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Grants reflect growth of Pacific arts

Media release

Date: 25 May 2005

Grants reflect growth of Pacific arts

Pacific Arts Committee supports 20 projects

A multicultural festival in Hastings, cultural workshops in Gisborne and Porirua, an outdoor music concert in Vanuatu and an exhibition in France are among a diverse range of 20 projects offered grants in the latest funding round of the Pacific Arts Committee of Creative New Zealand.

Announcing the grants this week, Pacific Arts Committee Chair Marilyn Kohlhase said the Committee was pleased to note an increase in applications from smaller Pacific communities in New Zealand – some for the first time.

“This reflects the growth of Pacific arts beyond the main centres of Auckland and Wellington as communities maintain and celebrate their arts,” Ms Kohlhase said. “We were also pleased to be able to support both established and emerging artists in projects that will help them build sustainable arts careers.”

In making its decisions, the Pacific Arts Committee focussed on three priorities: support for the career development of professional artists; the maintenance of heritage artforms; and international opportunities for Pacific artists.

Ms Kohlhase said that the growth of Pacific arts in New Zealand and international interest in the work of Pacific artists meant increased pressure on the Pacific Arts Committee’s funding. In this funding round, the Committee received a record number of 61 applications seeking more than $820,000 in funding. In the end, the Committee was able to offer a total of $150,200 to 20 projects.

A particular feature of this funding round was the broad range of artforms and activities supported. This includes the development of an opera, a theatre season, an exhibition of Niuean hats, a publication recording tapa-making in the western Solomon Islands, an artist residency in Christchurch and performing arts workshops in Samoa.

Among the international projects showcasing Pacific art is an exhibition at the Castle of Saint-Auvent in Limousin, France entitled L’art Urbain du Pacifique (Urban art from the Pacific). Part of the Diff’Art Pacific Festival running for five weeks over August and September 2005, the exhibition will feature the work of ten indigenous artists from New Zealand, Australia and Samoa.

A $10,000 grant will support New Zealand-based Pacific artists Lonnie Hutchinson, Greg Semu, Rosanna Raymond and Shigeyuki Kihara to participate in the exhibition, which opens on 6 August and includes artist seminars.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for these artists to gain international exposure, build networks, explore new markets and profile Pacific arts,” Ms Kohlhase said.

Pacific fashion, culture, music and dance will be showcased closer to home – in Auckland – at Style Pasifika. A grant of $15,000 to Drum Productions will support the fees of Pacific performers taking part in Style Pasifika 2005 in September.

The Pacific Arts Committee was pleased to offer grants to two dance projects – one by established practitioners, the other by emerging practitioners.

A grant of $10,000 will support Auckland company MAU to tour New Caledonia and French Polynesia in August and September 2005.

“Lemi Ponifasio and MAU are constantly pushing boundaries, collaborating with other artists, conducting workshops and building networks throughout the Pacific,” Ms Kohlhase said. “This project will build on their previous work in the Pacific and may also open up touring opportunities for other Pacific artists.”

Emerging group Taumata Whitireia Dance Company of Porirua will create new work and design costumes with the support of a $12,000 grant from the Pacific Arts Committee. The company, which was formed earlier this year to provide opportunities for graduates of the Whitireia Community Polytechnic Performing Arts programme, will perform in Te Papa in August.

The Pacific Arts Committee is organising a national fono (workshop) for Pacific dancers and choreographers, to be held in Auckland in September.

“This fono is part of our artform development strategy,” Ms Kohlhase said. “Last year, we held fono for Pacific writers and this year, our focus is contemporary dance. We were pleased to be able to support two very strong dance projects that offer career development opportunities.”

Grants supporting emerging artists in the artforms of music, theatre and photography include:

·$7000 to Karoline Tamati (aka Ladi6 - Samoan) of Kingsland, Auckland: towards the cost of recording her debut solo album. Ladi6 is a leading female vocalist whose album will also feature well-known artists such as Anika Moa, Che Fu and Scribe

·$3000 to Leilani Unasa (Samoan) of Mirimar, Wellington: towards the development of two scripts – one for theatre and one for film

·$5000 to Edith Sagapolu (Samoan) of Massey, Auckland: towards her first solo exhibition of new photographic works at the Anna Miles Gallery in November.

Applications to the next funding round of Creative New Zealand close on 29 July 2005. Copies of The Funding Guide: Ngà P?tea 2005-2006 are available from Creative New Zealand offices or can be downloaded from the publications page of its website (


The following information provides a brief description of the 20 projects.

Pacific Arts Committee project funding

Pacific Arts Development funding programme

$12,000 to the University of Canterbury: towards the annual Pacific artist residence programme at the Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies

$4000 to Craft Victoria in Melbourne: towards the costs of four Pacific artists attending the Wellington Gathering in October 2005 as part of the South Project

$7000 to Karoline Tamati (aka Ladi6 - Samoan) of Kingsland, Auckland: towards the cost of recording her debut solo album

$3000 to Leilani Unasa (Samoan) of Mirimar, Wellington: towards the development of two scripts – one for theatre and one for film

$5000 to Edith Sagapolu (Samoan) of Massey, Auckland: towards her first solo exhibition of new photographic works at the Anna Miles Gallery in November

$3000 to Sheyne Tuffery (Samoan) of Otahuhu, Auckland: towards attending a specialist print workshop in Berkley, United States

$12,000 to Taumata Whitireia Dance Company of Porirua: towards workshops to develop new work and design costumes for a season at Te Papa later in 2005.

Pacific Arts Promotion funding programme

$5000 to Opeloge Ah Sam (Samoan) of Hillsborough, Auckland: towards the rehearsal of an original Samoan opera

$11,000 to Black Horse (Tongan) of Melrose, Wellington: towards an Auckland season of Fiona Truelove’s play, Leaving the Underworld, in August 2005

$10,000 to Urban Art from the Pacific of Auckland: towards four New Zealand-based Pacific artists participating in an exhibition in Paris featuring work by indigenous artists from New Zealand, Australia and Samoa

$15,000 to Drum Productions Ltd of Auckland: towards fees for Pacific performers in Style Pasifika 2005, an event featuring fashion, culture, music and dance

$5200 to Flying Jandal Productions of Herne Bay, Auckland: towards performers taking workshops in Samoa in July 2005

$10,000 to MAU of Auckland: towards a tour by MAU of New Caledonia and French Polynesia in August and September 2005

$8000 to Fest’Napuan Association of Vanuatu: towards airfares for New Zealand-based Pacific artists to perform at the four-day outdoor music concert, Fest’Napuan 2005, in October

Heritage Arts funding programme

$7000 to Hawaiki Nesia Nui of Gisborne: towards a series of four cultural workshops reviving and celebrating Cook Islands arts in Gisborne

$4000 to Niutao Community Trust (Tuvalu) of Glen Eden, Auckland: towards compiling and preparing a Niutao songbook for publication

$10,000 to Pulou Niue Group of Tawa, Wellington: towards a national exhibition of Niuean woven Pulou (hats), to be held in Auckland in late 2005. The exhibition will involve approximately 120 Niuean women in New Zealand

$5000 to Paremata Press of Wellington: towards the costs of publishing Not Quite Extinct, a book on the preservation of tapa making in the western Solomon Islands

$7000 to Blazon Trust of Hastings: towards Pacific communities working together to present a multicultural festival during the Blossom Festival celebrations in September 2005

$7000 to the Outstanding Women’s Group of Porirua: towards a gathering of Cook Islands women in Porirua over Queen’s Birthday Weekend participating in tivaevae and creating songs

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