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Friday, March 6, 2015


Learn It powered by Business and Arts South Africa,’ cluster four of the 2015 ACT | UJ Arts & Culture Conference is geared towards the business-minded and inspired creative.

Business and Arts South Africa (BASA NPC) has come on board for the third consecutive year as a partner of the 2015 ACT | UJ Arts & Culture Conference. This year’s support has been extended to a partnership in the ‘Learn It’ cluster, dedicated to connections between brands, business and the arts; and considering shared values and opportunities.

Curated in conjunction with BASA, this cluster will look at creative collaborations through partnerships, future markets, how to pitch perfectly and working with creatives, for non-creatives. Each discussion will consider practical examples and experiences, to help offer new perspectives, in the hopes of bridging the gaps between investors, enablers, creatives, and their markets.

“Given the current economic challenges and climate both internationally and locally, Business and Arts South Africa continues to look for real engagement between the private and arts sectors,” says BASA CEO Michelle Constant. “We have supported this cluster because we really believe that there are great opportunities of shared value, demonstrating the power and importance of the arts in society as a whole. There are so many lessons we can learn from the arts, and we hope the session can provide real opportunities of engagement, and ultimately enthusiasm.”

During this cluster, the Creative Collaborations session will touch on the specifics of negotiation in the partnerships between corporates and creatives, while Future Markets looks to empower creative practitioners to explore innovative ways of understanding their markets and making agile choices regarding their audience or buyer’s engagement with their creative product or service. Pitch Perfect offers a practical session on how to pitch business ideas. The session on Working with creatives, for non-creatives also promises to provide useful insights and stimulating opportunities for partners who need some guidance.

Experts in their fields, such as brand strategist Michael Rubenstein, curator Francis McKee and brand consultant Siphiwe Mpye will spearhead these conversations. Rolex protégé Lara Foot will consider shared value in conversation with brand expert Theresho Selesho, and representatives from Grolsch and Adidas. Members of BASA’s and British Council Connect ZA Programme on audience engagement, Yusrah Bardien and Jon Keevy, will contribute from their research and practical experience, in conversation with popular DJKenzhero, and creative markets expert Tom Porter, British Council ConnectZA Programme Manager.

Rubenstein, who will be conducting the workshop on pitching tactics entitled Pitch Perfect says: “Lengthy explanations will not win over potential investors, because if they don’t get what you are saying in the shortest time possible, they might also believe that your customers won’t either.” Creating the perfect pitch requires a deep understanding of your own business, your product as well as customer needs; these tactics will be addressed in his session.

This section feeds into a Live Pitch – which will offer organisations, businesses and individuals the chance to pitch a creative entrepreneurial project to a panel of judges, with the possibility of winning one of three grants sponsored by the Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) and Nedbank Arts Affinity, totalling R100,000.

The ACT | UJ Arts & Culture Conference is presented by the Arts & Culture Trust, UJ Arts & Culture and British Council Connect ZA, with support from the Department of Arts and Culture, Business and Arts South Africa (BASA), SAMRO Foundation, Pro Helvetia, the European Union, the SA-UK Seasons 2014 & 2015; and media partners Classicfeel magazine and UJfm.

The conference will run from March 8 to 10, based at the University of Johannesburg (UJ).

Tickets available via range from R200 for one cluster, to R1,000 for a full conference pass (Clusters 1 to 5). Student passes are R350 for attendance at Clusters 2 to 5. To stay up to date with information and opportunities, visit #creativesmakeithappen