1997 was a good year for the arts.
Lots of things started up and Michelle Constant, CEO of BASA (Business of Arts in South Africa), shared some of these things with BASA friends at a breakfast conference celebrating twenty years of existence at Mesh, Keyes Avenue, Rosebank. BASA encourages mutually beneficial partnerships between business and the arts, securing the future development of the arts sector in South Africa.
The Field Band Foundation, an umbrella body operating more than 40 bands of an average 120 members each in all South African provinces, the Field Band Foundation NPC uses the global performance band concept to teach life-skills that improve the quality of life of disadvantaged young people, so to broaden their chances of building better futures.
The Standard Bank Joy of Jazz Festival Johannesburg is the biggest pure jazz festival in the country, (the Cape Town Jazz Festival being more general music than jazz), taking place each year in September at the Sandton Convention Centre.
Buskaid was started by Rosemary Nalden in response to the desperate need to provide quality musical education to talented township children. To this end Buskaid teaches music to the highest possible standards, runs a professional string orchestra, trains music teachers of string instruments, runs its own instrument repair and manufacturing workshop.
Robben Island as a tourist destination uses/used former political prisoners as tour guides. I have been on this tour three times now and am constantly fascinated by the different experiences of the guides who were incarcerated on the Island at different times.
The Standard Bank Jazz Festival at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown.
While this was a celebration of the past, it was also a pledge for the future that BASA, in particular, would be doing its bit to help South African arts to flourish. \
Happy birthday! May your future be bright!