27 Nov 2013
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Enabling artists to develop their potential as arts managers and leaders, is the aim of a new Creative New Zealand-funded Pasifika internship initiative.
Creative New Zealand has contracted Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust to deliver three internships in 2014.
Tautai is pleased to announce its selected interns for 2014: spoken word poet Grace Taylor, community artist Amiria Puia-Taylor, and performer and administrator Paul Fagamalo.
The internships were open to New Zealand resident artists of Pacific heritage with a tertiary qualification and/or at least three years continuous experience working as an artist, practitioner or administrator. Tautai will work with the successful interns to find the right host organisation and then mentor the artists as they prepare and complete the 20-week internships.
The internships will give the artists access to organisations’ knowledge and experience, along with considerable professional development opportunities. These include being mentored by respected visual artist Janet Lilo - who also co-chairs Tautai’s trust board, teaches at Elam School of Fine Arts, and has experience working with Creative New Zealand.
“The internships will enable the artists to ‘produce’ artworks in both senses of the word,” Janet Lilo says.
“Developing arts management skills is an important thread. There’s a boom of creative people, with many doing community style work. The internships are about bridging the gap between those audiences and operating at a higher industry level…Put simply, instead of being an artist on the bill of a festival or exhibition, the aim is for the artists to also understand the context, timing and planning needed to organise one.”
Tautai has a proven track record of successfully developing and delivering internships and other professional development programmes in the arts and/or tertiary sectors across New Zealand. The Trust has strong knowledge of, and networks within, New Zealand arts and cultural institutions.
“Tautai occupies a unique niche in the Aotearoa/New Zealand arts world as an organisation facilitating the development of contemporary pacific art and artists,” says Tautai Manager Christina Jeffery.
“This includes raising the profile of Pacific art and artists, and fulfilling their aspirations to manage and lead arts projects. We aim to provide leadership, and an infrastructure, in the development of Pacific art and artists. This includes raising the profile of Pacific art and artists nationally and internationally.”
Grace is a poet, producer of poetry productions, creative entrepreneur and teaching artist. She is recognised for co-founding and producing the Rising Voices Youth Movement SUP (Stand Up Poetry), and recently published her first collection of poetry, Afakasi Speaks, with Ala Press, Hawaii.
“I believe in people being inspired and resourced to tell their own stories through poetry. With this internship I plan to increase my skills as a producer and marketer of poetry productions and events in Aotearoa and the Pacific. I am interested in carving the next platform for Pacific voices in poetry to be spoken and heard. I am very aware that I am not one, I am of a people. This internship is meaningless unless it contributes directly to the people, communities, and the art form, poetry, that I am cultivated from. I see myself as an ambassador, student, artistic scientist and teacher. I am in direct mentorship roles constantly and have benefitted from past opportunities to improve my arts management skills. I see great opportunities in this internship to learn more about satisfying a huge need for high quality productions and theatre for our art form and our poets.”
Amiria is a recent graduate of University of Auckland at Manukau [now known as MIT Faculty of Creative Arts], where she majored in design and public arts. She has set up her own projects to work as a community ambassador advocating for cultural understanding and social change through mural art; works as a facilitator for mural arts collective, Painting for the People; and has facilitated many projects in South Auckland building up entrepreneurial and managerial skills.
“Murals are where social change begin. I plan to establish an income-generating, sustainable mural arts initiative that provides an alternative education pathway, and workplace experience, for tertiary students. I see this internship as contributing to my objective to be someone who works equally effectively with grassroots communities and in boardroom environments, achieving positive results for both. I plan to make the most of this opportunity and learn, learn, learn. I would like to develop a directing/managerial skills set that can contribute to the Pacific arts and most importantly become a resource for our communities.”
Paul is a graduate of AUT, with a Bachelor of Communications, majoring in advertising. He gained a Diploma in Pacific Performing Arts at the Pacific Institute of Performing Arts (PIPA), where he currently works as an administrator. Paul has had many stage roles in theatre and musical theatre.
“Gaining this internship has help solidify the path that I wish to move forward in, in terms of attaining more experience in the producing side of the arts industry. I am grateful for the opportunity to not only gain knowledge from industry leaders, but to also apply and share this knowledge with other young and upcoming Pacific artists.”
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