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Manukau Festival of Arts a success

Media Release
14 November 2008

Manukau Festival of Arts a success

As the Manukau Festival of Arts draws to an end the success of the three week event is being celebrated.

Mayor Len Brown attended many of the events held across the city and says there was something for everyone to enjoy.

“We have a culturally rich city and we’ve been celebrating that for the past few weeks with the abundant talent on show.

“The local arts scene is hot,” says the proud mayor.

“Creativity is not only a feast for the eyes and soul, but it also nourishes our economy and contributes to the well-being of our community.”

Thousands of people from across Manukau and throughout the Auckland region have been entertained and enriched by the festival - an initiative from the team at Tomorrow's Manukau.

The project was instigated by the Vibrant and Strong Communities Outcome Group, which saw an opportunity to build an iconic arts event for Manukau, based around one of the city’s strengths – its cultural diversity.

Arts Manager Lisa Sitene says the support from audiences has been outstanding and the experiences from this inaugural event will provide an excellent basis for the next festival.

“We truly didn’t know what to expect but we’ve been encouraged by the fantastic response to many of the events in the programme.

A lot of hard work, commitment and energy has gone into planning the festival and early feedback from patrons has been very positive.”

With crowd numbers exceeding expectations, the festival has achieved its primary aim, to celebrate pride in Manukau through its creative strengths as well as promote creative excellence and innovation that is unique to Manukau.

Held over 19 days from late October to mid November, the festival featured more than 31 events - including visual art, performance, music, film, literature and theatre - across 15 venues throughout Manukau.

The festival was driven by the three key partners, Manukau City Council, Tomorrow’s Manukau and TelstraClear Pacific, supported by a project team comprising of people working in the arts across the city.

Feedback has been sought throughout the festival and the economic impact will be evaluated as part of a robust review.

It is hoped the festival will become an annual event drawing local, national and international visitors and helping to develop a viable arts industry in Manukau as well as increase participation in the arts.


• The unveiling of Ngatahi [together] launched the festival, attracting fantastic media attention

• Side-splitting comedy shows such as Southside Comedy, Once were Samoans and The Great Comedy Debate were hugely popular

• The Manukau Film Festival attracted high audience interest

• Villa Maria Cult-Couture was a stunning sell-out, showcasing cutting-edge fashion and live performance

• Pecha Kucha Night celebrated Manukau’s creative scene and the rapid-fire format exhilarated audiences

• The AXIS exhibition showcasing council’s treasured art collection

• The Manukau Youth Art Awards highlighted innovative work from the artistic talent of tomorrow at Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts

• A weekend of art, garden and sculpture was well received, along with the official opening of the new Fencible Walk in Howick

• Black Grace wowed audiences with their new works and dance style

• Eye for Sculpture used the stunning setting of the Auckland Botanic Gardens as an indoor and outdoor venue for visual art


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