CN&CO fun at last year’s BASA Awards

One of our greatest pleasures at CN&CO is working with partners who are involved in the arts. Through our membership of Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) we have made many amazing contacts and had some super-fabulous experiences.

“The arts truly do add an extra dimension to any business,” says our chief señor, Carel Nolte. “They provide us with inspiration, give us perspective, keep us grounded and moderate our stress levels. There’s nothing quite like listening to the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra after a long and tiring day, or exploring a new art gallery with a bunch of mates.”

But partnerships between business and the arts goes beyond the intangible. There’s a real, measurable, rands-and-cents return for all parties if the right relationships are found and nurtured. This is borne out in a research report recently published by BASA and distributed to its members, free of charge.

“This is another benefit of membership,” says Carel. “We get to see the research and the trends, which show us that our sponsorships are having an impact both on businesses and the arts. And by the arts, I mean the people who make a living in the arts.”

BASA issued a press statement earlier this week about the report, which it touts as, “A fascinating bank of insights and findings that’s a highly recommended reference tool for sound, data-based growth-economy investment decisions”

Here’s the rest of the media release:

Corporate sponsorship of the arts has grown in South Africa, rising from R136-million in 2001 to an estimated R524-million in 2015. Corporate sponsorship of music, especially, has shown exceptional growth. In 2015 alone South Africa’s musicians attracted R55-million more in sponsorship from business than they had in 2014.

These are among the insights that Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) shares in its 20 Years of Business-Arts Partnership Trends research report that will be published imminently and will be freely available on the BASA website to BASA members. The research report is informed by BASA’s ArtsTrack research project, that

“The research examines and reports on two decades of BASA’s work with South African business and artists. This work is to forge and nurture constructive, mutually- beneficial relationships between the corporate and creative sectors of the economy,” says Madeleine Selmer-Olsen, BASA Research Manager.

BASA has been tracking trends and growth over 20 years to give both businesses and artists the benefit of compelling data on which to base investment decisions.

“In 20 years we have seen profound deepening of the understanding that has developed between business and the arts. It’s created a culture of symbiosis in South Africa. Now, the publication of this research, gives South Africa a data-driven environment in which to make economic investment decisions” says Selmer-Olsen.

BASA continues to see upward trends in corporate sector participation with and engagement in the arts. As a result, there’s also an upward trend in the value of Supporting Grants BASA allocates, with the support of the Department of Arts and Culture. Value leveraged from these grants, the research finds, has grown 166% in 20 years: from R6 of investment for every Rand in grants in 1997 to R13 of investment for every Rand in grants last year. More than R34-million has been disbursed in BASA grants to 1 487 art projects. The highest percentage of sponsorships go to strategic partnerships and to projects that focus on professional development, youth and education, and underserved communities.

With regard to sectors, BASA’s 20-year research report finds that the financial, food and beverage, and media and entertainment sectors have been the arts’ most consistent sponsors over the period. These sectors also provide some of the highest percentages of all arts sponsorships: 24.25% of all arts sponsorship is by South Africa’s financial sector.

Interestingly, South African consumers pay attention to which businesses invest in and sponsor the arts, and people are inclined to support those business when making purchase decisions. Nearly half (45%) of adult South Africans say they are positively influenced towards companies sponsoring arts and culture. More than half (55%) of adults are positive specifically to businesses that support music.

The BASA 20-year research report is a fascinating bank of insights and findings and is a highly recommended reference tool for all individuals and entities determined to make sound, data-based growth-economy investment decisions. The report is free to BASA members.

For more information, please visit

About BASA

Business and Arts South Africa NPC (BASA) is an internationally recognised South African development agency with a suite of integrated programmes implemented nationally and internationally. BASA encourages mutually beneficial partnerships between business and the arts, securing the future development of the arts sector in South Africa and contributing to corporate success through shared value. BASA was founded in 1997 as a joint initiative of the Department of Arts and Culture and the business sector as a public-private partnership. For more information on BASA contact us on +27 (0)11 447 2281 or visit our website: