Business and arts come together

ART lovers take note, there are less than two weeks left to enter the Business Day Business and Arts Awards, supported by Anglo American.

Disciplines such as architecture, design, visual arts, dance, theatre, physical performance, fashion and music have already attracted significant entries.

The awards recognise the important, creative and mutually beneficial relationship between businesses and the arts against the backdrop of a challenging economic environment.

This year's awards include new and refined categories, including the Innovation Award and the Champion of The Arts award. The latter acknowledges the key role individuals play within organisations while highlighting the importance of philanthropy. Recent research into arts funding and sponsorship in the UK found that individual support was more than double that of business sponsorship in the cultural sector in 2009.

The Innovation Award pays tribute to the very special relationship that is needed to create highly original arts and business partnerships that can go from "seed to strength to sustainability".

In total, the awards features 12 categories with nine of these being open for general entry.

"I urge all businesses, whether large or small, to enter the awards," says Michelle Constant, chief executive of Business and Arts South Africa.

"We believe that sponsorship of the arts can make a difference to an economy, which has been battered by the recession. And at a time when the term 'enrichment' has attracted such negative connotations in South Africa, we look forward to celebrating those businesses that have actively enriched our lives. After all, a world without art is no world at all."

This year also sees the awards launch a new, easy to use online nomination process to facilitate ease of entry. Log on to . The Awards section features guidelines, rules and regulations and nomination forms.

Short-listed nominees may be required to do a presentation to the panel of judges in Johannesburg during July 2010. The closing date for entries is May 21 2010.