The 22nd Annual BASA Awards, partnered by Hollard, once again shine a spotlight on powerful partnerships in 14 categories that demonstrate the multitude of ways in which business and the creative sector have successfully collaborated to make an impact.
Says Ashraf Johaardien, who took up the reins of CEO of BASA earlier this year, "The BASA Awards not only celebrate the synergestic power that comes from deep collaboration between the right partners, but also showcases the ways in which those partnerships are able to effect meaningful social change."
Working with the theme, "ALGO-RHYTHMS", which refers both to algorithms in mathematics and computer code, and to rhythm in music, Ralph Borland has been commissioned to design and produce the winners’ trophies for this year. Ralph is a South African artist, curator and interdisciplinary knowledge worker, who teases out issues of power, activism, social engagement via designed objects, the aesthetics of make-do and ad hoc design, and the pleasures of pop culture, sound and music, multimedia and sculpture, and collaborative artistic practice.There are 30 finalists in 14 categories of the awards as follows: The Beyond Borders Partnership Award
recognises a global-level partnership that builds brand reputation and audience for both the business and arts organisations across international borders, through an event or marketing project showcasing South Africa to Africa and the rest of the world, and/or bringing international arts projects to South Africa. The finalists are, Cape Gate for partnering with the Morris Isaacson Centre for Music andthe Standard Bank of South Africa Ltd and T Musicman for the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz. The Cultural Tourism Award
is for business support of an arts and culture projects, which contributes towards the growth of communities and jobs, and supports the opportunities provided by local tourism. The finalists are Madi a Thavha Mountain Lodge and Madi a Thavha CraftArt with the collective of Venda and Tsonga artisans in Northern Limpopo, for the Partnership between Madi a Thavha CraftArt and Venda and Tsonga Artisans, and the Gauteng Department of Economic Development and Ghetto Mentality Entertainment for the Annual Soweto Camp Festival.The Development Award
recognises projects with an implicit educational and development element, and the finalists are FNB Art Joburg and Fordsburg Artists' Studios t/a Bag Factory Artists' Studios for the David Koloane Award; MTN SA Foundation and the Imbali Visual Literacy Project for Imbali Artbooks: Adventuring into Art, and Rand Merchant Bank, a Division of FirstRand Bank Ltd, and Lefika La Phodiso – Community Art Counselling and Training Institute, for its Train-the-Trainer programme. The First Time Sponsor Award
is for a business supporting the arts for the first time, regardless of size, budget, and whether it is a corporate social investment, marketing, human resources, B-BBEE, or other. The finalists are Legends Gaming Promotion and Koloni Consulting Enterprise for the Creative Economy Indaba, and Promise Branding Specialists and Moving into Dance for #Est 1978 – A Renewed Corporate Identity for 40-Year-Old MID.The Increasing Access to the Arts Award
celebrates a partnership that has encouraged specific audience engagement with the arts, or has made a significant contribution to brand, market and audience development, while still promoting the business through above-the-line media. The finalists are the MTN SA Foundation and the Imbali Visual Literacy Project for Imbali Artbooks: Adventuring into Art, and V&A Waterfront Holdings and The Craft and Design Institute for V&A + CDI – Building Inclusive Markets for Creatives. The Innovation Award
recognises the most innovative and progressive partnership in all mediums of creativity; one that has served all the partners’ purposes effectively, and has highlighted creativity and originality in the process. The finalists are BMW South Africa for partnering with Southern Guild, and the Standard Bank of South Africa Limited and T Musicman for the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz.The Long Term Partnership Award
celebrates a company that has significantly developed and expanded its commitment to an arts project over three or more years. The finalists are V&A Waterfront Holdings and the Craft and Design Institute for V&A + CDI –Building Inclusive Markets for Creatives, Rand Merchant Bank, a Division of FirstRand Bank Ltd, and The Forgotten Angle Theatre Collaborative (FATC) for The Forgotten Angle Theatre Collaborative @ Ebhudlweni, and Merrill Lynch South Africa (Pty) Ltd and the Wits Art Museum for its Education Programme.The Media Sponsorship Award
is for consistent and innovative support given by electronic, print, broadcast and web-based media, and the finalists are Bay FMfor partnering with the Imibala Arts Festival (cross colours/cross cultures) and DeskLink Media/Creative Feel and Vuyani Dance Theatre for 20 Years of Vuyani Dance, Looking Back to Move Forward.The Small Business Award
recognises support given to the arts by a small business, and the finalists are Bay FM for partnering with the Imibala Arts Festival (cross colours/cross cultures), CN&CO for supporting small arts projects of various arts partners, and Wlit Brewery t/a L7 Craft Beer and Baz-Art PBO for the International Public Art Festival. The Strategic Project Award
is for an outstanding initiative, with best use of a project, which is an integral part of the business’s strategy. The finalists are BMW South Africa for partnering with Southern Guild, Promise Branding Specialists and Moving into Dance for #Est 1978 –A Renewed Corporate Identity for 40-Year-Old MID, and Rand Merchant Bank, a Division of FirstRand Bank Ltd, with the RMB Turbine Art Fair 2018, Hilton College (during the Hilton Arts Festival), the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) – University of Pretoria, and St Stithians College for the RMB THINK Bench Initiative.The Sponsorship In-Kind Award
recognises a business for significant support of an arts project that is non-monetary but quantifiable. The finalists areDeskLink Media/Creative Feel and Vuyani Dance Theatre for the Vuyani Dance 20 Year Celebration, Looking Back and Moving Forward, Gearhouse Splitbeam (Pty) Ltd and Naledi Theatre Awards NPC for The 2018 Naledi Theatre Awards, for productions staged in 2017, and the Marimba Workshop and Education Africa for the Education Africa International Marimba and Steelpan Festival.
In addition, three Special Awards
are made annually at the discretion of the BASA Board of Directors. These are the Diplomacy in the Arts Award
given in recognition of foreign missions which contribute to the development and preservation of the arts in South Africa, the Art Champion Award
for an individual whose achievement in the encouragement of business support for the arts has been outstanding and the Chairperson’s Premier Award
presented in recognition of sustained and extraordinary commitment to the arts in South Africa.
According to Mokgadi Seabi, "The number of entrants who have demonstrated how they’ve contributed to furthering the growth of the arts industry is a testament to the possibilities that lie ahead for the arts industry, when the greater business community gets involved. Seabi, who is Senior Manager of Public Relations for MultiChoice Africa, is one of the new judges on the independent adjudication panel for the Awards, which is chaired by entrepreneur, writer and former magazine editor Kojo Baffoe. Also on the 2019 panel are Mandie van der Spuy (BASA Deputy Chairperson), Christina Kennedy (writer), Ismail Mahomed (CEO of the Market Theatre), Khanyi Mamba (BASA Non-Executive Director), Lerato Matsoso (Entertainment Editor for Sunday Sun and Daily Sun) and Mokgadi Seabi (PR & Corporate Communications: Africa at MultiChoice).
The Awards are audited by auditors Middel & Partners, and the winners will be announced at an event to be held at Beechwood Gardens, the classic three-and-a-half acre Johannesburg garden, laid out in 1945 by legendary landscape architect Joane Pym.