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Strength and diversity reflected in Arts Board grants

Creative New Zealand  |30 Oct . 2000

The strength, diversity and innovation of New Zealand arts and artists are reflected in the 221 projects offered grants in the latest funding round of the Arts Board of Creative New Zealand.

Announcing the grants, Arts Board Chair Christopher Finlayson said artists had responded to the air of optimism established in the cultural sector by Prime Minister Helen Clark.

“Along with an extremely diverse range of proposals, there was also a quality of freshness that stood out in many of the projects,” Mr Finlayson said. “This augurs well for the future of the arts in New Zealand, as long as we can continue to improve the level of support for our artists.”

Mr Finlayson thanked the artform assessment committees for their recommendations to the Arts Board. Their advice on artform and sector issues had been invaluable, he said. Arts Board members then deliberated over the final decisions.

The Arts Board received 191 more applications than in the same funding round last year, representing a 33% increase in applications. In total, 750 applications for project funding seeking more than $14 million were received, compared with 559 applications seeking $8.7 million in the same funding round last year.

Artists apply for funding to the Arts Board under three programmes, which were developed to acknowledge and reflect the creative process. They are New Work; Creative and Professional Development; and Presentation, Promotion and Audience Development.

New Work is about supporting the creation of original New Zealand work. Mr Finlayson said the Arts Board funded a number of exciting projects that would be enjoyed by the wider community. For instance, the Bishop Suter Gallery was offered a $20,000 grant to commission Christine Boswijk, a senior ceramic artist, to create a major body of new work. This work will be exhibited at the Nelson gallery in July 2001.

And Inside Out Productions of Auckland was offered a $100,000 grant to create and develop a music theatre work with Gareth Farr about the poet James K. Baxter. Director Mike Mizrahi says the project aims to create a work with broad appeal while taking audiences out of their comfort zone and redefining their perceptions of opera.
Also under this programme, 11 grants supported musicians working in contemporary popular New Zealand music. Examples are: Edmund McWilliams of Auckland ($5000); Maryrose Crook of Dunedin ($6000); and David Kilgour of Dunedin ($6000).

Examples of other grants funded under New Work:

 $35,000 to SiLO Theatre of Auckland to produce and present three new plays by Auckland playwrights in early 2001

 $18,000 to biographer Michael King of Whangamata to research the life and work of New Zealand-born sexologist and art patron John Money, who joined the John Hopkins University in Baltimore in 1951. Last year, Money donated his art collection to the Eastern Southland Art Gallery in Gore

 $4000 to Saxcess of Wellington to commission new works for saxophone quartet, extending their repertoire of New Zealand work

 $20,000 to the Orpheus Choir of Wellington to commission a major choral orchestral work by composer John Psathas and poet Robert Sullivan, to be presented as part of the Choir’s 50th anniversary celebrations in 2002

 $7000 to ceramic artist Chris Weaver of Hokitika to develop a body of new work for exhibition

 $23,000 to Good Company of Dunedin towards a season/installation of contemporary dance and visual media.

The Creative and Professional Development funding programme is about developing practitioners’ skills and providing opportunities for experimentation, concept development, innovation, research and debate with peers.

Examples of grants funded under Creative and Professional Development:

 $35,900 to the New Zealand Society of Authors for a range of services and activities for its membership, including six issues of The New Zealand Author, awards and fellowships, and a mentoring scheme

 $10,000 to the New Zealand National Singing School Trust of Napier to hold a residential school in January 2001

 $5000 to the New Zealand Northumbrian Pipers’ Society of Taranaki towards a masterclass and North Island tour with British musicians

 $15,000 to Gordon Page Productions of Wellington to support training in arts production management skills.

Literary magazines were supported under this programme. For instance, Peppercorn Press ($25,000 for five issues of New Zealand Books); Sport ($10,000 for two issues of Sport); University of Otago Press ($12,000 for two issues of Landfall); and Takahe Collective Trust ($10,000 for three issues of Takahe).

A number of visual art and craft residencies were supported under New Work or Creative and Professional Development, in partnership with institutions such as the Unitec Institute of Technology in Auckland ($15,000); the Govett Brewster Art Gallery in New Plymouth ($18,000 for two residency projects); the Christchurch Polytechnic ($14,000); and the Otago Polytechnic ($15,500 for two residency projects).

Other grants supporting residencies include:

 $13,500 to the Waitakere City Council for a community-based residency involving ceramic artists Richard Parker and Janet Holtrighter, who will produce a community-owned, site-specific artwork.

 $16,000 to the Dunedin Public Art Gallery for its 2001 visiting artists programme, which will host Auckland artist Violet Faigan and New York artist Nancy Dwyer

 $15,000 to the Southland Art Foundation of Invercargill for its 2001 residency programme, known as the William Hodges Fellowship. The 2001 artists are photographers Ross T. Smith and Margaret Dawson.

The Arts Board also has an international residencies programme and earlier this year, three artists were awarded international residencies. They were Christchurch writer Sarah Quigley (the inaugural Creative New Zealand Berlin Writers Residency); Wellington artist Sean Kerr (the Artspace residency in Sydney); and Lyttelton jeweller Miriam Gribble (the inaugural Object Centre for Contemporary Craft residency in Sydney).

The third funding programme, Presentation, Promotion and Audience Development, supports projects and activities promoting and presenting work primarily to New Zealand audiences.

A number of grants under this programme supported the publication of New Zealand work, including a $4000 grant to Auckland University Press to publish a collection of poetry by Allan Curnow; $3000 to Victoria University Press to publish the letters and early poems of James K. Baxter, edited by Paul Millar; and a $3000 grant to Penguin Books to publish a biography of Peter Fraser.

Several galleries or art spaces were supported to mount a series of exhibitions for emerging artists. They include the High St Project of Christchurch ($15,000); Enjoy of Wellington ($7192); and Blue Oyster Gallery of Dunedin ($12,000).

Under either Presentation, Promotion and Audience Development or New Work, a range of festivals were offered grants. Christopher Finlayson said that in allocating grants to festivals, the Arts Board was able to support the creation of new work, encourage greater participation in the arts and help artists present their work to wider audiences.

Examples of grants to festivals:

 $90,000 to the International Festival of the Arts for the creative development of new music, theatre and dance works by New Zealand artists

 $75,000 to the Christchurch Arts Festival to create and present New Zealand work at the 2001 festival

 $4000 to the 2001 New Zealand Male Voice Choir Festival of New Zealand of Christchurch to commission Philip Norman to write a 10-minute work for male voice choir, to be premiered at the fourth annual New Zealand Male Voice Choir Festival in October 2001

 $10,000 to the Bay of Islands Arts Festival for a special tenth anniversary festival, to be held in March 2001

 $30,000 to the Tauranga Arts Festival towards the New Zealand artists at the festival

 $8000 to the Taranaki Festival of the Arts to support its Power of Words literary programme.

Mr Finlayson said that many of the new works commissioned for festivals subsequently toured New Zealand and, in some cases, overseas. For instance, the Indian Ink Theatre Company premiered The Candlestickmaker at the New Zealand Festival 2000 in March and since then, the play has toured to Hamilton, Nelson, Blenheim and Dunedin.

In this round, the company was offered a $27,000 grant to tour the play to eight additional regional centres. It was also offered $4000 to present its first play, Krishnan’s Dairy, at an inaugural arts festival in Tasmania in March 2001.

Touring also features large on Madeleine Sami’s calendar. The Auckland actor stars in Toa Fraser’s second play, No 2, and with Ian Hughes in Bare. A grant of $15,288 supports a tour of Bare to the 2001 Brighton Festival and other venues in Britain. And a grant of $20,000 supports a national tour of No 2, which will kick off at the 2001 Christchurch Arts Festival and take in Dunedin, Rotorua, Hamilton, Hastings and Nelson.

Following its successul national tour of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the New Zealand Actors’ Company of Auckland was offered a $96,000 grant towards a second national tour, this time of Roger Hall’s new play, A Way of Life.

Examples of other grants under Presentation, Promotion and Audience Development:

 $95,000 to Black Grace Dance Company of Auckland towards a national tour of its most recent work, Our Back Yard, in April 2001

 $60,000 to the Auckland Dance Company towards a Limbs retrospective tour to Wellington and Auckland in August 2001

 $50,000 to the Auckland Art Gallery towards its inaugural triennial, Bright Paradise, an exhibition of contemporary New Zealand and international art, opening in March 2001

 $28,000 to the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Govett Brewster Gallery to tour an exhibition of Len Lye’s work to Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne in 2001

 $18,445 to the Australian Centre for Craft and Design towards the New Zealand content in Object Magazine

 $10,000 to Mark de Clive-Lowe of Auckland towards a world tour in late 2000 of the contemporary jazz ensemble Six Degrees

 $10,000 to the Art and Industry Biennial Trust of Christchurch towards a publication documenting its 2000 Biennale

 $11,000 to the Public Dreams Trust to present Romeo and Tusi at First Night Hastings, a community festival culminating on New Year’s Eve

 $15,000 to the Inangahua Community Arts Council of the West Coast to present An Evening With Dame Malvina Major with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra in January 2001.

A feature of this funding round was support for projects that provided young people with access to the arts, either as artists or audiences. The Rockquest Trust, for instance, was offered a $30,000 towards the 2001 PepsiSmokefree Rockquest for secondary school musicians while a $15,000 grant to the Shakespeare Globe Centre supports the 2001 Sheilah Winn Festival of Shakespeare in Schools.

Examples of other grants supporting youth:

 $15,000 to The Edge of Auckland towards a youth arts programme as part of The British Council Youth Forum, to be held in June 2001

 $31,560 to Calico Young Peoples Theatre of Hawkes Bay to tour Wipe Out to schools

 $35,000 to Young and Hungry Youth Theatre of Wellington to develop its Festival of Plays 2001

 $18,000 to Vincent Ford of Gisborne to write two children’s novels.

The Arts Board has also awarded two bursaries and a fellowship. Details of the recipients will be announced later this week.

For a full list of Creative New Zealand grants, see our publications section.

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