10 Dec 2022

This content is tagged as Pacific arts .


A collage of images of each recipient of the FATU Fund. Four are headshots and one is a group shot.
Orin Ruaine-Prattley, Michaella Simpson, Faumuina Tafunai, Wellington Ballroom. Photos supplied.

The Wellington-based New Zealand Fringe Festival has announced the recipients of the FATU Fund, supported by our Pacific Arts Strategy 2018-2023.

Wellington Ballroom, Michaella Simpson, Orin Ruaine-Prattley, and Faumuina Tafunai will receive funding support to create full performance projects for the 2023 NZ Fringe Festival season.

Michaella, who is a writer, poet, playwright and theatre-practitioner, says the funding will support the development of a new work, Ratking.

“The FATU Funding opens so many doors for Pasifika artists by allowing us to work on our pieces without the financial pressure that can make being an artist difficult”, she says.

 “It shows a level of support that means the world to me, and I'm so thankful for this initiative that allows me to write Ratking's story without any barriers, and to reach my creative goals for this show."

The FATU Fund – named by NZ Fringe, who selected the recipients – comprises part of our Fringe Festival Pacific Initiative; a three-year funding boost to NZ Fringe, Auckland Fringe, and Dunedin Fringe, through our Pacific Arts Strategy. Each festival receives $10,000 annually for three years, to support emerging Pasifika performing artists.

Ali Foa’i - Principal Advisor, Pacific Arts – says this new collaboration with the directors of NZ Fringe, Auckland Fringe, and Dunedin Fringe aligns with the Vā and Tagata pou of the Pacific Arts Strategy, as well as Creative New Zealand’s strategic priorities of resilience, equity, and access.

Ali Foa'i

“Our Fringe Festivals are a hugely important part of our creative eco-system. They are a place of innovative, original work – often with affordable ticket prices – and can enable genuine discovery for artists”, he says.

“By investing early in our emerging Pasifika creatives, we can build the foundations of a resilient, sustainable Pacific arts sector.  The success of our boundary-pushing emerging artists is success for all of us.”

“I’m thrilled for Orin, Michaella, Faumuina, and Wellington Ballroom, and I’m excited to see the impact this initiative will continue to have for our Pasifika communities."

Orin Ruaine-Prattley, a stand-up comedian originally from Palmerston North, says they can’t wait for The Fringe next year. Orin's funding will support the development of their new show 'Truth Be Told', which they're planning on touring to other Fringe Festivals around Aotearoa.

“I can't thank the Fringe team enough for their encouragement, workshops and energy that led to my applying for the FATU fund - thank you to the Creative New Zealand Pacific Arts Group for making this possible”, they say.

“Looking forward to putting on a fantastic show and sharing another awesome festival experience with everyone. Meitaki ma’ata!"

The NZ Fringe Festival season runs from 17 February to 11 March 2023. Read more here.