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2004 BUSINESS DAY/BASA AWARDS (article first published : 2005-02-11)

The 2004 Business Day/BASA Awards for innovative and effective sponsorship of the arts will be held on April 25 and the closing date for nominations has been extended to February 15.

All businesses operating within South Africa, large or small, who have supported the arts in any genre, whether in cash or in kind during the period January 1 to December 31, 2004, may enter. Recipient arts organisations have nominated their sponsors for an award, and it is interesting to see who is coming in from KZN.

For example, Sibaya, the new casino complex on the north coast, has long had a productive partnership with Ekhaya Multi-Arts Centre in KwaMashu. This first independent arts centre in a township under the strategic leadership of Edmund Mhlongo, has benefited from sponsorship that enabled them to build an auditorium which seats over a thousand people. This auditorium is used for performances and training as well as showings of the Durban International Film Festival. In return the casino has another face in the township, and increases access to the arts for a whole new market. They have now been nominated for an award, along with First National Bank for their support of the KZNPO Starlight Symphonies and Clear Channel Media for their on-going support of Arts for Human Rights.

These annual awards recognise creative business thinking and identify partnerships that go beyond simple chequebook sponsorship and make a difference to both sponsor and recipient. Sponsorship spend continues to grow annually and by highlighting business-arts partnerships, the awards illustrate how effective and viable a business communications tool the arts are while, at the same time, lifting the profile of the arts sector in our country.

This is increasingly important in the light of the King 2 report; new strategic thinking needs new solutions such as those offered through investment in the arts. Does KZN business take full advantage of these potentials? The above represents just a few case studies showing how the arts and business are benefiting from each other!

There are 12 award categories, including the Chairmanís Award for sustained excellence made at the discretion of BASAís Chairman.

Judges, drawn from business, marketing and the arts, will evaluate the success of each sponsorship programme in achieving the objectives of the sponsoring company and in bringing genuine benefits to the arts organisation and the broader community. In cases of multiple sponsorship of a single event, all sponsors are eligible to enter on the basis of their particular objectives. Factors such as the innovative nature of the sponsorship will also be taken into account.

Nomination/entry forms must be completed by the sponsoring company and/or the arts organisation and forms are available on the web site at www.basa.co.za or through contact with the local agent, Nicky du Plessis: nicky@culturalradius.co.za




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