09 Dec 2013

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Stephen Wainwright
Posted by Stephen Wainwright

Chief Executive | Pou Whakahaere

Reflecting on Christmas wishes…

Very shortly the holiday season will be underway. I hope work preoccupations will be far from all our minds as we enjoy our precious holiday time with family and friends.

As we near the end of the year I have been reflecting on four wishes I had for Creative New Zealand in 2013, and doing some self-assessment.  

Here they are and the qualitative assessment.

  1. Enormous Lottery profits and money from taxpayers that we get to invest in the arts (wisely of course), for the benefit of New Zealanders. There was an increase in funding and the last financial year was a record for our investment in the arts across funding, capability-building and advocacy. 

  2. Lashings of brilliant art that lifts us all.  I have disciplined myself to six of these, you will have your own.

    • Bill Culbert’s exhibition Front Door, Out Back at the Venice Biennale was mesmerizing, like so many of the more than 200,000 visitors, I returned to the work several times and sat with it, soaking it up and watching it change with the light. 

    • Also on the international stage Ms Eleanor Catton, who revealed a very distinctive and new voice with The Rehearsal, and went on to win Man Booker prize with The Luminaries

    • Michael Houston transported audiences throughout the country playing the Beethoven Sonatas in the re CYCLE series presented by Chamber Music New Zealand.  

    • Alter Boyz at the Fortune Theatre was a hilarious look at the boy-band phenomenon, a memorable experience because of all the students having a great time. 

    • Hui, written by Mitch Tawhi Thomas was the most powerful piece of storytelling I experienced in 2013. I cried, and laughed, sometimes both at once.

    • And in the spirit of the season, Xmas Verses by Black Grace was a dazzling display of dancing. The energy and skill of the dancers, and stunning choreography made the whole audience feel alive and uplifted.

  3. Our new legislation passed and a smooth transition to a new unitary Council, who are collectively awesome. Nothing final to report, though there has been some progress.

  4. An orderly and smooth transition to a stonking new home in Wellington for Toi Aotearoa post-earthquakes. Still some refinements to make but were we are in our new space and in pretty quick and orderly circumstances I would say.

It’s been challenging year for many, not least of all for us at Toi Aotearoa. The arts community have achieved some fantastic results and worked incredibly hard to make our lives and communities better. 

I wish you all a happy, safe and creative festive season.