BASA regional reps reflect on growth in KZN, Western Cape and Eastern Cape
Last edited: October 08, 2010
Posted by BASA
A concerted regional drive is bearing fruit for Business and Arts South Africa.
The Johannesburg-based organisation has expanded its reach with the appointment of three regional representatives in the Western Cape, Kwa-Zulu Natal and the Eastern Cape.
Award-winning dancer and choreographer, David Gouldie, is Business and Arts South Africaâ€™s representative in Kwa-Zulu Natal whilst marketing and PR expert, Melanie Manson is responsible for the organisation in the Eastern Cape region. The Western Cape is represented by Thessa Bos, who was previously the commercial and cultural affairs officer at the Netherlands Consulate in Cape Town and now owns The Fringe Arts with partner Chantal Louw.
All three report a substantial increase in awareness of Business and Arts South Africaâ€™s work in their respective regions â€“ as well as tangible results through exciting arts and business partnerships.
â€œWeâ€™ve moved particularly fast in the area of mentorship,â€ says Cape Town-based Bos. With the assistance of Diana Williams in the Business and Arts South Africa head office, Bos has brought several highly skilled mentors on board through Business and Arts South Africa's Mentorship Programme, which is supported by Standard Bank..
Among these is Gordon Massie, the MD of Artinsure, whose work with the Visual Arts Network (VANSA) Western Cape earned him a nomination in the Mentor of the Year category at the recent 13th Annual Business Day BASA Awards, supported by Anglo American. Other significant mentor partnerships in the Western Cape are Niall Kramer (Chevron regional marketing manager) working with Susan Glanville-Zini of Iziko Museums, Sue Murray (of the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra) working with Blank Projects and Irma Albers of Distell working with the Jungle Theatre Company,
Bos also reports new membership (recent new members include Interactive Africa, the Cape Town Partnership, the South African National Gallery, the Grand Daddy, and iFraternity, a recruitment and transformation strategy consulting agency, which is collaborating with Business and Arts South Africa for the Western Capeâ€™s first Boardbank event at the end of October).
â€œThe Western Cape has an incredible number of well-established, functioning, high-quality arts organisations,â€ Bos says of her region.
â€œAnd we would like to see more businesses, both nationally and locally getting involved in these projects.â€
Kwa-Zulu Natal has also seen some exciting new developments in the past few months. One of these has been The Sharks (Pty) Ltd , becoming a BASA member, joining South African Rugby Union as sports entities supporting the arts. The Sharks actively supports the arts by inserting an arts section in the match-day programme that highlights arts events as well as offering poster space in the stadium.
â€œOur BASA involvement in this region is very important as most businesses head offices are based in Gauteng and Durban arts practitioners battle for funding,â€ reports Gouldie.
Gouldie does point to several recent key successes including the early September Red Eye Jomba which saw Black Coffee offering R30 000 in technical support, Beanbag Bohemia offering accommodation for performers and Echo Bravo offering poster and flyer designs for free. According to Gouldie, Red Eye Jomba â€“ which crosses all arts disciplines and takes place at the Durban Art Gallery â€“ is a â€œgreat example of how Durban works as it involved over 50 artists from different genres of the arts and over 3000 people attendedâ€.
Port Elizabeth-based Melanie Manson also points to the challenges of getting business to understand the value of arts sponsorship in the Eastern Cape. Manson, however, is fully focused on an awareness drive around the benefits of Business and Arts South Africa membership as well as the value of elements of the organisationâ€™s work â€“ like supporting grants.
â€œMany arts organisations and NPOâ€™s were unaware of the Supporting Grant and it has taken a lot of â€œinfo sessionsâ€, presentations, addressing exhibition openings, to get the word out,â€ she says.
However, Manson is seeing positive strides for a region that has been hard-hit by the global recession and is actively seeking corporate mentors to â€œupskill artists in vital areas such as compiling business plans, marketing, technology, accountingâ€.
One of the recent projects that Business and Arts South Africa has supported through the Supporting Grant Scheme in the Eastern Cape was Xpressions 2010, which ran over the period of the 2010 FIFA World Cup until the end of July. It featured the work of 36 Eastern Cape artists at the Ron Belling Gallery and was sponsored by RMB, along with the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University â€“ all entities are BASA members.
Another success in the Eastern Cape region is the ABSA Fugard Festival which ran from 23-26 September in Nieu Bethesda. â€œFrom humble beginnings last year with the ATKV as sole sponsor, this year ABSA came on board for naming rights plus the ATKV â€“ also recent BASA members,â€ reports Manson.
â€œWe are very pleased at the impact of our regional representation,â€ says Business and Arts South Africa CEO, Michelle Constant. â€œItâ€™s heartening to see passionate arts supports like Melanie, David and Thessa making real inroads in establishing sustainable business and arts partnerships and we look forward to establishing more regional presence across the country in the near future.â€
To contact Business and Arts South Africaâ€™s regional representatives:
â€¢ Melanie Manson - Eastern Cape
â€¢ David Gouldie - Kwa-Zulu Natal
â€¢ Thessa Bos - Western Cape