02 May 2018
Writer and theatre maker Leki Jackson Bourke, dancer/choreographer Ufitia Sagapolutele, and budding museums and cultural heritage professional Talei Siilata are the 2018 Tautai Contemporaty Pacific Trust interns.
The internships are open to Aotearoa New Zealand residents of Pacific heritage with a tertiary qualification and/or at least three years continuous experience working as an artist, practitioner or administrator.
The first Creative New Zealand Pasifika internships were offered in 2013, with three placements made available each year. The 20-week internships involve placing recipients with organisations able to enhance the interns’ skills, knowledge and experience, and build audiences beyond their communities. Tautai works with the interns to identify a suitable host organisation and prepare for their placement. Ufitia Sagapolutele’s placement with Dance Aotearoa New
Zealand (DANZ) began in March. Writer and theatre maker Leki Jackson Bourke’s internship will be split between Q Theatre and Auckland Theatre Company. Talei Si'ilata has begun a placement at Museum of New Zealand
Te Papa Tongarewa and will then return to Auckland to complete her remaining time at Auckland Museum.
During the placement, support is provided by respected writer Courtney Sina Meredith - who has also spent a decade in arts administration. “I see these internships as an integral part of developing fresh leadership within the arts sector. This year's interns have much to contribute to the creative narrative of Aotearoa; they are passionate, astute, and determined to share what they learn with their peers and communities.”
Most recipients of the Pasifika internship programme have gone on to build successful careers within the arts sector, with many being offered employment with their original host organisations. Examples include performing
artist Paul Fagamalo. Paul Fagamalo, current Talent Development Manager at the NZ Film Commission, describes the CNZ Pasifika Internship as “one of the greatest stepping stones for me in my career development. Since
being an intern at Fresh TV at TVNZ in 2013 and 2014, I’ve been able to work in an industry that continues to excite me and has offered me a chance to combine my technical and producing skills with my love and passion for
our creative Pacific community."
These roles included working at Tikilounge Productions, Coconet.tv and in theatre as a performer and dance as a producer – before landing his Talent Development Manager role. “As part of the NZ Film Commission, the Talent
Development department helps support filmmaking talent. In particular, I look after the Talent Development Fund - a bespoke fund for filmmakers towards their professional development – and help look after our relationships
with the NZ industry guilds and organisations that the Commission supports.”
Talei Si’ilata is an Auckland-based Museum and Cultural Heritage Studies graduate
“I recently completed a Master of Arts at the University of Auckland while working in various roles – including gallery assistant, exhibition attendant, and arts writer. This internship is a crucial step to establish myself as a Museums and Cultural Heritage professional in New Zealand and to gain practical experience in workplaces to provide me with a detailed understanding of how museums function and maintain or use their collections.”
“This internship opportunity will give me the necessary skill-set required to see to the preservation and continuation of Pacific collections in museums around the world, for the benefit of contemporary Pacific communities.”
Dancer/choreographer Ufitia Sagapolutele is an interdisciplinary artist who focuses on movement and voice
“After completing my Master of Dance studies degree at the University of Auckland, the next step for me as an artist is to look at our dance community and explore what is needed for Pasifika performing artists. It is exciting to be working with the national organisation for dance – Dance Aotearoa New Zealand (DANZ), who are all about providing service and leadership for dance in Aotearoa."
"In the future, I would love to create a program that would provide artists a platform to activate spaces all over New Zealand. I also want to direct and produce my own shows that involve Pasifika women. In order to achieve these goals, I need to upskill in areas of production, event management, marketing, project management and business development. With the help of Tautai and DANZ, I will be able to fulfil these goals, create opportunities and inspire others.”
Theatre maker Leki Jackson Bourke is an actor, dancer, choreographer, writer, director and producer
“Since graduating from the Pacific Institute of Performing Arts I am keen to further my craft not as a performer but as a creator. I need to utilise this year up-skilling and hope to continue adding tools and skills to my basket – including strengthening my writing, producing and management skills and experiences. This internship will help further my knowledge and experience in areas I am unfamiliar with. I am absolutely excited to be working with one of the biggest venues in Auckland, Q Theatre, and one of the biggest theatre companies in the country, Auckland Theatre Company.”
"To know that I am going to be in these challenging, hands-on, artistic environments is going to stimulate my growth as an artist and as a creator. In the future I want to be able to sustain and run my own Pacific theatre company and being in these environments will help me to understand things from management level.”