Q&A with Yamin Tun, Auckland Diversity Project Manager
2 Sep 2015
Yamin Tun is our Project Manager for the Auckland Diversity Project, a new initiative which supports projects that increase arts attendance and participation by Māori, Pacific and Asian communities in the Auckland Region. We asked Yamin some questions about her role and how she can help you.
Yamin: I project manage all aspects of Creative New Zealand’s Auckland Diversity Project.
I see my role as helping arts organisations and artists make the strongest possible application to the Auckland Diversity Project Fund to give themselves the best chance of success. I encourage them to think blue-skies, to have the freedom to be imaginative and consider the projects they always dreamed about but perhaps parked because time and resources weren’t available to them previously. And of course, I want them to use their understanding or identification with Māori, Pacific and Asian communities in their planning to ensure we achieve real engagement with diverse new audiences.
Along with other teams at Creative New Zealand, I also encourage artists and arts organisations to partner with other organisations and communities, eg venues, festivals, community groups. We want to see an infrastructure that allows a project to create deep, long-term relationships with diverse audiences.
All creative work has value through the process of its creation, but work has meaning when an audience has seen it. Reaching and maintaining relationships with audiences is integral.
Q: What experience led you to work on the Auckland Diversity Project?
I previously worked at Creative New Zealand in the Communications team (still in my heart, and a great team!) in Wellington. My home is Auckland now and it’s a city I feel an intense sense of belonging to.
I’ve worked in film, arts and culture projects in Auckland, predominantly with migrant communities and with primary-aged children.
In my recent films Two Princes, WAIT and Boy’s Day Out I’ve collaborated with the Filipino, Indonesian, Chinese, Hong Kong, Malaysian and Singaporean communities. I also collaborate with my peers (writers, directors, performers) from Māori, Pacific and Asian communities, so this role is right up my street. I have a huge amount of personal commitment and desire to seeing our artists succeed.
Q: Who or what inspires you most?
My cat. She’s a world traveler like me and a survivor. She takes every moment as it comes, and stays cool. If only I had that kind of charisma, in-the-moment Zen, and tail-wafting chutzpah.
Also, William Shakespeare. A writer from nowhere (no privilege nor title – if you subscribe to the orthodox view of his identity) who explored the many ways we are human.
What have been the most rewarding aspects of your career so far?
Two things stick out for me:
- Having my films (such as Two Princes and WAIT) seen by audiences I don’t personally know.
- Having public casting sessions for film and theatre in diverse communities, and hearing someone say when they read my script, “That’s the story of my life”. It feels amazing to speak about the lives of ordinary people who do extraordinary things through the sheer struggle to make a life.
What do you hope will be achieved from the Auckland Diversity Project? What will be a successful result for you when it finishes in 2018?
I hope we discover new voices and talents and are able to support them to achieve memorable, meaningful work that reaches diverse audiences that reflect the people of Auckland.
Great work keeps audiences enthralled. Personal highlights of work I’ve experienced, such as Indian Ink, MAU, and work by Sidi Larbi Cherkoui, Damien Jalet, Antony Gormley, or Shen Wei Dance Arts, can come from anywhere, but they make audiences feel the magic of being human; being alive.
I’ll be happy if what we do is create taste – by that I mean the work that we support increases audiences’ appetite for distinctive, extraordinary art. If we can support people to make great work, and support the communication, engagement and marketing talent to build relationships with audiences who experience the work, I think the seeds will be planted for a long-term love affair.
Yamin is based in our Auckland office. Contact Yamin if you’d like to talk to her about her role and/or the Auckland Diversify Project Fund.
About the Auckland Diversity Project Fund
Creative New Zealand’s three-year Auckland Diversity Project Fund offers arts organisations and artists the opportunity to apply for funding support for projects that engage with Māori, Pacific and Asian communities and artists in the region.
Up to $200,000 is available in each of 2015, 2016 and 2017.
We are currently calling for proposals to the Auckland Diversity Project Fund for 2015.
The fund is open to established artists and arts organisations working in any artform. Collaborative projects are encouraged. Applicants need to be Auckland-based or have a significant presence in the region.
The deadline for proposals is 5pm, Wednesday 30 September 2015.
Visit the Creative New Zealand website for more information and how to apply.