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Henley Partners with ‘Night of 1000 Drawings’ Initiative

Henley Business School Africa has secured a drop-off box for the ‘Night of 1000 Drawings’ art-for-charity initiative, an empowerment project that culminates in a one-night-only, huge inner-city art sale to raise funds for various causes.

In 2015 and 2016 proceeds went to The Streetlight Schools Projects, a non-profit initiative aimed at creating affordable primary schools through improved teaching practices, access to technology, cost-effectiveness and modern skills development.

“Throughout the year people contribute by creating artworks in an A5 format. These can be doodles, sketches, painting, photographs, etching, embroidery – we’ve even had a donation in pewter, any kind of art as long as it’s A5,” said Kelly McGillivray of 1000 Drawings.

Anyone can do draw sketches - in coffee shops, with friends or create art in private. Drop-off boxes for artwork are located around Johannesburg, and now one is located at Henley’s campus in Sunninghill, where students, delegates and alumni are encouraged to draw and drop-off their A5 art.


The sale of the art collected culminates in a unique, one-night-only, inner-city art exhibition. All proceeds from the exhibition are donated to selected charities. In 2015 and 2016 Streetlight Schools received R100 000 from 1000 Drawings to help establish their now thriving school.


Anyone can take part to this initiative, from well-known artists, illustrators, celebrities, street and tattoo artists’ - right through to primary school children, parents and grandparents.


“At Henley we were particularly excited about this initiative as we are home to many creatives within the business world. We run a Creative MBA and a Centre for Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship (ICE) which includes many great creatives. We look forward to many interesting and exciting submissions from our talented students,” said Jon Foster-Pedley, dean of Henley Business School Africa.

The original 1000 Drawings project in Johannesburg has now grown and been adopted in other countries. “We see ‘1000 Drawings’ projects taking place in Amsterdam, Berlin, Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Dubai, Johannesburg, Munich, Tuscany, Hong Kong and Australia. The number of designs donated at each event now tops 5,000 sketches.”

“South Africa remains one of the most challenging countries in the world for children entering school. Only one out of 100 Grade 1 students will finish university, with only 20% of the country’s children performing at grade level. Primary school is crucial to later success in life. In some school systems, by age 7, children who score in the top 20% on tests of numeracy and literacy are already twice as likely to complete a university degree as children in the bottom 20%,” said Kelly McGillivray.

“Meanwhile, there has never been a more exciting time to re-imagine education. Technology can personalise learning cost-effectively and new strategies have emerged that drastically improve the potential for schools, even in underserved communities, to be places of great learning,” said Mr Foster-Pedley.