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Tuesday, September 16, 2014


South Africa’s arts organisations are set to benefit from a new partnership between Business and Arts South Africa and ProBono.Org.

The recently signed deal will see ProBono.Org work with BASA to provide a variety of services, bringing its nationally recognised expertise in the facilitation of free legal advice to the arts sector. A particular emphasis will be on working with start-up arts organisations in ensuring they meet governance and legislative requirements from the very beginning.

The partnership between BASA and ProBono.Org will take the form of start-up advice and mentoring for newly-established organisations, as well as assisting organisations (particularly those still in their infancy) with the preparation of legal documents required to get established.

In addition, will provide assistance to arts organisations around other aspects of their work, including leases, labour contracts and more, as well as give advice on other statutory documentation.

Alongside facilitating legal advice for individual arts organisations, ProBono.Org will play a role in BASA’s educational programme.

This will be through the organisation of workshops that will provide arts organisations and others in the arts-business partnership arena with valuable learnings on corporate law, governance and more. Finally, ProBono.Org will assist in matching lawyers to arts organisations, for the purposes of becoming Board Members.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with ProBono.Org,” says BASA CEO, Michelle Constant. “We have long admired the work that they do in screening, matching and referring clients in need to volunteer private lawyers – a practice and commitment that is a powerful match for what we do at BASA.

“Among many other benefits, this new partnership will go a long way towards ensuring that arts organisations are established correctly from the start, without having to do the arduous work of getting legislative requirements and governance structures in place retrospectively.”

According to Erica Emdon, National Director of ProBono.Org, “The importance of developing and nurturing the arts in our country cannot be overstated. BASA does incredible work building and sustaining business-arts partnerships that promote and support artistic talent in all its exciting forms.”

“ProBono.Org is delighted to be working in cooperation with BASA to provide legal services to BASAs beneficiaries, being arts organisations that are starting up, struggling to get properly established or needing legal assistance. This new initiative will enable ProBono.Org to play its part in furthering the growth and success of arts programmes and creative NPOs in South Africa. This partnership will enrich ProBono.Org by exposing our staff and volunteer lawyers, to cultural, creative and artistic experiences.

For more information on how arts organisations can access ProBono.Org’s services as well as upcoming workshops please contact 011 447 2295, visit the BASA website on or e-mail