Sponsorship Company news South Africa

The art of business and the business of art

BASA celebrates 20 years of rich arts and business symbiosis with a research and learnings Colloquium in Johannesburg
The art of business and the business of art

The arts play a rich and purposeful role in business, commerce and industry especially in a country as diverse, as textured and as dynamic as South Africa.

In February BASA continues to celebrate 20 years of facilitating that role in South Africa when it hosts a Colloquium that will examine the strides the two sectors have taken in partnership and symbiosis, and that will set its sights on growing the business/creative sector relationship in the future.

BASA CEO Michelle Constant says: “The arts as shared currency and the value of the arts to business and society are at the heart of what the Colloquium is about. Importantly we look forward to a day of learning, and importantly fun.”

New York-based Laura Callanan will give the keynote address. She is founding partner of Upstart Co-Lab – an organisation that connects the arts, impact investing and social entrepreneurship to create more opportunities for artist innovators to deliver social impact at scale. Laura will speak on Impact Investing in the Arts, a new area of business arts engagement. The US Embassy supports Callanan’s trip. “I am very much looking forward to visiting South Africa, sharing what we have been learning at Upstart Co-Lab on the power of impact investing in the creative economy. I was last in South Africa in 1998, when both impact investing and social entrepreneurship were evolving into the forces for change that they are today,” comments Laura Callanan.

An impressive line-up of businesses will address the event in Pecha Kucha style. They include Merrill Lynch, PPC, Hollard and RMB, amongst others. Each will present their business experience of being engaged with the arts in South Africa in a partnership of true, shared value.

BASA’s own research over 20 years, highlighting the successes and challenges in its international engagement and partnerships with other African countries, will also be on the agenda.

The Colloquium is supported by Hollard and takes place on 16 February at the Hollard Campus in Johannesburg.

“It’s fantastic to be hosting this one-of-a-kind event,” comments Heidi Brauer, Hollard’s chief marketing officer. “The Colloquium provides a great opportunity to share ideas around how we can collaborate to enable a better future for the creative sector, for business and for South African society as a whole – and I couldn’t think of a better way to start 2018.”

Colloquium details:


Friday, 16 February 2018


Arrival and registration: 07h00 for 08h00
Programme commences: 08h00
Programme ends: 17h00


Villa Arcadia, Hollard Campus

Registration fee:


To register:


About BASA

Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) NPC 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 011 447 2295 or visit our website: www.basa.co.za.

About Laura Callanan

Prior to launching Upstart, Callanan was senior deputy chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. As scholar in residence at UC-Berkeley/Haas School of Business, she authored three important business school case studies featuring artist social entrepreneurs. Among her many other roles and achievements, Callanan has taught on topics of social innovation as an adjunct professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business since 2009. She is a frequent speaker at leading social sector conferences and delivered a keynote address, The Surprise Social Entrepreneur, and curated an arts overlay for SoCap13. Callanan was recently named to The Nonprofit Times Power and Influence Top 50, which recognises social sector leaders in the US.

Business and Arts South Africa
Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) is an internationally recognised South African development agency which integrates the Arts into, and contributes to, Corporate's commercial success. With a suite of integrated programmes BASA encourages mutually beneficial partnerships between business and the arts.
Let's do Biz