05 Apr 2023
Creative New Zealand Toi Aotearoa and the Arts Foundation Te Tumu Toi have wrapped up a ten-stop tour of regional Aotearoa, spotlighting local stories about the power of creativity.
The third iteration of All in for Arts: He waka toi e eke noa nei tātou invited people for breakfast gatherings to hear personal stories from artists, rangatahi, businesspeople and community leaders. All the talks were filmed and can be watched on the Arts Foundation website.
All in for Arts is part of Creative New Zealand's advocacy work programme, which promotes the value of arts and culture in the lives of New Zealanders.
Creative New Zealand Advocacy Manager Tracey Monastra says that the tour exemplifies a collective approach to advocating for the arts by bringing people together.
"We heard from playwrights, filmmakers and musicians, mayors and local politicians, a gin maker, a wine maker and even a peanut butter maker. All the stories were different, but they all showed how creativity impacts everybody's lives, every day, in many different ways."
In Wānaka, Arts Laureate and playwright Ahilan Karunaharan talked about creativity as a secret tonic to survival. Heretaunga Hastings-based visual storyteller Te Aho Jordan spoke about inheriting creative strengths from their ancestors and how stories connect us, saying “Creativity is like kai, like aroha, and joy. It is best shared.”
Arts Foundation General Manager Jessica Palalagi, who co-hosted all ten breakfasts, emphasises that the evidence shows that creativity and the arts are good for us.
"We have seen a real rally of communities all through the nation, stepping up and supporting their creatives at a local level because they know that arts and culture bring us together and encourage us get to know each other better. It’s where so many of us can find a sense of belonging." she says.
"This is so important right now – especially when we're seeing challenges to arts and culture funding, like with the Auckland Council's proposed budget cuts in Tāmaki, and challenges when rebuilding in the aftermath of Cyclone Gabrielle."
Gisborne Mayor Rehette Stolz spoke about how music helped her to manage her stress levels as the Cyclone was bearing down on Tairāwhiti. In Hamilton, 11-year-old Wolfgang Mayall talked about living a creative life every day, saying “Imagination and creativity can be found anywhere, as long as we remember how to look for it”.
Tracey Monastra says that the stories shared at All in for Arts are a powerful reminder of the social good created through support for arts, culture and creativity.
“It’s important to bring local and central government together with philanthropy – Creative New Zealand, The Arts Foundation and local Councils are all major supporters of arts and culture in Aotearoa, and it’s great to come together to showcase the impact of creativity in our communities. The stories we heard are hugely uplifting and help fuel our advocacy.” she says.