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Thursday, March 18, 2021


Covid-19’s elimination of gatherings, festivals and other variations of close human interaction has magnified the vulnerability of the arts sector and exposed a deep need for more sustainable models to support artistic and cultural activity in South Africa.

The role of BASA (Business & Arts SA) as a connector-catalyst and bridge between the business and arts sectors has placed the organisation in the ideal position of creating BASA ASSEMBLY, a multi-platform digital event aimed at tackling some of the challenges of the creative economy. A mindfully-curated programme of talks, webinars, presentations, reports and performances, the event is also intended as the launch vehicle for ArtsTrack No 9, BASA’s biennial research project that tracks consumer engagement within the arts and culture sectors.

“ASSEMBLY aims to offer stakeholders a clearer picture of where the South African arts landscape is at this moment in time,” says BASA CEO Ashraf Johaardien. “There is an urgency attached to the needs of the arts sector, specifically in light of a contraction in overall funding and financial assistance, and we want to create a platform for meaningful conversations that tackle some of these challenges. The arts need a new stratagem and, at such a critical stage in its survival, we all have to play a role in supporting it.”

BASA ASSEMBLY partnered by the British Council is free to attend and open to all. It will be hosted on BASA's website at and kicks off on March 24, 2021, with a launch package streamed by media partner Social TV, featuring a keynote address by Dali Tembo titled IT’S THE ‘C’ IN ‘CI’ FOR ME – How cultural diversity and intelligence is driving innovation within emerging markets. Tembo is a leading cultural trends strategist and youth trends expert who has delivered strategic guidance to numerous multinational corporations across Africa, the UK, US and the Middle East.

The programme of talks, debates, performances and data sharing is open to the public from March 25, 2021, and participants can look forward to panel discussions, podcasts and presentations on navigating the current cultural landscape, particularly with challenges around funding, marketing and visibility outside of the creative sector. Cultural policy and brand identity take a front seat in the planned conversations, with the critical need for defined research being another of the central themes.

An anchor highlight is the presentation of The Inside Track, BASA’s ArtsTrack No. 9 research findings, by Madeleine Lambert, BASA's Head of Research, on March 25 at 19h30.

The initiative will be rounded out with works from artists and performers in a showcase that launches on March 24 at 19h30. On the programme are:

-Musical performance Just Kids, performed by Kiruna-Lind Devar and composed by Stephen Anthony Haiden and Kiruna-Lind Devar;

-Dance piece Onda, choreographed by Hannah Ma and performed by Christin Reinartz, Hannah Ma and Sergio Mel;

-Vangile Gantsho’s poetry piece Provocation.

Full programme details will be available to download from on March 19, 2021.

To link direct to the BASA website, click on the logo advert to the right of this article or visit