restaurants, as well as its sauces and grocery range, can be found around the globe.  The restaurants strive to provide patrons with hospitality and a warm South African welcome.  Each Nando’s restaurant has its own unique design, but they all have earthy textures and colours reminiscent of their Afro-Portuguese roots, and feature original, local South African art and unique design touches.  Nando’s values integrity and quality products and service.

Yellowwoods Art, an amalgamation of Jeanetta Blignaut Art Consultancy and Spier Arts Trust, is a patron to pioneering artists across the continent.  Driven by the core belief that artists are the pioneers of our culture, Yellowwoods Art conceives programmes that create opportunities for these artists, thereby facilitating successful art careers.  These programmes are supported by a broad base of skills development projects geared at emerging artists, and leading up towards a narrower pool of high-end, sophisticated projects which partner with the best established artists from the African continent.  They include, among others, Spier Arts Academy, The Creative Block, and Qubeka, as well as the commissioning of site-specific, architectural-scale artworks.

Since 2001, Yellowwoods Art and Nando’s have been in partnership nurturing local talent, developing artists’ careers, creating access to art and showcasing South African creativity through displaying contemporary African art on the walls of over 1000 Nando’s restaurants in 24 countries world-wide.

The strategic objective of the Nando’s Art Initiative is to demonstrate Nando’s commitment to investing in the people of South Africa, nurturing talent and showcasing their creativity to the world through restaurant and public art installations.  Nando’s believes in making a valuable contribution to the creative community, not only through once off purchases, but also by providing regular support and income through various strategic artists’ programmes, developed and managed by Yellowwoods Art.  This partnership is building a sustainable social model by elevating the artists’ careers, while at the same time building the value of the Nando’s art collection.

Having the largest collection of South African art displayed internationally (comprising 11 000 pieces from emerging and established artists from various social and economic backgrounds) distinguishes Nando’s from other food chains and builds long term brand equity and value.  Installing this collection on the walls of Nando’s restaurants enhances the patron experience and provides increased access to art through a welcoming and non-intimidating environment.  The Louvre Museum sees over 8.3 million visitors a year, while Nando’s around the world sees over 80 million.  “I feel that the Nando’s Art Initiative project deconstructs the elitist image that art is only for the select few, and it allows many people who would normally not view art to enjoy it while they enjoy their dining experience.” – Henk Serfontein, Artist.

The initiative supports over 320 artists on a regular basis.  Nando’s takes a particular interest in young, emerging artists.  Its support has enabled many artists to focus full-time on their art and, as a result, become established artists, many of whom have now achieved representation by galleries.  Knowing that there is an opportunity for artworks to be handed in monthly and, if accepted into the collection, paid for on the same day, has increased the artists’ productivity and opened up their willingness to explore the creative realm.  The more secure environment also allows them to take bigger risks and experience enhanced capacity for freedom of expression: “Having a wife and children and being an artist is very challenging.  With Nando’s support… knowing that I’m taking care of them frees me up to devote more energy and time to my art and the creative process.” – Dion Cupido, Artist.

Artists’ skills development is another key aspect of the initiative.  The artists are given professional critiques and regular feedback on their artworks by Jeanetta Blignaut, CEO of Yellowwoods Art and curator of the Nando’s art collection.  This makes a significant contribution to the growth and development of the artists’ works over time.

One of the most exciting sourcing strategies is a monthly event known as the Chicken Run.  Here, the Yellowwoods Art team travel the country in search of work, “inspiring artists to keep on producing new, fresh pieces.”  This monthly event takes place in Johannesburg and Cape Town, and will soon include Zimbabwe.  To name a few success stories through the ongoing support of the Chicken Run: Ricky Dayolyi has been able to turn his passion for art into a full-time career and is now represented by the prestigious Everard Read Gallery, and Lindile Nagunya has been able to build a house for his family in Khayelitsha and contribute his skills to local community art projects.