Meet the 25 cultural producers selected for BASA’s accelerated skills development

In response to the need for expanded capacity and skills in the creative economy, Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) has launched the Cultural Producers Programme (CPP), partnered by British Council South Africa, Common Purpose South Africa and Manchester International Festival (MIF).

Launched in March 2022, and running until July, the Cultural Producers Programme brings together a core cohort of 25 mid-career creative and cultural producers, as well as an extended cohort of 175 cultural sector workers, in an intensive leadership and practical skills programme.

The CPP’s innovative programme dovetails seamlessly with BASA’s overall 25-year anniversary celebrations and BASA’s role in shaping the future of artistic endeavours in South Africa. The CPP is supported by the British Council Creative Economy Programme, which provides assistance to cultural organisations, festivals, artists, and creatives, building networks between Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and the United Kingdom (UK) to create art, collaborate, develop markets and networks, and share artists’ work with audiences.

Says Paul Clay, International Director at MIF: “We’re delighted to be collaborating with BASA, Common Purpose SA and British Council to support the development of emerging talented international producers. As we build on the success of working with African artists such as Kemang Wa Lehulere, Ibrahim Mahama and Lagos’ Homecoming festival, we’re excited to develop further relationships with creatives in the area, and through this programme further cultivate, deepen and expand the mutual learning opportunities and appreciation of our two

With its partners and collaborators, CPP aims to provide mid-career cultural producers aged 18–35 years and working in South Africa with the critical business and industry skills to boost this new generation of leaders who will take the cultural and creative sector forward.

Says Producer of the Programme, Alby Michaels: “The Cultural Producers Programme aims not only to develop South Africa’s cultural leaders of tomorrow, but also to influence positive change and add value to the sector within the SSA regions, as well as the continent as a whole.”

The cohort of 25 will also work in teams, supported by a micro grant from the project, to create a new creative/cultural product, which will be showcased in July 2022. In June and July, programme participants will be placed within South African creative/cultural organisations to share their leadership learnings, implement their learnings through practically supporting their host organisation, and allowing them to expand their networks and build relationships.

In addition, participants are co-curating a creative summit, to be held in Johannesburg in early July, with a series of pre- and post-summit engagements furthering the discussions and allowing networking beyond the in-person summit dates.

Meet the diverse and distinct talents included in the selected 25 Cohort here.

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