Business and Art South Africa (BASA), a development agency encouraging mutually beneficial partnerships between business and the arts in South Africa, continues to grow. Reaching its milestone of 20 years in 2017.

At CN&CO we are particularly chuffed. We strongly support the links between business and arts and as a result, we enjoy a close association with BASA, with Carel Nolte being a member of the board. 

We wish BASA continued growth in arts business partnerships and success in making more contributions to the creative economy of South Africa.

The following press release regarding the milestone celebration was be distributed:

2017 sees Business and Arts South Africa (NPC) celebrate twenty years of arts business partnerships, with an invigorated focus on growth, research, connectivity and celebration that confirms the organisation’s standing as a leader on the African continent.

Conceived in 1997 as a partnership between several South African corporates and the now Department of Arts and Culture (DAC), BASA has evolved over the past two decades to include a wide spread of different stakeholders including 126 business members, the creative sector, organisations within the Southern African region, and a growing slate of project-specific partners.

“This is a year of celebration and we’re thrilled to be able to acknowledge those organisations and individuals who have played an integral part in our evolving and changing organisation,” comments BASA CEO, Michelle Constant. “Our vision has always been to elevate the importance of the arts in society, and we are fully focused on that as we prepare for the journey forward.”

One of the elements of the year-long celebration is the 20th Annual BASA Awards, in partnership with Hollard. “Our annual awards are always a highlight on the arts calendar – providing a reason to celebrate excellence in business and arts partnerships over the preceding year,” says Andre Le Roux, newly-elected BASA chairman. “This year, however, we will also use the occasion to celebrate all those who have contributed to the growth and success of BASA over the past two decades – our dedicated board members, our founding CEO, Nicola Danby, and Chair Mary Slack, and the pioneering businesses and art organisations that were there from the very beginning. The awards this year will also reveal insights into our strategy for the next five years and so provide a glimpse into BASA’s future.”

Celebrating and acknowledging the support of the Department of Arts and Culture will form an important element of a landmark year, which will see BASA focus on four key areas – growth, research, connectivity and celebration.

Growth is best exemplified by new programmes that provide and support knowledge transfer, skills development and training – these include the DAC Debut Programme and Creating Opportunity for South Africa’s Youth (COSY) amongst others.

The DAC Debut Programme will see the Department of Arts and Culture, in partnership with BASA, provide knowledge and skills development to emerging artists on the cusp of “making it” – supporting them with launching or implementation of their first creative product (album, book etc), and enabling them to take advantage of opportunities to pitch for funding to further support their venture.

Creating Opportunity for South Africa’s Youth (COSY) aims to enable young people (particularly young women) in rural and semi-rural areas to be more active agents in achieving sustainable growth in South Africa. This is done by building their capacity to become entrepreneurs and by increasing their employability. The programme works in four provinces and eight communities and has a particular focus on creative, digital and social enterprise. With a vision to reach 10 000 people, 100 leaders and 50 civil society organisations, COSY is coordinated by the British Council, in partnership with Business and Arts South Africa, LifeCo UnLtd South Africa and Livity Africa.

BASA’s growth focus during 2017 also includes its Business Exchange Programme which aims to create an environment where young business professionals learn the importance and economic value of the arts, much the same way the arts realise and respect the importance of business skills whilst on their creative journey. The Business Exchange Programme anchors BASA’s role as a development agency and is built around several arts-based initiatives that tap into BASA’s corporate members and the wider business community, allowing them to use their experience to add business insight to the arts.

As BASA celebrates its 20 years of business and arts partnerships, valuable research that has been collected over the past two decades will be in the spotlight. Drawn from different initiatives, including BASA Artstrack, BASA Supporting Grants, BASA Awards, and other arts-based initiatives, this research, once consolidated, will provide crucial insights into best practice, shifts and trends and will be used to inform the next generation of arts business partnerships –once again underlining BASA’s value to government, business and the arts sector in the new decade.

This integrated research will support BASA’s standing as a unique Knowledge Hub, and will be made available in the latter part of 2017. BASA will host a Symposium with international peer Business and Arts agencies, from India, Zambia, Scotland and further, to share and discuss the 20 years of research and best practice in the relationship and leverage between business and the arts. The research will continue to support BASA’s role in providing a bespoke service to the corporate sector, creating greater connectivity, collaboration, and co-creation between business and the arts.

As we move rapidly into 2017, BASA celebrates 20 years, looking forward to the next decade, ensuring that we are able to offer the creative and business sectors in South Africa, and on the continent real value and true partnerships!