Brainstorming & Pitching

Business Art South Africa in partnership with #creativeintersections presented an interactive brainstorming session, where delegates conceptualised an interdisciplinary project

This year, as part of the ACT | UJ Conference programme, BASA Hatchery Breakaways set out to offer a strong interactive and engaging element at the two-day learning experience.

“We are delighted to yet again be partnering in the annual ACT | UJ Conference. This year, BASA was proud to present the Hatchery Session. We believed that the session provided opportunities for learning and sharing, staying true to our vision of creating sustainable and equitable relationships between business and the arts,” says Lonwabo Mavuso from Business and Arts South Africa (BASA).

Prior to the start of the #creativeintersections conference, presented at the UJ Arts Centre on 16 and 17 March, attendees had the opportunity to form a group and arrived at the conference with an idea, solution and/or a working collaboration that could extend beyond the conference.

Delegates formed smaller groups during the brainstorming breakaways which were presented in three follow-on sessions, collectively totalling three hours. Groups were as large as participants wished but did not consist of fewer than four members. Concepts took any form but they must combine disciplines. While having a pre-planned group was encouraged, delegates who did not have a pre-conceived concept or a formed collective were placed in a group during the conference.

“One of the incredibly valuable aspects of these sessions is that groups will have access to ‘connectors’. This is a group of specialists from a range of industries that will be available to offer groups input in the process of conceptualising innovative projects or solutions,” said Pieter Jacobs, CEO of the Arts & Culture Trust (ACT). “Connectors will include specialists from inside and outside the creative industries, including IT engineers, scientists, legal, business and finance experts, as well as architects and researchers working in the field of interdisciplinarity,” he added. Among the ‘connectors’ is multi-disciplinary artist Willemijn Schellekens, tech-mind Nathan Gates and serial entrepreneur Abed Tau, together with legal experts from Adams and Adams.

During the BASA Hatchery Breakaways participants gained practical experience building a project and working as a collective, leaving the session with a personalised project proposal and a signed agreement among group members.

 Groups received in their printed conference programme:

  • an ideas generator kit to help stimulate conversation and spark ideas;
  • a standard project proposal template; and
  • a basic contract.

 

Pitch Perfect:

During the Pitch Perfect ‘battle’ session at the conference, a representative of delegate groups had the opportunity to pitch their idea, permitted it aligned with the criteria of an implementation grant made available by the Arts & Culture Trust (ACT). Interdisciplinary projects or solutions of which phase one could be implemented with a grant of R80 000, and within a 12-month period, were invited to present a 3-minute pitch to an adjudication panel.

BASA Hatchery Breakaway groups are not limited to this grant criteria and are free to devise projects or solutions of any scale but would not be eligible to pitch for these grants should it not comply with the criteria.

Six projects will be identified and announced after the conference. The shortlisted projects will be invited to take the second step in the process of acquiring support or investment, and will have the opportunity to do a 10-minute project presentation to the panel of adjudicators at the first post-conference Creatives in Conversation session on 13 April 2016. The six shortlisted projects will receive professional guidance through an incubation program, sponsored by the Kingdom of the Netherlands and implemented by the Cultural Development Trust. This platform will offer support in the form of contact sessions with a list of varying mentors, and help sustain and aid the successful transformation of each idea into reality.

 

The six successful shortlisted projects;

CREATIVE COCOONS (W4W)

JahRose Jafta

Creative Cocoons [Woman4Woman] Project is national incubation program by women for women (W4W) in the creative sector, to be piloted in Free State and KZN province. Ten women companies are to be identified and selected in both provinces, the intention is to monetize the crafts, the talent, the arts produced by these women in their companies. Why women? Mainly because of the need to rectify historical ramifications for marginalization on women of colour, also the lack of technical and management expertise including business opportunities.

Art-Preneurship is the concept we want to pursue fully, access to markets, investments and financial management, branding, promotion, marketing and packaging for sales and ultimately running successful creative businesses.

 

ThinkTank TheatreBank

Steven van Wyk

The project is a unique case study of audience development of a specific theatre company (Underground Dance Theatre). A ThinkTank develops new models for theatre promotion and marketing. These models are utilized to promote three productions over the course of a year. Audience development and growth is measured and tracked, and the findings are shared publicly – including entities such as BASA, ACT, UNESCO, the National Department of Small Business Development, and the South African Cultural Observatory – such that insights gleaned may assist arts organisations around the country with their audience development.

 

Cultural Exchanges

Molebogeng Sebidi

Cultural Exchanges is an extension of an existing project Backyard Films SA which was successfully piloted and received well in rural Mpumalanga in November 2015. During the UJ ACT Arts and Culture Conference 2016 our team collectively themed this year’s project Cultural Exchanges.

The project provides alternative entertainment for disadvantaged rural communities in South Africa through film, theatre and local vernacular comedy.

Why an outdoor cinema?

Ideally it would be a great achievement to establish the first independent cinema in a rural area. However we also understand that this will require a very big budget and a long term strategy. So this dream remains one of our long term goals.

We believe that the challenges the arts of rural areas will not be solved overnight but we are definitely in the right direction .

In the meantime we are creatively working with little that we have. This project is extremely innovative, creative and inexpensive; All that is required to host a film festival in a rural area is an open place ie: The newly built stadium, a screen, projector, popcorn machine, rights to a few SA films, lights, generator and security.

 

An Artistic Excursion

Kagiso Kekana

Charismatic Rhythms is proud to present to you “An Artistic Excursion”, the journey of igniting our gifts. The main objective of this project this project is to introduce, expose & promote our South African Arts & Culture to a group of 50 young artists from Limpopo. The excursion will run through two – three days. The group will take a guided tour to institutions, organisations art hubs in & around Johannesburg, whilst meeting industry professional to give them motivational talks regarding the industry. The excursion is predicted to take place during heritage month also giving the school kids an allowance since the school will be break for holidays.

 

Masicule – Let’s Sing!

Matthieu Maralack

Masicule – Let’s Sing! is an invitation for communities to participate together in the fundamentally positive, cathartic experience of singing on a massive scale. This proposal presents a vision in which state of the art music making is made available to all communities. Through this, the envisioned national platform aims to conscientize members of participating communities of deep societal issues and to seek solutions to these through music. Initiated by the National Arts Festival as part of the Creative City project 2014, the Masicule music production has been staged successfully every year in Grahamstown since its inception, bringing together young and old choral and contemporary singing music groups. Last year’s show boasted over 400 voices on stage in a joint rendition of Mzanzi Youth Choir’s arrangement of “Baby” by Justin Bieber and, in 2014, Gareth Walwyn’s arrangement of Bright Blue’s classic “Weeping”. It is a proven show model that brings communities together both on and off the stage with lasting social benefits. We envision that this model can successfully be adapted and implemented across the diverse communities of South Africa. This pitch is specifically for a Johannesburg production of “Masicule – Let’s Sing!” and we wish to invite ACT and Nedbank to join our existing partners in making this event possible. We anticipate that the Johannesburg performance will go very well, and we would seek to build the national brand on this event.

 

Masicule- Let’s Sing! seeks to do more than a massed choir event; through an intersectional framework it seeks to bring people together for long-term impactful benefits. The idea is about positioning music as more than just consumable entertainment and rather as a resource that could be utilised to help a society understand itself more fundamentally and begin to grow.

 

Joburg – Join The Dots

Keke Chele

“JOBURG JOIN THE DOTS” is an annual public arts festival that aims to provide new means to accessing emerging and established artists in the city of Joburg. Through identifying public spaces with existing audiences, we will partner with transport agencies to bring audiences to the festival.

The team will “Join The Dots” in Joburg which include the inner city, Newtown, Braamfontein and Hillbrow. Here the artists will showcase their talents in both visual and performing arts while agencies like Rea Vaya, Uber, the Joburg Red Bus and local taxis will transport people between the “dots”.

Through this grant, we can create a new platform for artists which will expose them to new audiences. Not only will this encourage social cohesion of the residents in local communities but also promote inclusivity through the arts which heal the souls of artists and audiences alike. Our country has been experiencing some negative situations and we could aid in creating some much-needed positivity.

The two winning projects will be announced in a press release shortly, for information or the contact details of individual project please contact the ACT offices on 011 712 8427.