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New Zealand arts in international spotlight

31 May 2004

New Zealand arts in international spotlight with Arts Board support

New Zealand arts will be showcased over the coming year in countries as diverse as Indonesia, Denmark, Brazil, Holland, Canada, the United States, Germany and Australia – all with support from grants, announced this week in the latest project funding round of the Arts Board of Creative New Zealand.

Acclaimed Dunedin composer Gillian Whitehead, for instance, has gathered together five outstanding musicians to perform her compositions at Art Summit Indonesia IV 2004 with the support of an $11,520 grant from the Arts Board. To be held in Jakarta, Indonesia in September, the Summit is a significant international event where the music will be heard by high-level performers and delegates from many countries.

The 90-minute showcase of Whitehead’s compositions will culminate in a new work, based on text by Aroha Yates-Smith and continuing Whithead’s Wahine Atua series. The musicians accompanying her are Richard Nunns, Bridget Douglas, Dan Poynton, Ashley Brown and Timua Brennan. Arts Board acting Chair Alastair Carruthers said that Gillian Whitehead was a gifted composer with an international reputation.

“Her work explores the meeting place between Mäori and Pakeha music – instruments, texts, themes, styles – and the showcase is a recognition of Gillian’s stature,” he said. “This opportunity will also help both Gillian and her ensemble develop new markets in Asia and beyond.”

The project was one of 212 projects supported in this funding round with grants totalling close to $2.74 million. The Arts Board received 561 applications, seeking nearly $9 million, and every application was read and assessed by the relevant committee, made up of leading practitioners and chaired by an Arts Board member. The committees’ recommendations were reviewed and finalised by the Arts Board.

“We really value the time and effort these practitioners put into the funding process,” Mr Carruthers said. “Their contribution is vital and the rigour of committee discussions was outstanding.”

Two scholarships were awarded to talented young musicians undertaking advanced music study overseas. Anastasiya Filippochkina of Christchurch was awarded the $11,500 Jack McGill Scholarship towards postgraduate violin study at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York while Wellington musician Timothy Robertson was awarded the $8000 Butland Music Scholarship towards jazz studies at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague in the Netherlands. Both musicians will take up their studies in September 2004.

Mr Carruthers said the Arts Board provided grants to artists so they could take up creative and professional development opportunities, both in New Zealand and overseas. It also supported artists to present work overseas so they could develop new audiences and international markets.

Among the projects offered grants to present their work internationally are:

$5470 to Soapbox Productions of Wellington: towards the costs of choreographer/dancer Raewyn Hill presenting her solo DanceTheatre work, When Love Comes Calling, at the Sydney Opera House Studio in August 2004 $8000 to the Kunstverein Kreis Ludwigsburg of Germany: towards the costs of work by New Zealand artists Judy Millar and Stephen Bambury in an exhibition in Ludwisburg from August to October 2004 $34,000 to Sao Paulo Bienal: towards representation of New Zealand visual artists at the 2004 Sao Paulo Bienal, to be curated by Tobias Berger of Auckland, from September to December $5000 to the Vancouver International Writers’ Festival: towards Wellington writer Damien Wilkins’ participation in the Vancouver festival in October 2004 $12,000 to the New Zealand Secondary Students’ Choir: towards the Choir’s tour to the United States and Canada in July 2004, plus a CD recording.

In addition, the Arts Board offered grants to two Australian publications, Object and State of the Arts Magazine, to feature articles profiling New Zealand craft/object art and artists.

Mr Carruthers said that the Arts Board noted a range of innovative theatre projects, many involving youth and culturally diverse groups. SiLO Theatre in Auckland, for instance, was offered grants totalling $103,500. The grants will support SiLO to undertake a youth development programme, and adapt and present two works, Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange and Dylan Thomas’ Under Milkwood.

The Arts Board was pleased to support a number of strong contemporary dance projects to create work or undertake tours to New Zealand centres. Companies supported to create and present new work include Daniel Belton and Good Company of Dunedin ($65,000); Atamira Dance Collective of Piha, Auckland ($52,000); and Fidget Company of Eastbourne, Wellington ($25,000).

Companies supported to tour their work include Scrambled Legs Dance Theatre Company of Christchurch ($25,700 to tour 7 to Christchurch, Auckland and Dunedin); Touch Compass Dance Trust of Auckland ($11,600 to rehearse Acquisitions for presentation at the 2004 Fuel Festival in Hamilton); and Edison Hall Ltd/Commotion Dance Company of Auckland ($42,780 to tour a new work and restage a previous work by Michael Parmenter).

A full list of Creative New Zealand grants will be posted on the funding section of its website (www.creativenz.govt.nz) on Wednesday 2 June.

ENDS

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