Call for Entries to First-Ever Online BASA Awards Now Open

Entries to the 2020 Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) Awards, held in partnership with Hollard, are officially open. This year’s Awards, which shine a spotlight on the imaginative and diverse ways that businesses partner with creative projects, events, and initiatives, will be held entirely online for the first time in the event’s 23-year history.

“What hasn’t changed is the commitment of both BASA and Hollard to encourage excellence and innovation in the arts, as well as to promote those mutually beneficial partnerships between business and the arts,” says BASA Head of Marketing, Savannah Feeke-Fortune. “The Awards always strive to shine a spotlight on the diverse and imaginative relationships forged between the business partner and creative projects, events, and initiatives. The 2020 iteration is dedicated to its mandate of identifying artistic best practice, as well as recognising and celebrating these partnerships.”

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This assurance is echoed by the continued support of the Awards by partner Hollard.

Heidi Brauer, Hollard’s Chief Marketing Officer, says: “Partnerships and the arts are in our DNA, which is why we are so excited to work with BASA again, during one of the most unprecedented times in our global history. Our purpose is to enable more people to create and secure a better future. This year, our support for BASA is not only at an Awards sponsorship level, but we are passionate about ensuring that artists are able to continue creating, and thus earning a livelihood. This is why we have donated a portion of the costs that would have been spent on this year’s event directly to the artists, via the BASA Artist Relief Fund, so that they are able to keep working on their craft and also provide for their families.”

All creative mediums will be considered, including music, visual arts, dance, theatre, physical performance, architecture, fashion and design, as well as any other form of arts, culture and creativity. Where sponsorship of a project, event or organisation has been shared, each of the sponsoring companies is eligible to enter.

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This year, BASA has introduced a streamlined application process via its new digital platform. Applicants will need to register to enter, and then follow the steps outlined online. Registration and entry are free. 

The submission deadline is 5pm on Monday, 21 September 2020. The finalists and winners in each category will be announced in October and November 2020, respectively, the dates for which will be confirmed closer to the time.

The Awards will recognise work done in 2019, and reward partnerships in the following seven categories:

● Community Development: Recognises business support for arts and culture projects enhancing their communities, whether through education, skills development, contributing to livelihoods or employment, tourism, or other growth opportunities in the community.

● SMME: Awarded for vital support given to the arts by a micro, small or medium enterprise with up to 200 full-time employees and an annual turnover of no more than R10 million.

● Sponsorship-in-kind: Acknowledging a business giving quantifiable and impactful non-monetary support to the arts. This may be through in-kind provision of equipment, materials, media or PR support, space, transportation or travel, or any other products or services, as opposed to monetary sponsorship.

● Innovation: Celebrating the most innovative, cutting-edge and progressive partnership that served all partners’ purposes effectively. These breakthrough projects and partnerships should demonstrate great creativity, originality, reinvention, new methodologies, or technological/digital innovation.

● First-time Sponsor: Awarded to a business supporting the arts for the first time, regardless of size, budget, whether it is CSI, marketing, HR, B-BBEE or other.

● Beyond Borders: Awarded to a partnership that builds brand reputation and audience for both the business and arts partners across borders, through a project showcasing South Africa to the rest of the continent and/or overseas, or for bringing international or intercontinental arts projects to South Africa.

 Long-term Partnership: Recognising outstanding initiative and commitment to the arts over a longer period (at least one year) as an integral part of the business’s strategy. The value to the arts project, the broader community and the business, must be apparent.

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In addition, two special awards will be made at the discretion of the BASA Board of Directors to celebrate remarkable contributions by individuals, businesses, and organisations to the sustainability of South Africa’s arts:

● BASA Chairperson’s Advocacy Award: In recognition of sustained and extraordinary commitment to the arts in South Africa, in the form of advocacy and awareness initiatives and/or direct support for the arts, whether in a personal or professional capacity at a local, national or international level.

● Diplomacy in the Arts Award: Recognising foreign missions that contribute to the development and preservation of the arts in South Africa, as well as the continued prioritisation of cultural diplomacy between South Africa and the international community.

Khanyi Mamba, BASA Awards Judge, says, “The BASA Awards are not just sponsorship awards. The Awards recognise engaged collaborations between businesses and the arts. It’s easy to just hand over money. Building a sustainable, results-driven partnership is far more challenging and requires an elevated level of commitment from both parties. This is what we want to see.”

For further information about categories, eligibility and judging criteria, and entry guidelines, visit BASA’s website. Interested applicants can also contact the Awards’ support team at awards@basa.co.za or call 063 6696281.

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