Business and Arts South Africa, in partnership with the Department of Arts and Culture and supported by the FirstRand Foundation, is currently working on a programme to strengthen the capacity and processes of the councils of Department of Arts and Culture state-owned entities.

This project began with a research phase.  The Cultural Policy and Management Division at the Wits School of Arts, under the leadership of Avril Joffe, was commissioned to conduct baseline research of all 25 Department of Arts and Culture institutions with regards to the challenges and opportunities in their councils.

Once the baseline research was complete, a pilot series of capacity building workshops was rolled out in June 2017. The Institute of Directors of South Africa gave a workshop on board/council member duties and liabilities, followed by the Wits Centre for Cultural Policy and Management’s workshop which covered trends, value and the role of arts and culture in society, as well as how the value that culture creates may be understood, measured and evaluated.

Based on the research findings and recommendations, as well as feedback from the pilot workshop series, a toolkit was developed for all Department of Arts and Culture entities to use as a basic guide both for induction and regular ongoing practice.

The toolkit and pilot workshops could potentially inform further workshops and interventions going forward (outside of the ambit of this project or as a subsequent phase), and thus far BASA and the DAC are engaging on the development of a Cultural Institutions Governance Framework and standard council assessment template.  In addition to this, we are exploring the possibility of creating a sector wide practice note in alignment with the King IV Report with the Institute of Directors of South Africa.

For more information please contact Madeleine Selmer-Olsen on or 011 447 2295