United Colours of Africa
Hazel Chimhandamba, head of Group Sponsorships at Standard Bank said,
What role does the private and public sector play in growing the creative economy?
The arts in Africa are a powerful expression of our creativity and play an integral part in generating a positive narrative with a global impact. Our mandate at Standard Bank is to support a wide range of initiatives that both nurture young talent and showcase the rich diversity of our creative arts. Our approach to selecting projects in the arts and music space is indicative of this. Standard Bank's commitment to investing across the arts spectrum on the continent represents a 30-year legacy and we are proud to provide ongoing support for a variety of key projects, which have evolved into highlights across the South African and African cultural calendar.
Our support of the arts in Africa extends to the sponsorship of the following programmes:
Standard Bank Art Gallery : The Standard Bank Gallery is an inspirational exhibition space, situated in the vibrant heart of downtown Jozi. Since opening in 1990, it has established itself as one of the city's principal fine art venues. The gallery offers a dynamic exhibition programme, serving as a testament to Standard Bank's true commitment to cultural development.
The Standard Bank African Art Collection is of historical significance for the insight it offers into development in Africa's culture. Jointly owned by Standard Bank and the University of the Witwatersrand, it includes pieces from all over Africa, but an emphasis on southern African art objects has helped to stem the flow of valuable artworks out of the country. The collection includes wood figurines, drums, masks, clothing and ritual objects as well as specialist areas such as beadwork, textiles and valuable ceramic pieces.
The Standard Bank corporate art collection is one of South Africa's most significant and representative corporate collections with over 1000 pieces that promotes work by local artists, we are committed to showcasing the best and most relevant works.
National Arts Festival: Standard Bank has been a presenting sponsor of the biggest annual celebration of the arts on the African continent – the National Arts Festival – since 1997. Held over 11 days in the small city of Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape, Standard Bank is involved in a number of key areas of the Festival including the Standard Bank Jazz Festival, the Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Festival, the Standard Bank Ovation Awards, the Children's Arts Festival and a new property, the Cape Town Fringe Festival which is also managed by the National Arts Festival.
Standard Bank Young Artist Awards: The National Arts Festival established the Young Artist Awards in 1981 to acknowledge emerging young South African artists who demonstrate an outstanding artistic talent. These prestigious awards are presented annually to deserving artists in different disciplines – dance, jazz, music, theatre, visual art, performance art and film – affording them national exposure and acclaim. Standard Bank took over the sponsorship of the awards in 1984 and has presented Young Artist Awards in all the major arts disciplines over their 33-year sponsorship, as well as posthumous and special recognition awards. The winners feature on the Main Programme of the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown and receive financial support for their Festival participation, as well as a cash prize.
Standard Bank Jazz: Standard Bank has sponsored one of South Africa's leading festivals – the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz – for 17 years. The festival speaks to the growth of the arts in Africa and jazz as a genre is an integral part of the history of South African music.
Standard Bank's support of live jazz on the continent continues to grow with the Stanbic Ghana Jazz Festival celebrating its third edition in 2016 and becoming one of Ghana's most anticipated music events.
The inaugural Stanbic Misty Festival was held in Lusaka Zambia in 2014 attracting thousands of jazz fans from across the country and the region.
In Malawi the jazz platform is Blue Mingoli which promotes local artists who share the stage with invited international artists.
Standard Bank partnered with the French Institute in Mauritius for the second time in 2016 for the “Blues dan Jazz”.
How did the first festivals begin and how have their numbers grown?
Jazz as a genre has deep roots in South Africa and Africa as a continent. It has been a part of our musical history without fading away amongst the newer genres in the industry today. It is an art form that continues to evolve naturally taking on new sounds and younger artists under its wings making it strongly relevant. Standard Bank is not an exclusive supporter of jazz alone, but we have committed to a broad representation of the arts in Africa and we are proud to have Jazz as one of them.
Standard Bank Joy of Jazz: Joy of Jazz made its first appearance at the State Theatre in Pretoria in 1997. The first Standard Bank Joy of Jazz took place in Newtown in 2000. It drew an audience of 1800. In 2014 Standard Bank Joy of Jazz relocated to Sandton to accommodate the growth in audiences which last year drew over 22 000 people. Over the years, the festival has established itself amongst the Top 10 Jazz events in the world drawing visitors from around South Africa, the African continent and the globe. Standard Bank Joy of Jazz partners include The Department of Arts and Culture, The City of Johannesburg, Gauteng Tourism, and South African Tourism. In 2016 more than 90 artists performed on 4 stages over 3 nights. Some of the artists at this year's festival included: Gerald Albright, Johnathan Butler, Jose James, Sibongile Khumalo, Sipho ‘Hotstix' Mabuse, Kendrick Scott, Lira, Kahil El' Zabar, Siya Makhuzeni (SBYA), Judith Sephuma, Concorde Nkabinde, Ringo and Moreira Chonguica. Standard Bank's sponsorship of the 2016 Standard Bank Joy of Jazz is in its 17 th year. The strategic objective when Standard Bank first partnered with the festival as a sponsor was to support the growth of a small musical event into the country's premier jazz festival; expose South African audiences to some of the world's best performers; give local artists an international platform and to grow audiences. The festival has a mix of South African, African and international artists reinforcing that Standard Bank's home is in Africa, with the bank operating in 20 territories. However, from the outset it was envisioned that Standard Bank Joy of Jazz would be much more than simply a three-day long Gauteng festival featuring musical heavyweights. The decision was taken to reach audiences and communities who didn't attend the festival through programmes such as Jazz Cares; free build-up concerts around the country in the build-up to the festival known as Road to Joy of Jazz ; musical workshops featuring some of the headline acts who lecture and tutor young students as well as a cultural exchange programmes which would see the sharing of skills and knowledge. This is in line with Standard Bank's sponsorship mandate which ensures that all sponsorship properties are underpinned by a socially relevant platform.
Standard Bank Jazz Festival in Grahamstown: The Standard Bank Jazz Festival in Grahamstown has grown in stature over the years and is now regarded as a serious international jazz festival that gives audiences a sense of the country's jazz heritage as well as new trends emerging from both within the continent and around the globe. It also includes significant collaborations between visiting musicians and their local counterparts. Jazz in Grahamstown has always been built on collaboration and sharing of skills and knowledge which has produced some magic over the years and driven the jazz conversation into new territory. And this year was amongst the most exciting line ups we've had. The Standard Bank Jazz Festival in Grahamstown has become a litmus test of South Africa's jazz future and this year again presented some of the country's best young talent. Young Guns comprised Sisonke Xonti, Justin Bellairs, Thandi Ntuli, Romy Brauteseth and Claude Cozens while Cape Town duo The Kiffness has rapidly become one of South Africa's favourite live electronic acts, producing jazzy, groovy house music. Founder member David Scott first attended the Jazz Festival as a 13-year-old trumpeter and his musical partner, Clem Carr, was in the Standard Bank National Schools Jazz Band in 2003.
The Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Festival has been going for 23 years now, with more than 300 students and 40 teachers from different backgrounds attending every year. These students and teachers get the chance to interact and engage with 120 top musicians who form part of the concurrent Standard Bank Jazz Festival. The programme includes innovative jazz performances, rehearsals, workshops, lectures and networking, culminating in the top jazz students in South Africa auditioning for places in the Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Band (SBNYJB) and the Standard Bank National Schools Big Band (SBNSBB), the latter of which is regarded as the most significant single youth jazz development initiative in the country.
On the two separate adjudication panels for these bands are teachers, lecturers and leading musicians. The SBNYJB performs at major festivals around South Africa and occasionally tours internationally.
All other students who attend the festival are divided into mixed-ability big bands who practise daily, allowing students who do not normally play in a quality ensemble the chance to do so.
Statistically, how much are the festivals contributing to the economy and to tourism?
It has been estimated that Standard Bank Joy of Jazz currently injects approximately R600 million annually into the Gauteng economy. A report is conducted for the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown every 3 years. The next report is only due November/December 2016 but attached please find the last report (2013). From general observations though, the Festival audience is getting more diverse in terms of race and language and is also getting younger.
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