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Business And Arts South Africa’s Boardbank Is Back

 Business And Arts South Africa’s Boardbank Is Back
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Business and Arts South Africa NPC (BASA) is reintroducing BoardBank, a programme that connects creative organisations with skilled professionals who have the potential to become board members.

Through BoardBank, professionals are offered the opportunity to volunteer on the board of a creative organisation, thereby helping make the sector more sustainable through improving corporate governance, while providing these business professionals with the opportunity to expand their own social investment responsibility within the creative sector.

BASA Head of Research, Madeleine Selmer-Olsen, explained: “Many creative organisations benefitted from the original BoardBank programme and were able to fulfil their governance requirements and secure strategic expertise at board level.  BASA has spent time integrating BoardBank with our membership benefits, refining it for maximum efficiency and impact in the process.”

BoardBank is a bespoke service exclusive to BASA members, and the platform has proved a powerful means of establishing the best fit for both the prospective board volunteer and the creative organisation, whether it be marketing, finance, strategy, legal, HR or any other area of operations.

“Over the years, BoardBank events have marked the start of fruitful long-term relationships, having a powerful impact on the arts organisations themselves, and South Africa’s creative terrain as a whole, as well as on the business professionals engaging in board service,” commented BASA CEO, Ashraf Johaardien.

There are already a number of creative organisations seeking appropriate board members through the BoardBank programme:

In February 2014, award-winning dancer and choreographer, Sbonakaliso Ndaba, took five unemployed youth from the township of Khayelitsha under her wing, and trained them to become professional dancers. Borne from burgeoning youth population, unable to develop artistically through lack of access to higher education, and out of nothing but pure passion to make a difference, this young dance group has grown to 30 full-time students all training at the Indoni Dance, Arts & Leadership Academy, a recently registered not-for-profit (NPO) organisation in Cape Town. The integrated practical and theoretical approach, which is classroom-based and offers on-the-job training, covers dance, indigenous music, arts administration, production management, teaching and professional practice, as well as professional and personal development and wellness.  Foundation courses in literacy and computers are also offered. Indoni is seeking diverse South African board members interested in the arts, who are willing to assist with fundraising and partnership, ideally with legal or accounting expertise.

Lefika La Phodiso (the rock of holding in Sesotho) is Africa’s first psychoanalytically informed Community Art Counselling and Training Institute. Lefika is based at the Children’s Memorial Institute in Gauteng. Since 1994, Lefika has responded to the impact of trauma and loss associated to apartheid, HIV and AIDS, violence and socio-economic disparities. Lefika’s primary objective has been to create accessible mental health services in under-resourced communities. This has been achieved by building capacity through training community arts practitioners, artists, educators and mental health workers in creative analytic group work, bringing together art therapy approaches, trauma work and group practice.  Through specialised skills development within a HWSETA-accredited training programme, community art counsellors are able to facilitate community outreach projects in and around the inner city of Johannesburg, in rural areas – in schools, hospitals, community centres, NGOs, etc. Responding to social justice and psychosocial mental health needs, Lefika now reaches communities across South Africa and abroad. We currently have several community outreach programmes, which includes:

  • Open Studio – an afterschool programme for Johannesburg inner-city children
  • Drama Club – a programme for teens, informed by drama therapy
  • Uhambo – an afterschool literacy programme
  • Art Skills – an art skills development programme
  • Holiday Programme
  • Online Open Studio – delivered through WhatsApp and social media
  • Saturday Programme – currently reaching 120 children a day in the inner-city
  • A low/no-cost clinic run in partnership with universities and training institutions

The organisation is looking for board members with specific expertise in human resource management, as well as legal, fundraising and marketing expertise.

The Ar(t)chive started as an independent South African contemporary dance and physical performance archiving project in 2012. The initiative was spearheaded by queer filmmaker and writer Jessica Denyschen, who approached veteran dance writer Adrienne Sichel to collaborate in establishing and growing this archive, which was brought to life at the Wits School of Arts (WSOA). In 2017, The Ar(t)chive was formally registered as a non-profit company with Denyschen as Director, and is currently run completely unfunded through volunteerism and internships. In 2019, dance writer, activist and teacher Tammy Ballantyne-Webber joined the team as Head of Research. It is important to The Ar(t)chive that the dance legacy of South Africa is honoured, because it captures a unique historical period in South African history, both pre- and post-apartheid, a period in which dance and performance became a crucial activism tool in the struggle against various forms of inequality in South Africa. The Ar(t)chive facilitates access to research materials related to South African contemporary dance and physical performance, it builds relationships with artists, companies, festivals and other stakeholders to make materials available to researchers, writers, academics, students, as well as anyone interested in learning more about our country’s dancers and choreographers. In 2020, The Ar(t)chive became an affiliate organisation of Wits University, with Denyschen and Ballantyne-Webber becoming Research Associates. This will greatly assist the entity in raising further financial support to continue its work. The Ar(t)chive is aiming to diversify its board and specifically requires professionals who can advise on various aspects of governance and sustainability and, more crucially, fundraising and partnerships.

The Morris Isaacson Centre for Music (formerly the Cape Gate MIAGI Centre for Music), at the Morris Isaacson High School in Soweto, started as collaboration between the late philanthropist Mendel Kaplan (Cape Gate Chairman) and Robert Brooks (CEO of MIAGI – Music is a Great Investment). In 2008, Mendel Kaplan funded the construction of the Cape Gate MIAGI Centre for Music on the school premises, through his foundation, the Kaplan Kushlik Foundation, which was the first of its kind in any South African township. The centre was inaugurated in May 2011, with full operations commencing at the beginning of 2012. In 2018, the Centre was rebranded as the Morris Isaacson Centre for Music (MICM). Its vision is to become the best music education facility in Soweto, by producing dynamic musicians who are leaders in their communities, and its mission is to use music education as a tool to drive human development. This is done through an early childhood development programme, one-on-one teaching, and ensemble lessons. MICM seeks board candidates with marketing, legal, or education expertise.

The Rhinos Are Coming!!! (TRAC) is a non-profit company inspired by the world-famous Cow Parade Arts and Fundraising concept, which has (since 1998) been assisting cities throughout the world to hold public outdoor art exhibitions. TRAC’s mission is to spread worldwide awareness about the plight of our rhinos at the hands of poachers and to raise funds to save them from extinction. Funds are raised by bringing together collaborators from the business, conservation and arts’ worlds to sponsor, make and paint life-size rhino sculptures. The painted sculptures are sponsored by collaborating companies and individuals and are exhibited publicly at the V&A Waterfront and other high-foot-traffic locations. A prestigious plaque is displayed on each rhino’s plinth bearing the name and logo of the sponsor, the name of the artist, and the story about the plight of the rhinos in South Africa. A portion of the sponsorship funds is donated to rhino conservation initiatives, and at a later stage auctions will be held. A portion of the auction proceeds will also go to rhino conservation initiatives to purchase vital equipment, including tracker dogs and hi-tech communications devices. TRAC is seeking board members with creative solutions for the organisation, who may advise on marketing and assist with fundraising and establishing connections to artists. In particular, TRAC is interested in engaging with leaders specialising in the fields of rhino conservation, visual arts, and business leaders with an interest in these areas.

The Sibikwa Arts Centre is an award winning multi-disciplinary holistic arts and culture service provider located in Benoni, Gauteng. A chance meeting at a festival in 1988, between Smal Ndaba and Phyllis Klotz, and a meeting held by anxious parents in the East Rand township of Daveyton during times of unrest, led to the establishment of the Sibikwa Community Arts Theatre Project. Sibikwa promotes quality arts education, performance, vocational training and job creation in South Africa, and has extensive experience in vocational training in the performing arts, arts education, community development through the arts and the creation of innovative South African performance pieces. Those with legal expertise are sought for the Sibikwa Board.

To kick off the return of BoardBank, an online networking session will be hosted on 29 October 2020, where these organisations will introduce their work in more detail and prospective board members can find out more about them and network directly.

Register here.

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