Michelle Constant, BASA chief executive: “Making creativity and the arts drivers of economic growth and of entrepreneurial strategy.”
Taking place at Jozi’s fresh, new downtown venue, Victoria Yards, Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) today announced the winners of the 21st BASA Awards, partnered by Hollard.
The annual BASA Awards recognise and honour businesses that invest in an inclusive economy through art. Guests included the cream of the corporate and entrepreneurial world; artists representing every genre of creativity; and government representatives.
“We warmly congratulate each winner and thank all the finalists for their commitment to supporting and working with creative people,” said BASA Chairman Andre le Roux.
Heidi Brauer, Chief Marketing and Customer Officer at Hollard, says: “In beautiful harmony with Hollard’s special partnership model, the BASA Awards really do deliver win-win-win.
“Artists benefit through having their work recognised and celebrated; corporates grow their brand and gain exposure to the creative arts; and broader society is enriched through the conversation, challenge and stimulation provided by art that may not otherwise have seen the light of day. Such partnerships enable a better future for us all.”
The BASA Awards recognise partnerships that lead the way in growing the macro-economy by building bridges between the corporate sector and the arts.
Eleven winners were announced in as many categories:
- Absa Group Limited & the South African National Association for the Visual Arts won the Beyond Borders Partnership Award for Absa L'Atelier
- Standard Bank & the Palaeontological Scientific Trust won the Development Award for All From One-Walking Tall
- PPC Cement SA & Dr Beyers Naudé Local Municipality won the Cultural Tourism Award (supported by Nedbank) for The Owl House
- Aluminium Trading Group (Pty) Ltd & James Delaney won the First Time Sponsor Award for Bringing The Wilds Back to life with sculptures
- Rand Merchant Bank & Moving into Dance Mophatong won the Increasing Access to the Arts Award for Enable Through Dance
- Liberty Group & Design Indaba won the Innovation Award for Arch
- Eurocape Holdings (Pty) Ltd & Turn Style 177, trading as The Rainbow Academy (NPO) won the Long-Term Partnership Award for The Rainbow Academy
- New Pan Hellenic Voice & Artsvark won the Media Sponsorship Award for Arts Podcasts
- Lefika Computer CC & Mpumalanga Traditional Arts Market (MTAM) won the Small Business Award for Mpumalanga Traditional Arts Market (MTAM)
- Exclusive Books & The Market Theatre Foundation and The Coloured Cube won the Sponsorship in Kind Award for The Exclusive Books Pan African Reading Room and Pan African Reading Lounge at the Windybrow Arts Centre
- Aspire Art Auctions won the Strategic Project Award for the Artist's Resale Rights (ARR) Project
BASA Special Awards were also made. These recognise sustained and extraordinary commitment to the arts in South Africa. The winners are selected by the BASA Board, and are made at the discretion of the BASA Chairman:
● Strauss & Co was awarded the Chairman’s Premier Award for Diverse Projects
● Elinor Sisulu received the Art Champion Award for her literary work, particularly with the Puku Children’s Literature Foundation
● The Royal Norwegian Embassy / Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs received the Diplomacy in the Arts Award for their work in southern Africa
The Awards celebrate a distinct theme each year. This year, in the year of the Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu centennial, the theme was Legacy. “At BASA legacy, growth and development inspire us. It’s our duty, and our privilege, to work with this generation for the benefit of the next,” said Chairman Le Roux.
Winner trophies reflect the Legacy theme of the 2018 BASA Awards. Each trophy comprises a circular base atop of which is positioned four individually crafted, handmade rings making each trophy unique. The rings depict a diversity of arts, people and enterprises. They symbolise the variety, diversity and texture that comes from a strong legacy foundation. Artists from across South Africa collaborated on crafting the rings. Among them were the artists at Smelt Studios and artist Ben Tuge (resident at Victoria Yards).
The Legacy theme was also highlighted by BASA Chief Executive, Michelle Constant, who is stepping down from her position after 10 years. She spoke of the growth and opportunities developed by BASA, and highlighted by the wonderful business arts partnerships that have developed over the years.
The BASA Awards, Constant said, are accolades the organisation was proud and honoured to bestow. However, as important is the work of each winner and every finalist to contribute to South Africa’s creative economy: to make the arts and creativity drivers of economic growth and of entrepreneurial strategy.
BASA has distributed grants to the value of more than R34 million to nearly 1 490 art projects. Since 1997, South Africa’s corporate sector has leveraged more than R440 million from BASA grants.