03 Feb 2016
An initiative to increase arts participation in Southland, support a new regional arts body and provide audience development training for artists and arts organisations is being funded by Creative New Zealand.
A contract to implement a two-year regional arts pilot, starting this year, was awarded to Murihiku Arts Incubator (MAI) and the Community Trust of Southland (CTOS) working in collaboration.
“Creative New Zealand is funding the pilot because the Arts Council wanted to explore how we can help to increase arts participation in regional New Zealand,” said Creative New Zealand Chief Executive Stephen Wainwright.
Research in 2014 found that arts participation in Otago and Southland at 40% was significantly lower than the New Zealand average of 58%.
“There’s already great work being done in Southland and we expect this regional arts body will be a further boost and catalyst for increasing arts participation and all the resulting community benefits that brings with it,” said Mr Wainwright.
The MAI collaborative has been contracted by Creative New Zealand to set up a regional arts body which will review and refresh a 2012 strategy for arts development in Southland, implement the new strategy, and secure ongoing funding for arts development.
“Creative New Zealand is confident that the collaboration between MAI and the CTOS will result in a clear strategy for developing the arts in Southland. Together they have great networks with the arts community and local iwi, management expertise, and a strong track record of working within the community,” Mr Wainwright said.
Creative New Zealand will invest $280,000 over two years to support the new arts body, the strategy review and any new initiatives which result from the review.
As part of the contract a further $120,000 may be made available over two years to the new arts body to provide artists and arts organisations with training in audience development as well as specific project funding.
MAI spokesperson Lisa Tou-McNaughton said, “MAI aims to work collaboratively with the community to build the foundation of a robust organisation that has the celebration, appreciation, development and strengthening of the arts in Murihiku/Southland at its heart”.
MAI has already secured agreement from Venture Southland to become part of the MAI group.
Venture Southland CEO Paul Casson said, “Venture Southland is pleased to be a member of the MAI collaborative and to be involved in the Regional Arts Pilot. This is a great opportunity for the region, the community and artists.
“The Regional Arts Pilot through offers a significant resource boost to the region to achieve a collaborative and engaged community to influence and provide a strong Regional Arts Body over the duration of the two year project.”
Lisa Tou-McNaughton said, “MAI is also building a close working relationship with Arts Waikato which was awarded a Creative New Zealand contract to strengthen the arts infrastructure in the Waikato community. MAI believe there is a lot the two groups can learn from each other.
“The vision of MAI is to celebrate what is special about the people and the place of Southland, and to give the wider Southland community access to a strong and positive arts voice.
“The MAI team, supported by CTOS, will build on the excellent strategic work already undertaken by those involved in the Southland’s arts sector.”
Notes to editors:
- Project Art Southland - A blueprint for Arts Development in Southland was published in September 2012 by Venture Southland.
- Murihiku Arts Incubator (MAI) is a network of artists and arts sector professionals which aims to provide support services to emerging and established artists, increase participation in the arts, and provide opportunities for access to high-quality New Zealand arts experiences. www.murihikuartsincubator.com
- Research by Colmar Brunton found that 40% of respondents in Southland and Otago had participated in at least one arts event in the last 12 months. The survey findings from Southland and Otago were combined to provide a sample of sufficient size to enable analysis. The research was commissioned by Creative New Zealand as part of the triennial New Zealanders and the arts research.