Business Case Studies

BASA at 20: A model for facilitating successful, sustainable business-arts partnerships

2017/2018 is a significant time for Business and Arts South Africa as we celebrate 20 years of supporting strategic partnerships between business and the arts, whilst helping transform the creative South African arts landscape.

Conceived in 1997 as a partnership between several South African corporates and the now Department of Arts and Culture (DAC), over the past two decades BASA has grown to include a wide spread of different stakeholders. These include diverse business members, the creative sector, organisations within the Southern African region and a growing slate of project-specific partners.

In our 20th year, it is fitting that we acknowledge and celebrate those who have contributed to the growth and success of our organisation. The DAC has been a crucial partner from the very beginning and we are also grateful for the contribution of our dedicated board members, our Founding CEO Nicola Danby, our Founding Chair Mary Slack, and original staff member Maureen Benya. Alongside those who have played an historical role in BASA’s evolution, we must highlight the trailblazing businesses and art organisations that are the very reason BASA exists today – and are why we can look so far ahead with anticipation of new and exciting collaborations in business and the arts.

BASA’s stakeholders:

  • 126 business members
  • members of the creative sector
  • organisations within the Southern African region and even further afield
  • project-specific partners.

This landmark year has seen BASA focus on four key areas – GROWTH, RESEARCH, CONNECTIVITY, and CELEBRATION.

126 business members, the creative sector, Southern African organisations and project-specific partners #BASA@20 #stakeholders Click To Tweet
BASA at 20: Research


Integrated research supports BASA’s standing as a unique Knowledge Hub.

Over the last 20 years of business and arts partnerships, BASA has collected valuable RESEARCH which will now be put to productive use as we move forward into the next decade.

BASA has a raft of research documents that we use in our regular consultancy service that we offer to corporates. This research is primarily drawn from BASA’s Biannual ArtsTrack Research, the BASA Supporting Grants programme, the BASA Awards and our other arts-based initiatives. This consolidated research will provide crucial insights into best practice and shifts and trends – all of which will be used to inform the next generation of arts-business partnerships.

Our research expertise and experience once again underline BASA’s value to government, business and the arts sector in our next decade. In particular, BASA supports our members on a consultancy basis, using our research and broader partnerships to provide a diversity of businesses with arts-based intelligence and arts-based initiatives as a way of significantly supporting their strategic goals. BASA additionally uses our research learnings to create opportunities, and to connect the public sector, private sector and the arts sector (or third sector) – both in South Africa and across our borders.

Our consolidated 20 years of research launches at #2018BASAResearchColloquium, supporting our standing as a #UniqueKnowledge Hub #BASA@20 Click To Tweet
BASA at 20: Growth


Our growth helps make art organisations “opportunity ready”

GROWTH is best exemplified by new programmes that have provided and supported knowledge transfer, skills development, and training within the cultural and creative sector, helping to make arts organisations “opportunity ready”. Through skills development, BASA provides agency and access to the arts sector in order to support its engagement with the business sector. In our 20th year, we aim to start consolidating our diverse programmes and find ways to ensure systemic change. In this mix is The Business Exchange Programme, the BASA First Rand Foundation Creative Mapping System and the RMB Ecosystems and Systemic Change Pilot: Keiskamma.

BASA at 20: Connectivity


Our growth helps make art organisations “opportunity ready”

GROWTH is best exemplified by new programmes that have provided and supported knowledge transfer, skills development, and training within the cultural.

BASA at 20: Celebration


Marking our achievements

Our 20th year is about taking stock of our achievements, and part of that is a CELEBRATION that focuses on our marketing, advocacy and eventing. This includes our 20 Year Strategy, Institutional Marketing, the BASA Awards, Symposiums, Foundry Dinners and the Arts Journalism Awards. We also continue to work closely with our media partner KayaFM in celebrating the work of BASA members, and their partnerships with the arts. The BASA feature can be heard on the Business slot on Kaya Bizz with Gugulethu Cele at 17h20 weekly each Thursday.

We are immensely proud that our prestigious annual BASA Awards are South Africa’s only awards honouring business-arts partnerships over a defined 12 month period – collaborations worth acknowledging for the remarkable impact they have made to our broader landscape. During 2017, in partnership with Hollard & Business Day, the 20th Annual BASA Awards recognised and celebrated excellence in businesses that embraced and supported 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 itself. Our 20th BASA Award winners were announced at the awards ceremony held at Nirox Sculpture Park on 17th September.

Our twenty years of enabling, supporting and prompting partnerships and collaborations has stimulated a surge in shared value for business and the arts.

BASA is proud to be the thread holding this vibrant and diverse tapestry together, for the benefit of every single member of our society.

Celebrating 20 years of brokering strategic business and arts partnerships and helping transform South Africa’s arts landscape #BASA@20 Click To Tweet