South African Cultural Observatory

The art of business and the business of art

BY 19.01.18

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 lineup 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

Date: Friday, February 16th 2018
Time: Arrival and Registration: 07:00 for 08:00
Programme commences: 08:00 
Programme ends: 17:00
Venue: Villa Arcadia, Hollard Campus
Registration Fee: R850
To register: www.basa.co.za 

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