18 Nov 2009
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The five annual Arts Foundation Laureates were announced last night in a ceremony in Auckland. Each of the five Laureates, Anne Noble, Chris Knox, Lyonel Grant, Witi Ihimaera, Richard Nunns received a $50,000, no-strings-attached donation to celebrate their past achievements and invest in their future.
"The Laureate awards are about recognising senior New Zealand artists who have a substantial track record of excellence, and who still have plenty of creative juices left in the tank," says Foundation chairperson Ros Burdon.
This year's Laureate Awards marks the Arts Foundation's tenth birthday. The Foundation has now awarded 49 Laureateships, worth a total of $2.12 million, since it was founded in 2000 to help growprivate support for the arts.
The Laureate awards ceremony was sponsored by financial services firm, Forsyth Barr. Performers at the ceremony included several previous Laureates, such as singer Moana Maniapoto and ta mōko artist and DerekLardelli. Experimental musician Alastair Galbraith, a 2006 Laureate, unveiled the latest version of his glass-tube fire organ and Don McGlashan ended the evening with his song Marvellous Year.
The Arts Foundation is now one of New Zealand's largest arts patronage organisations. It has anendowment fund of just over $6 million, which is managed by Forsyth Barr and grows through the support of individual and corporate donors. The Foundation has been promised another $10 million in legacies.
As well as the Laureate awards, the Foundation administers six other awards: the Icon Awards; the Governors' Award; the Award for Patronage; the NewGeneration Award; the Marti Friedlander Photographic Award, and the Harriet Friedlander New York Residency.
Mrs Burdon attributes the Arts Foundation's success over the last decade to three things: stability, innovation and generosity.
"Having Forsyth Barr as a committed sponsor for more than seven years has given us the freedom to grow," she says. "We have been innovative in the way we select artists forawards and the way we celebrate them. This has resulted in new levels of understanding and generosity from many New Zealanders."
Forsyth Barr Managing Director Neil Paviour-Smith says his company feels privileged to have been involved in honouring 96 New Zealand artists through its association with the Foundation.
"Each artist has been gracious in receiving their award and generous in sharing their work with communities throughout New Zealandand just as importantly with each other. The 2009 recipients of the Laureate Awards demonstrate again the amazing calibre of New Zealand artists; we congratulate them and welcome them to the Laureate family."