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Saturday, August 3, 2019


Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) announced the launch of ArtsTrack No 8 at the end of July.

The 2019 iteration of the report is the eighth update of the original version, tracking consumer engagement, and their perception of arts and culture, and its attendant sponsors. The launch took place at a glitzy event held in the heart of Johannesburg, at the Museum of African Design (MOAD), and included performances from poet Bongani Mathebula (25 Magic).

Undertaken biannually by BMi and commissioned by BASA, ArtsTrack aims to evaluate the popularity of music, arts and cultural events, including closely quantifying and analysing audience sizes, genres, and other key demographics of those with an interest in these areas. For nearly two decades, this wide-ranging research has been a key and exclusive resource for BASA members and is of particular value in their ongoing engagement with arts and culture sponsorships/partnerships. More than just a paper exercise, each update offers the chance to reignite the conversation around arts and arts’ sponsorship, between key players within both business and the arts.

As BASA Head of Research and Development, Madeleine Selmer-Olsen affirms, “Research is core to BASA's work, and ArtsTrack is a key property in this regard, offering our members a powerful tool to make the most of the shared value that partnering with the arts can bring. It also provides valuable insights for those considering entering into arts sponsorship, as well as for the arts and culture sector regarding audiences and sponsor engagement. The aim of ArtsTrack is to evaluate the popularity of music, arts and cultural events amongst South Africans, and quantify and analyse these audiences and their demographics. Qualitative research on the broader arts and entertainment industry is provided in the research, including attitudinal impacts and sponsorship association levels of brands that are currently active in this space.”

Nandi Dlepu, founder of creative agency Mamakashaka, was the evening’s guest speaker, and offered further insight into the vital role ArtsTrack plays within the creative economy. Mamakashaka’s aim is to make a meaningful contribution to building platforms and opportunities where creative entrepreneurs can not only express themselves, but thrive. This perfectly dovetails with BASA’s mandate – and by association ArtsTrack’s – to ensure the relevance and sustainability of the arts in South Africa, and BASA’s function as a leading connector catalyst and resource that supports a better understanding by business, of the arts.

Also present as a speaker was sponsorship and events manager at Old Mutual, Bandile Mngoma, who unpacked Old Mutual’s latest creative venture – AMPD Studios. Situated in Johannesburg’s vibrant Newtown, the AMPD Studios have been created to amplify Africa’s mega-musical talent, and to help inspire and financially empower a new generation.

The minimalistic space was filled with vibrant artists and BASA members alike. At the end of the evening, both business and the arts understood and had a revived sense of the importance of their role in the creative sector.

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