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Creative New Zealand today announced the launch of, a local portal to an international online arts community that’s building expertise in arts marketing and audience development.

Much more than a website, provides practical, high-quality, targeted and free information normally unaffordable to artists and arts organisations. It includes arts marketing case studies, online discussion forums, articles, reports on trends, research and an up-to-date database of industry contacts.

The online resource was set up by the Australia Council for the Arts in 1998 to build arts marketing and audience development capability in Australia . It’s proved its value to the global arts community and now has more than 13,500 members from 124 countries.

The New Zealand portal is the result of a partnership between Creative New Zealand and the Australia Council for the Arts and will consist of a New Zealand home page with New Zealand content.

Creative New Zealand Chief Executive Elizabeth Kerr says that will serve as an entry point for the New Zealand arts sector into the worldwide community, connecting them to colleagues, ideas and international examples of effective arts marketing. It will also provide opportunities to showcase home-grown best practice in arts marketing.

“It’s vital that New Zealand artists and arts organisations meet the challenges of attracting new audiences for their work,” Miss Kerr says. “Tapping into the experiences and insights of international colleagues facing similar challenges will inspire new ways of marketing their work and building audiences.”

Sally Markham, Community Arts Development Manager at The Edge in Auckland uses resources available from in her everyday work. “I find this resource extremely valuable,” she says. “ It’s easy to feel isolated working in arts marketing and this website links me into an active international network. It is reassuring to discover that your colleagues throughout the world have similar concerns.

“I find it especially helpful when working in new audience areas or with a new art form. I also find the level of debate excellent - very lively and perceptive. I use case studies and forums regularly to update and inform my team.”

Kirsten Dennis, Marketing and Development Manager Royal New Zealand Ballet, has been a member of for years. “In arts marketing, it’s easy to feel that every challenge you face is something you have to navigate on your own,” she says. “But seeing how other organisations have dealt with similar issues helps me make more informed decisions.”

Nicky Nicolaou is Associate Director of Downstage Theatre and author of the popular guide to arts marketing in New Zealand , Smart Arts: Toi Huatau, published by Creative New Zealand last year. For her, is one of the most useful arts marketing tools she’s encountered.

“This website delivers all you could want - from resources to real interaction and the chance to share knowledge with the global community of arts marketers,” she says. “I find the online members’ forums particularly helpful because you see how other people and organisations around the world react to problems that you might have.

“With, overseas artists and arts organisations will be able to learn from our experiences just as we can learn from theirs.”

Arts marketers from around the world also praise

Britain : “A big challenge for me has been getting a sense of what’s going on in arts marketing on an international level. is particularly good in terms of Australian examples, of course, but the coverage of other countries is fantastic. It’s a great one-stop shop for leading-edge comment and information.” - Terry O’Sullivan, co-author of Creative Arts Marketing, Lecturer in Management, Open University Business School , Birmingham

Canada : “ is clear, concise, focused and accessible. I haven’t found any other sites tailored quite so specifically to the needs of arts marketing professionals. I use as an international community of peers; the details provided by members allow me to avoid pitfalls and spot opportunities with greater ease.”- Joanne Geehan, Manager, Communications and Production, Vancouver Chamber Choir

Australia : “I like feeling tapped into an international community. With I know I’m getting the best information from the best sources. It’s not limited geographically.”- Sam Goodwin, artist

Findings from research undertaken by Creative New Zealand* revealed that most New Zealand artists felt they needed help with marketing and audience development. The organisation’s partnership with the Australia Council for the Arts to establish is one of the ways that it’s responding to this need.

“Acquiring knowledge and skills in marketing and audience development can make a huge difference,” Miss Kerr says. “The launch of is an important and exciting step towards building the capability of the New Zealand arts sector.

“This initiative is part of our ongoing partnership with the Australia Council, which we value hugely. We’ve worked with the Australia Council for many years on a number of initiatives, including the very successful Australian Performing Arts Market. However, this is the first formal partnership between the two organisations.”

As part of the launch, artists and arts organisations in New Zealand have the opportunity to win a free extreme copywriting makeover - a copywriting consultancy to have existing promotional copy reworked by a professional writer free of charge.

ends content can be viewed by media using the following: username: media password: media. can be viewed with the same username and password from 14 September.

*Portrait of the Artist: Te Whakaahua ö te Tangata Pükenga - a survey of professional practising artists in New Zealand

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