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Henley MBA scholarship recipient is finalist in BASA Awards

The Coloured Cube, whose managing director Mariapaola McGurk is a Henley Africa MBA scholarship recipient, is a finalist in two categories for The Business and Arts South Africa Awards (BASA).

The categories are First Time Sponsor Award – for a business supporting the arts for the first time, regardless of size, budget, whether it is CSI, marketing, HR, BEE or other. Recognition was given for The Coloured Cube’s partnership with property developer Flanagan and Gerard for the Springs Mall artwork project involving 55 artworks installed throughout the Springs Mall.

The second category is the Strategic Project Award for outstanding initiative for best use of a project. This recognition was for a partnership with the Johannesburg Development Agency for Coloured Cube’s ‘My Alex: Youth Perception of Place’ project.

Business and Arts South Africa’s announcement of the 44 finalists for the annual BASA Awards is especially significant this year as the ceremony celebrates two decades of business and arts partnerships in South Africa.

Ms McGurk said: “To be announced as finalists in two categories for this prestigious award is incredible. Three years ago The Coloured Cube was founded as a profit-based arts company with a strong and absolute belief that arts and culture add value to our society. These awards are testimony to this and being acknowledged alongside our project partners: Government (Johannesburg Development Agency) and Private (Gerard & Flanagan - Property Development and Investment) is great motivation for pushing ahead and expanding our portfolio to new sectors within society – always with one eye on the Arts and Culture sector.”

Michelle Constant, CEO of BASA, said: “That BASA has not just survived but has thrived over 20 years is testament to the power of public-private partnerships in South Africa. The Department of Arts and Culture remains a critical partner, as do the corporates that believe in the value of the arts and the creative sector in our society.”

This year the Awards, partnered by Hollard and Business Day, reveal an array of talented partnerships, with strong contention in all 11 categories.

“Having been at the launch of BASA two decades ago, I was present when it raised the prospects of business holding hands with the arts to forge a creative partnership the cultural sector in SA. Twenty years later, this partnership stands strong,” said BASA chairman Andre le Roux. “Looking back, I didn’t know I would be serving an organisation that has had an amazing impact on the arts in Southern Africa, with an arsenal of projects that corporate SA and government can be proud of.”

Jon Foster-Pedley, dean of Henley Africa, said that Ms McGurk is putting long hours into her MBA programme. “It is great to see our students receiving recognition for projects during their studies. Mariapaola has commented that she is already applying the MBA principles she is learning with success.”

Ms McGurk added: “'Working towards an MBA is no easy task but the knowledge gained is already benefiting my approach to business and strategy. I am hoping this has a direct impact on expanding our market and offering creative solutions, that positively impact the arts, to new and untapped clients. Watch this space!”
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