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NZ’s first multi-community artist-in-residency programme announced


 

Community focused, creative enabling Project in Waikato (photo supplied)

Whiria te Tāngata (Weave the People together) is an amazing, one of its kind programme which focuses on community focused, creative enabling.

With support from Creative Waikato and financial backing through Manatū Taonga’s (Ministry of Culture and Heritage) innovation fund, Ten Independent Artists have been chosen to weave creativity and wellbeing into the diverse and under-represented communities they are already activating across the Waikato.

In September 2022 , an open call went out for artists and submissions came in floods. The shared intent each of the applicants presented toward the outward focus of positive community growth, wellbeing and impact through their creative practice, affirmed the necessity for this exploration in social innovation to exist.

From the submissions, Ten Independent Artists have been chosen to weave creativity and wellbeing into the diverse and under-represented communities they are already activating across the Waikato. With support from the team at Creative Waikato, and financial backing through Manatū Taonga’s (Ministry of Culture and Heritage) innovation fund.

Faces of Social Impact-Benny Marama, Emiko Sheehan, Fay Purdie-Nicholls, Ifat Vayner-Itzkovitch, Isaiah McIver, Margaret Feeney, Matt Sephton, Melanie Allison, Oriwa Morgan Ward, Sasha McGaughran (photo supplied)

Over 12-months beginning 1st December 2022, each artist will; receive a part-time wage supporting 20hrs mahi a week dedicated to the kaupapa, be connected to an industry mentor to expand and support their learning and delivery, and have Creative Waikato in their back pocket to lean on when needed, including the dedicated support and guidance of Whiria Te Tāngata Project Lead – Leafā Wilson.

Leafā Wilson, The project Lead Whiria Te Tāngata said “Something is emerging in the creative consciousness of the world. I see it as the world awakening to the fact that we feel better when we experience music, visual art, literature and performing arts in our lives. On a small scale, Creative Waikato is fortunate to have found 10 inspired and hapori-focused artists to launch Whiria Te Tangata into our Waikato communities.”

The selected group stood out for their already shared vision, reinforced as the 10 came together for a welcoming wānanga event that immediately brought to the surface a clear thread of similar intent, optimism and excitement for the scope of possibility this opportunity will allow them to create and sustain in their communities.

Following on from the release of Creative Waikato’s Wellbeing and Arts, Culture and Creativity in the Waikato Report, CEO Dr Jeremy Mayall is excited to be leading a new initiative that “really champions these insights through investing in creative enablers who are directly connected with people in their communities.”

He said “There has been an emergence of understanding about the vital role of arts, culture, and creativity as a fundamental part of being human, as well the broader value of having these things accessible for everyone to engage with. We have seen examples of similar ‘artist wage type’ projects in San Francisco, Ireland, and New York, and it is great to join those communities in championing the work of artists and creative enablers and leading new pathways for social impact and change.”

Praneeta Mahajan is an Indian Newslink correspondent based in Hamilton.

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