The winners in this year’s BASA awards provide inspiring and compelling insights into the role that the arts play in connecting people and enabling transformation – and the different ways that business can support this.
Standard Bank, SASOL, Rand Merchant Bank and M-Net were among the large corporate funders honoured for their support of the arts. But similarly, a Pretoria-based architectural practice and a taxi foundation showed that it’s not only big business that can make a difference.
“The Awards this year demonstrate great partnerships and the power of ongoing sustainability,” commented Michelle Constant, CEO of BASA and Wanted magazine columnist.
“Once again it highlights the absolute need to ensure that the arts remain integral to our society – growing cultural capital and social engagement.”
Three Special Awards selected by the BASA board of directors were made for the remarkable contributions by individuals, businesses, and organisations to the sustainability of South Africa’s arts.
The awards event was inspired by this year’s theme, Disruption, with performances by Buskaid, Moving Into Dance Mophatong, the Field Band Foundation, Olifantland and Vuyani Dance Company – all arts organisations which have benefitted from the positive impact of business has had on art through collaboration.
Five illustrators - Karabo Poppy Moletsane, Imile Wepener, Ndumiso Nyoni, Johan de Lange and Ben Grib - were commissioned to visually narrate some of BASA’s most significant milestones and each of the 20th BASA Awards trophies, which were given to the deserving recipients tonight, features one of these beautiful illustrations.
The BASA Award winners for 2017 are:
Innovation AwardFriends of Johannesburg Art Gallery for The Evidence of Things Not Seen exhibition and the Visible Tones online and social media public participation project.
First Time Sponsor Award
Flanagan & Gerard Investments (Pty) Ltd for the Springs Mall Artwork Project
Increasing Access to the Arts AwardSA Taxi Foundation for the SA Taxi Foundation Art Award
Beyond Borders Partnership AwardThe Standard Bank of South Africa Limited for the Henri Matisse: Rhythm and Meaning exhibition
Long Term Partnership AwardSasol for the Sasol New Signatures competition
Media Sponsorship AwardM-Net and DStv for The Cape Town Carnival
Strategic Project AwardGE Africa Innovation Centre for GE Africa Innovation Centre Localisation and Industrial Design
Small Business AwardMathews and Associates Architects cc for the Cool Capital project #saadjies
Sponsorship In Kind AwardClassic FM South Africa (Pty) Ltd for The Buskaid Soweto String Ensemble’s Annual Concert in the Linder
Development AwardRand Merchant Bank for the Kickstarter Creative Arts project
Cultural Tourism Award, supported by NedbankGooderson Kloppenheim Country Estate Hotel for the My Body My Space Public Arts Festival 2016
Art Champion: Human rights activist, Justice Albie Sachs
The Swiss cultural centre, Pro Helvetia, for ongoing support of diverse arts projects in Southern Africa.
Law firm Webber Wentzel for pro bono legal service offered to the Gerard Sekoto Foundation from 1986 – 2017.
Hollard’s partnership with BASA is testament to the power of business and the arts working together,” said Heidi Brauer, Chief Marketing Officer at Hollard. “Fostering collaboration between business and the arts brings positive change and enables better futures: For artists, via the exposure that the Awards generate; for business, through the creativity engendered by the process of working together; and for society as a whole, through the conversation and engagement around the beautiful works that are produced.”
“The originality manifested in the arts is both an inspiration to business people and an articulate demonstration of how creativity can enhance human interaction and social collaboration. Today has showcased just how successful this can be,” said Tim Cohen, Business Day Editor.