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BASA SUPPORTS FRINGE (article first published : 2006-05-28)

Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) have announced that they have made a special grant available for the 2006 National Arts Festival, with the major portion going to the Fringe artists.

This exceedingly generous donation comes at a time when the arts industry faces financial crises every day and is hugely welcomed as the final preparations for the 32nd National Arts Festival get underway.

Nicola Danby, CEO of BASA explains, "BASA has identified that artists on the Fringe are often at a vulnerable stage in their careers and need support and encouragement. BASA has made this money available to all Fringe artists, both performers and exhibitors who are present at the 2006 Festival." Lynette Marais, Festival Director adds, "we are absolutely delighted at the generosity shown by BASA at a critical time in the arts and culture calendar. The allocation of funds to the Fringe artists is a most welcome addition."

The money will go towards some of the costs that the artists face in advertising and promoting their shows on the Festival's website and in the souvenir programme, as well as funding a pre-Festival Fringe newspaper which will highlight the various Fringe events on offer. This newly instituted project comes as a direct result of BASA's grant, and will consist of a four-page full colour handout, which will be distributed in Grahamstown and the surrounding areas just prior to, and during, the Festival.

Part of BASA's grant goes to Cue Newspaper, the daily newspaper set up each year for the duration of the Festival and run by Rhodes University's Journalism and Media Studies Department. Cue has become more and more powerful as the years go on, with many Festinos relying on Cue to assist them in making their daily choices.

An allocation will also go towards the Youth Audience Development Project, which started last year. This project aims to give previously disadvantaged school learners from the surrounding areas of Grahamstown an opportunity to visit the Festival as well as to learn about arts and theatre protocol. The 2005 pilot project received excellent support from local schools and government, and the Premier of the Eastern Cape Government, Nosimo Balindlela called on businesses to support the initiative.

The final portion of this generous grant by BASA has been allocated to the Art-Walk Meander Map. This illustrated map will indicate where all the visual art exhibitions at the Festival are located. There are over 40 exhibitions this year, which is a feast in itself, and with the map, Festinos will be able to design their own 'art meander'.

BASA is a major supporter and funder of the arts and The National Arts Festival, Grahamstown is proud to be assisted by them.

Booking Kits can be obtained from selected Standard Bank branches and Computicket outlets - or visit the website: www.nafest.co.za. It's a whopper of a Festival! Don't miss out on a fantastic programme. For enquiries, contact the Festival Office on 046 603 1103 / 1164 or e-mail naf@foundation.org.za

The Eastern Cape Government, Standard Bank, The National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, the SABC and The National Arts Council are the sponsors of The National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, including this special grant from BASA




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