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2015 ACT | UJ Arts & Culture Conference considers intersections between business and creativity

The UJ Arts & Culture Conference promises to provide many opportunities for creatives and entrepreneurs in the creative sector. ​

Taking place at the University of Johannesburg from 8-10 March, conference delegates can look forward to engaging in practical ways with attendees, speakers and industry professionals; with a focus on cultivating business ideas and best practice in a contemporary creative South Africa.

The conference will have a cluster of sessions called ‘LEARN IT, powered by Business and Arts South Africa’, which will be addressing the connections between business, brand and the arts. Curated in conjunction with BASA, this cluster intends to look at creative collaborations between business and creative sectors, future markets, creating the perfect pitch, and how non-creatives can work with creatives.

“Given the current economic challenges and climate both internationally and locally, Business and Arts South Africa continues to look for real engagement between the private and arts sectors. We have supported this cluster because we really believe that there are great opportunities of shared value, demonstrating the power and importance of the arts in society as a whole. There are so many lessons we can learn from the arts, and we hope the session can provide real opportunities of engagement, and ultimately enthusiasm,” says BASA CEO, Michelle Constant.

An exciting addition to this year’s conference proceedings is the Live Pitch session which will see entrepreneurs pitching their business ideas to a panel for the chance to win a share of R100,000 to fund their project. Sponsored by the Arts & Culture Trust and Nedbank Arts Affinity, three grants to the value of R10,000, R30,000 and R60,000 will be made available to the winning projects.

“This years conference has a strong thematic focus on the creative entrepreneur and we want to advocate how ‘creatives make it happen’ in practical ways as well,” explains Arts & Culture Trust CEO, Pieter Jacobs.

Cluster 3: OWN IT sees a focus on entrepreneurial thinking; and will be made up of sessions which look at case studies of individuals and companies that are doing business differently. The subject of creativity as a social solution will be addressed and it will consider individuals who are curating creative consumption, and connecting the dots; making tangible business opportunities out of connections and synergies.

As part of Cluster 5: SEE IT, there will be a session entitled ‘Business is Booming’, on site in the newly opened Newtown Junction, which will explore the potential for engagement between big businesses and the creative industries, and the possible benefits of such engagement for both parties.

An engaging opening event on Sunday, 8 March, includes input from comedian Tats Nkonzo, Dion Chang of Flux Trends, and Masterchef finalist Jade de Waal.

Cluster 2: HEAR IT, taking place on the morning of Monday, 9 March, at UJ Arts Centre, will provide an overview of where we’re at locally and internationally in terms of the creative industries. Key personalities will provide insight into the thinking and structures within which we’re operating and allow for insightful discussion.

Tickets are now available at Full conference passes will cost R1,000 and R350 for students to attend clusters 2-5. Cluster tickets range from R200 for individual clusters. For more information, please join the conversation at @actujconference @basa_news @connect_za @actorgza #creativesmakeithappen ​​


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