The Johannesburg City Hall proved an appropriate venue when the sixteen winners of 16th Annual Business Day BASA Awards, supported by Anglo American, were announced on 26 August 2013.
Nearly 100 years after the landmark building was completed, the cultural heritage it represents was reaffirmed by the diversity and creativity of the 12 business and arts partnerships that were celebrated at the event - as well as the winners in the three categories chosen by the Business and Arts South Africa board.
Among the latter was the winner of the Diplomacy in the Arts award - the Embassy of France. It was honoured for the France-South Africa Seasons, a multi-faceted arts collaboration between the two countries that started in South Africa in July 2012.
"We're thrilled to have grown South Africa's only awards recognising business arts partnerships," comments Business and Arts South Africa CEO, Michelle Constant.
"At the very core of what we do are successful partnerships that contribute to the sustainability of the arts but that also benefit both parties in that relationship.
"This year, the nominees and the winners once again show that there is real value in business partnering with the arts to reach their markets, and achieve shared value."
"The BASA Awards are always a powerful reminder to the South African business community that, just outside their door, is a society filled with an abundance of different arts," says Peter Bruce, Business Day editor-in-chief.
"Each year we get a chance to see what happens when businesses, big or small, partner with projects in this society to create something that has a significant impact on everyone involved. It's the best thing in Business Day's calendar."
Sustained, extraordinary commitment to the arts
Jack Ginsberg, a founding patron of The Ampersand Foundation (TAF), received the Art Champion Award, given to an individual for outstanding achievement in the encouragement and support of the arts. TAF supports South African artists and those working in the visual arts with a residency in New York.
The Distell Foundation was this year's recipient of the prestigious Chairman's Premier Award, awarded at the discretion of the Chairman of Business and Arts South Africa to celebrate sustained and extraordinary commitment to the arts in South Africa. Distell Foundation is the umbrella body for Distell's corporate citizenship activities, with a strong emphasis on arts and culture.
Mentor of the Year, supported by Etana Insurance, was awarded to Hilton Lawler for his work with Assemblage, a body that aims to connect and nurture Joburg's visual arts community. This is the second time that Lawler has been named winner in the category: his work with the Origins Centre saw Lawler named Mentor of the Year at the 13th Annual Business Day BASA Awards, supported by Anglo American.
For the first time there was a double winner in the Youth Development Award category with the judging panel selecting both Sasol Limited for the South African National Youth Orchestra and Rand Merchant Bank for the Durban Music School. And the recognition of Cape Town's Alexander Bar & Café for its partnership with the Alexander Upstairs (a micro-theatre) was yet more proof that a relationship between business and the arts can come in small, yet highly effective, ways.
This year's winners also include two business arts partnerships forged by local government and municipalities. The Johannesburg Development Agency won the Increasing Access to the Arts Award for the Diepsloot Public Artworks Programme while the Arts & Environment Award, supported by Nedbank, was awarded to the uMngeni Municipality for the Nelson Mandela Capture Site.
Legacy and gift for Anglo American
Another notable win was the Long Term Partnership Award, supported by new sponsor Stephan Weltz & Co. It went to ArcelorMittal South Africa for its three-year partnership with the Southern Guild Collectable Design Gallery, which underscores the benefits of longstanding relationships between business and the arts.
This year's award ceremony was the last year of sponsorship by Anglo American, and in celebration of their years of support, Business and Arts South Africa commissioned a choral work, composed by James Bassingthwaite, which was performed on the evening by the Mzansi Youth Choir. The work remains as a legacy and gift for Anglo American.
According to Constant, "Business and Arts South Africa would like to thank Anglo American for their many years of engaged support. They have been a wonderful partner to work with, and we wish them all the best in the future."
"With the closing of one door though, another opens, and BASA has great pleasure in announcing Hollard as the new Supporting Sponsor of the Awards, alongside Business Day."
"We are delighted to be supporting the BASA Awards for the next three years," says Gail Walters, Head of Group Corporate Affairs at Hollard. "Hollard aims to be a catalyst for significant positive and enduring social change through the business we do and the way in which we do business. Our investment in the arts and our partnership with BASA specifically, are in line with our approach to building social and human capital in promoting art and mentoring emerging artists."
This year's awards were judged by an independent panel of judges that evaluated the success of each partnership in achieving its objectives and in bringing genuine value and benefit to both partners. The results were audited by Grant Thornton.
The judging panel was comprised of CEO of the Mastrantonio Group and BASA Board member Giovanni Mariano; Fikile Moeti - Radio DJ , TV presenter, leadership Enthusiast and Social Entrepreneur; Theresho Selesho - Experiential Marketing Director at Ogilvy and Mather and Dali Tambo - TV Host, CEO of the National Heritage Project Company& Founder of Artists Against Apartheid.
16th Annual Business Day BASA Awards winners
PPC Ltd for Re-imagine Concrete: Suzaan Heyns Spring/Summer 2012
Suzaan Heyns incorporated concrete into the construction of the garments that formed part of the Reimagine Concrete Collection, unveiled at SA Fashion Week in March 2012. For PPC, this project was a platform to showcase concrete in new light, opposed to traditionally being showcased in the construction environment.
First Time Sponsor Award
Bidvest Group Limited for the Opening of the new Wits Art Museum
Bidvest sponsored the event and publicity for the opening of the new Wits Art Museum, enabling WAM to create an event congruent with its standing as a new, important cultural landmark. The high-profile event also immediately helped raise public awareness of Wits Arts Museum - an important new art museum that had been a decade in the making, from initial fund-raising to the final opening.
Increasing Access to the Arts Award
Johannesburg Development Agency for the Diepsloot Public Artworks Programme
As part of the Diepsloot public environment upgrade, the JDA appointed The Trinity Session to curate public art for the area - focusing on the entrance to the Muzomuhle Primary School and its surrounds. Workshops saw local artists and learners from Muzomuhle Primary School assist in creating the sculptures using recycled material. For the first time, performance art was included in the design and production and several of the artworks now double up as play equipment for children.
International Sponsorship Award
Norges Musikkorpes Forbund (Norwegian Band Federation) for the Field Band Foundation - Bands Crossing Borders The partnership between the Norges Musikkorpes Forbund and the South African Field Band Foundation was formed to build capacity towards the instruction of music in South Africa. The partnership created opportunities for the Field Band tutors to learn and study music in Norway, thus contributes to the success of music teaching in the organisation. The cultural exchange of music was high on the agenda of the Norwegian Embassy and South Africa.
Long-term Partnership Award supported, by Stephan Weltz & CO.
ArcelorMittal South Africa for Southern Guild Collectable Design Gallery
Over the past three years, ArcelorMittal South Africa has stood firmly alongside Southern Guild with a shared vision to support, nurture and propel the local design industry to entirely new levels of originality, maturity and professionalism. Southern Guild and ArcelorMittal South Africa have a symbiotic, and collaborative partnership. This is manifested in Southern Guild, a curated exhibition showcasing the best of South African design.
Arts & Environment Award, supported by Nedbank
The uMngeni Municipality for the Nelson Mandela Capture Site
The partnership set out to create a unique heritage and cultural site that would mark the capture of Nelson Mandela in 1962 and boost the Midlands Meander tourist economy. The most visible aspect of the project is the large-scale sculpture by Marco Cianfanelli, which currently attracts up to 700 people a day.
Media Sponsorship Award
Ukhozi FM for the Unyaka Wesethembiso Season 2
Unyaka Wesethembiso is a joint venture between Ingede Consortium and Ukhozi FM where creative material is read live on Ukhozi FM allowing listeners thereof to pre-empt the end of the story line using their creative thinking. It is also an initiative reaching out to emerging writers through seminars and workshops on creative writing.
Single Strategic Project Award
adidas Originals South Africa for I ART JOBURG
Presented by adidas Originals', I ART JOBURG was a big wall mural project that took place in the heart of The Maboneng Precinct, Johannesburg. Over the last 5-10 years, adidas South Africa has been a consistent supporter of local culture and in particular, street art, through the support of artists and local projects. This commitment and support of the scene, made them a strong partner for I ART SOUTH AFRICA; a concept that aimed to work with local and international artists in enriching South African inner city areas through public artwork for community up-liftment.
Small Business Award
Alexander Bar & Café - Alexander Upstairs
Alexander Upstairs is a flourishing microtheatre in central Cape Town made possible by the Alexander Bar & Café downstairs. The microtheatre came about when Alexander Bar & Café owners Edward van Kuik & Nicholas Spagnoletti decided turned 50m2 of unused office space, into a microtheatre with black surrounds, 44 raked seats, a tiny dressing room and a control de/supsk area.
Sponsorship in Kind Award
Europcar for Clowns Without Borders South Africa
Europcar has provided thousands of miles of smiles to thousands of children and families through its sponsorship of Clowns Without Borders South Africa (CWBSA). The sponsorship in kind relationship has been in place since 2006. Transport is one of the largest expenses in CWBSA's work of bringing the arts to communities in southern Africa. As a result, CWBSA teams drive Europcar vehicles as they address issues such as HIV/AIDS, xenophobia, and gender based violence through their performing arts and arts-based educational workshops.
Youth Development Award
Sasol Limited for the South African National Youth Orchestra
Sasol's commitment to the arts started in 1979 when it became a founding member of the South African National Youth Orchestra Foundation. The pioneers of the then volunteer-based organisation taught 65 children under trees at the Hartebeespoort Dam. Sasol realised that it had the ability to make a positive impact by providing much needed infrastructure and organisational skills. With the help of Sasol, SANYOF has supported the development of South Africa's young musicians for over half a century.
Rand Merchant Bank for the Durban Music School Rand Merchant Bank has for the past seven years given funding to the Durban Music School. The school embarked on an ambitious project to teach 120 children from the Open Air School, which caters for physically disabled children, how to play a musical instrument. Rand Merchant Bank has covered the costs needed since then. The children perform in concerts at their school and at the Durban Music School.
Mentor of the Year, supported by Etana Insurance
Hilton Lawler for Assemblage
Assemblage works to assist artists to be more professional and business-minded in order to succeed and maintain their own careers. Assemblage received marketing and business strategy mentorship from Hilton Lawler in 2012. Hilton Lawler is a highly effective mentor and the organisation benefited hugely from his guidance, advice and input.
Diplomacy in the Arts
The Embassy of France for the France-South Africa Seasons
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