In 1994, the country was exuberant, hope was blooming, politicians were promising a better life for all and business and citizens were embracing democracy and freedom. The arts, which over the centuries have been acknowledged as a necessary part of human existence, were — like many other aspects of society — poised to flourish with a new urgency. An organisation that sought to bridge the gap between the arts and business, Business and Arts SA (Basa) was born. "What happened is that Mary Slack sat down with a consultant from the UK, who ran an organisation in the UK that successfully aligned businesses that wanted to fund arts organisations and artists," Basa CEO Michelle Constant explains in an interview at Basa’s offices in Parkwood, Johannesburg. The previous day, Basa had held a breakfast function at a nearby restaurant in which business people, creative industry leaders and the media were briefed about its plans to mark its 20th anniversary in 2017. It sketched the way forward f...

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