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Arts Awards Celebrate Outstanding NZ Artists

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In Augural Arts Awards Celebrate Outstanding New Zealand Artists

Five of New Zealand's most talented and successful artists are about to be honoured with $30,000 cash grants at the inaugural Arts Foundation of New Zealand Laureate Awards.

The five award recipients (or Laureates) will be revealed at a special ceremony at Auckland's Aotea Centre on Monday, September 11.

The awards are one of the country's biggest, with a total value of $150,000-plus, and are the only private awards to cover a range of art forms. They will be launched by the Governor General, Sir Michael Hardie Boys, and Prime Minister Helen Clark, the Minister of Arts and Culture.

The awards have been made possible with the valuable financial support of the Arts Foundation's principal sponsor AMP, as part of the company's extensive sponsorship programme.

Speculation is already mounting as to the identity of the five award winners. The three women and two men have already been selected by a top-ranking panel of arts specialists, patrons and practitioners.

The awards are being made to artists who are outstanding in their art form and who have already achieved considerable recognition in New Zealand and internationally. They are artists whose quality is acknowledged by their peers, and who still have a significant body of work ahead of them.

Each Laureate will receive as part of their award:

* a $30,000 up front cash grant awarded on the night;

* powerful marketing assistance via a top-of-the-line website, developed with the creative talent of Saatchi & Saatchi, with the assistance of Telecom New Zealand.

"An award of $30,000 to artists at the peak of their power is a fabulous gift and a wonderful investment by those who love and have a passion for art," says Arts Foundation Chairman of Trustees, Richard Cathie.

"This is the driver behind the individuals, companies and organisations that support the Arts Foundation of New Zealand.

The selection panel choosing the inaugural Laureates comprised arts patron Robin Congreve, theatre director and educator Sunny Amey, music commentator Elizabeth Kerr, and writers Witi Ihimaera and Bill Manhire.

ENDS

Media Release From The Arts Foundation Of NZ

--------------------------------------------

For further information:

Margaret Wheeler Sido Kitchin

General Manager, Arts Foundation of NZ (021) 968 212

(04) 47 11 374

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