19 Dec 2022
On 14 December, the Pacific Creative Enterprise pilot, Vaka Measina, wrapped up with an online celebration for participants.
Developed under the Pacific Arts Strategy 2018–2023, this initiative kicked off in August and saw participating Pasifika creative ventures take part in online training modules, talanoa sessions, and receive guidance from business mentors. The pilot programme was co-designed to support Pasifika creative enterprises on their journey to longer-term sustainability and resilience.
Participants Selina Alesana and Sale Alefosio from Kupega Affect – a Tokelau/Sāmoa/Uvea arts entity – enjoyed the programme.
“The Vaka Measina pilot programme is a great initiative as it allows creatives to compare their own current business practices/needs and gives scope to reinforce and strengthen crucial areas,” they say.
“The sessions provided the facility to learn and explore through comprehensive and interactive sessions, which also illuminated areas we had never considered.”
“We highly recommend it to all Aotearoa creatives.”
All participants had access to nine modules that comprised over 85 lessons, 18 weekly talanoa sessions, 11 guest mentors and experts, and over 40 one-to-one mentoring and confidential counselling sessions to support wellbeing.
The participating creative enterprises represented a diverse range of artistic disciplines from around the motu, including heritage arts, visual arts, music, dance, film-making and graphic design.
The programme began with 10 participants, one withdrew, and three more were added, to make a total of 12 graduating.
Ian Seumanu, aka DJ Raw – a hip-hop pioneer with decades of musical experience – says the programme was incredibly valuable.
“The Vaka Measina programme gave me a wide range of tools from business to self-development and future-proofing skills,” he says.
“The platform allowed me to learn at my own pace and the delivery of content was presented with cultural identity and understanding that is unique and was a pleasure to be a part of.”
Makerita Urale, Creative New Zealand’s Senior Manager, Pacific Arts, was glad for the positive feedback for the pilot.
“From our Profile of Creative Professionals 2019 research, business management skills was the number one area that creative professionals told us they needed the most help with,” she says.
“Our Pacific Arts Strategy also identified this sector need and to also have opportunities delivered in our Kaupapa Pasifika way – so it was fantastic to hear participants learned so much from the pilot. There was overwhelming support from all graduating enterprises for us to deliver the programme again in the future. Once the full evaluation of this pilot is complete, this will inform our next steps.”
Jess Matthews, a vocal coach and singer, said that learning how to share her passion with the world through a digital lens was empowering.
“Through this online learning journey, I was able to take a seed concept and create a viable path to sustainability,” she says.
“Suddenly my passion ‘project’ now has a heartbeat and a VOICE all on its own!”
Creative New Zealand Chief Executive, Stephen Wainwright, attended the online graduation to congratulate and thank the participants and programme leaders.
“It was great to hear the stories of the participants, and to see the positive impact of this pilot programme,” Stephen says.
“I understand it’s already leading to further business opportunities for graduating participants, and I’m excited to see the way this pilot will further support the resilience of our creative sector.”
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