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Art museum supporters shine at Basa awards

JOBURG - Three dedicated supporters of the Wits Art Museum scooped up awards at the 16th annual Business Day Basa Awards supported by Anglo-American.

The Business Arts South Africa awards were held at the Johannesburg City Hall.

Founding patron of The Ampersand Foundation and museum supporter Jack Ginsberg received the Art Champion award for his outstanding support of the arts.

Speaking on behalf of the museum, Lesley Cohen said, “Ginsberg donated countless works to the museum and established the foundation for the long-term support of the foundation.”

He was also recognised for his support of Artist Proof Studio and South African artists through the Ampersand Fellowships, which enabled more than 120 local artists to spend time in New York City.

The First-time Sponsor award went to Bidvest for their sponsorship of the museum’s opening event.

“Bidvest enabled the museum to celebrate this highly significant milestone and to appropriately thank all the role players who contributed in many ways to the development of the museum,” said Cohen.

Bidvest’s sponsorship also enabled the funding of the museum’s public relations efforts which translated into an advertising value equivalent of R10 million.

Marketing professional Leanne Gitlin was among the finalists for the Mentor of the Year award, sponsored by Etana.

Gitlin worked tirelessly with the museum for over 18 months, and donated her time to support the museum staff.

The Mentor of the Year award went to Hilton Lawler for his work with artist support network Assemblage.

The French embassy scooped up the Diplomacy in the Arts award for the France-South Africa seasons; a multi-faceted arts collaboration between the two countries.

The Distell Foundation received the Chairman’s Premier award for its “sustained and extraordinary commitment” to the arts in South Africa.

This year’s awards saw a double winner in the youth development award category; Sasol Limited for the South African National Youth Orchestra, and Rand Merchant Bank for the Durban Music School.

The Johannesburg Development Agency won the Increasing Access to the Arts award for the Diepsloot Public Artworks Programme, and the uMngeni Municipality won the Arts and Environment award for the Nelson Mandela Capture Site.

The Long-term Partnership award went to Arcelor/Mittal South Africa for its three-year partnership with the Southern Guild Collectable Design Gallery.

“We’re thrilled to have grown South Africa’s only awards recognising business arts partnerships. The nominees and winners showed that there is real value in business partnering with the arts to reach their markets and achieve shared value,” said Business and Arts South Africa CEO Michelle Constant.

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