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BUSINESS & ARTS SOUTH AFRICA SEMINARS (article first published : 2005-07-6)

Business & Arts South Africa will host a series of fundraising seminars for artists and arts organisations around the country. Says Nicola Danby CEO of BASA, "We have seen corporate sector interest in the arts grow year on year, and it is increasingly important to equip artists and arts organisations with the right tools as they seek funding and support from the private sector."

There will be seminars hosted in centres in all nine provinces over a two week period, starting in Durban on July 25 to be followed by seminars in East London (July 26); Cape Town (July 27); Kimberley (July 28); Bloemfontein (July 29), Nelspruit (August 1); Polokwane (August 3); Johannesburg (a mini seminar August 4) and Mmbatho (August 5).

Each one-day seminar will explore the following: Why fund the arts? Finding the right arguments; What are the objectives of an arts organisation?; Researching the marketplace; Drafting the proposal and cover letter; Making the pitch; Managing and evaluating a funding relationship, and Develop an ongoing relationship.

The seminars will use formal presentations, do's and don'ts, exercises, teamwork, Q&A and practical examples from around the world to explain each step and reinforce the theory. They aim to improve participants' understanding and knowledge of arts fundraising and sponsorship and have been formatted to allow for maximum practical benefit.

As only a maximum of 15 people will be selected to attend each seminar and as they are free of charge, there will be a selection process for the delegates. Only one delegate per arts organization (subject to demand) will be admitted and they will need to supply BASA with the following information:

Delegates should be actively involved with an established not for profit arts organization that has a proven track record within its own community: delegates will be asked to provide references and a brief history of the organization. Delegates may be involved as trainers or lead existing training programmes within the arts and must be prepared to share information assimilated in the seminar with other individuals and organizations.

The seminars will be presented by Lisa Ball Lechgar an independent writer, editor and cultural consultant. She is also the general manager of The Lebanese Association for Plastic Arts - Ashkal Alwan, which builds cultural networks across the Middle East and produces international art events. Prior to moving to Beirut in 2003, she ran several British theatre companies and arts festivals before joining the UK NGO, Arts & Business in 1996 where she later became head of information and international affairs. She is an MA graduate and Fellow of the University of Glasgow.

The role of funding institutions and businesses as investors in the arts is growing. As costs rise and local and national government must address a broad range of social priorities, funding for the arts often suffers. Artists and arts organisations are looking elsewhere for support. This requires knowledge, skill, and determination and some seize this opportunity to develop creative partnerships with great energy.

Local and international institutions are recognising the importance of culture, in all its varied forms, and its contribution to education and civil society. While businesses now see that the arts is not just a promotional tool for the marketing department and they now play the part of sponsor, donor, audience, venue and patron to the arts.

Delegates will be obliged to report back to BASA, six months after the seminar, on any benefits or changes as a result of this seminar; for example, more successful fund-raising. All interested delegates are to apply by fax or email to BASA by July 11 to BASA on fax 011 832 3040 or by e mail: info@basa.co.za BASA’s phone number is 011 832 3000.




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