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Hot NZ Bands Tour With Creative NZ Support

1 June 2005

Hot New Zealand bands to tour with Creative New Zealand support

International tours later this year by hot New Zealand bands Fat Freddy's Drop, Dimmer and Jakob are among the projects offered grants in the latest funding round of the Arts Board of Creative New Zealand.

Announcing the grants this week, Arts Board Chair Alastair Carruthers said that contemporary New Zealand music was making waves overseas and international tours would provide these bands with opportunities to build new audiences and markets for their work. Supporting international activity is one of the priorities in Creative New Zealand's Strategic Plan 2004-2007.

Fat Freddy's Drop, a seven-piece Wellington band that toured the South Island last year with Arts Board support, was offered a $20,000 grant in this funding round to tour Britain and Europe in August and September to promote its debut album, Based on a True Story.

Jakob, a three-piece guitar band from Napier, will also tour to Britain and Europe in September with the support of a $15,000 grant while Auckland band Dimmer was offered a $6222 grant towards a tour of Australia in September to promote the Australian release of a compilation of its first two records.

"National and international tours offer a range of benefits for artists," Mr Carruthers said. "They extend the life of a work, provide employment, and help build audiences and new markets so that artists can enjoy sustainable and rewarding careers."

In this project funding round, the Arts Board received 521 applications seeking more than $9.3 million. In the end, 143 projects were offered grants totalling approximately $2.43 million. Mr Carruthers said that the Arts Board was able to fund only one in nearly four projects.

"We were careful to fund projects to a level where we could be confident they would be able to happen," Mr Carruthers said. "However, across every artform, there were a number of high-quality projects the Arts Board was unable to support within available funds."

In making its decisions, the Arts Board focussed on three strategic priorities: the long-term career development of artists, the sustainability of professional arts organisations and international growth of New Zealand arts.

"Overarching these three priorities was the Arts Board's commitment to supporting artistic excellence and innovation," Mr Carruthers said.

Every application was assessed by relevant committees, made up of leading practitioners, and their recommendations were reviewed and finalised by the Arts Board. "In assessing the applications, committee members were guided by our emphasis on excellence, our strategic priorities and the particular needs of their artform areas," Mr Carruthers said. "These committees do outstanding work, and we are grateful for the knowledge and insights that these artists and artform experts bring to the process."

Other grants offered to projects that will build international audiences and markets include:

* $15,000 to Michael Lett Gallery of Auckland to present New Zealand work at Liste 05, an annual invitation-only art fair held in Basel, Switzerland in June and coinciding with Art Basel and the Venice Biennale

* $3000 to Mana-Verlag, a publishing house in Blankenburg, Germany towards publishing a German translation of Philip Temple's sixth novel, To Each His Own. Temple was the recipient of the 2003 Creative New Zealand Berlin Writers' Residency

* $15,000 to iMedia Asia Pacific Pty Ltd of Sydney towards an editorial series promoting New Zealand craft and object art in the State of the Arts magazine, which has a readership of 60,000.

Along with its support for international activity, the Arts Board also supported projects providing opportunities for artists to build rewarding and sustainable careers. This includes creative and professional development as well as projects to create new work.

"We support a number of residencies, for instance, in partnership with institutions," Mr Carruthers said. "Artists need a sustained period of time to focus on building their careers, either for professional development or to create new work. That's what these residencies provide."

The University of Waikato was offered two grants: a $15,000 grant towards its 2005/2006 digital artist-in-residence programme and a $22,500 grant towards the 2006 writer-in-residence programme.

The Arts Board also supported three residency programmes at Victoria University of Wellington: its 2006 writer-in-residence ($26,150 grant); its composer-in-residence, to be undertaken by acclaimed composer Gillian Karawe Whitehead from July 2005 ($20,000 grant); and its inaugural residency for curators and art critics ($10,800 grant).

The residency for curators and art critics will be staged over three years and bring visiting international curators and critics to Wellington. Mr Carruthers said the Arts Board was pleased to support this and other proposals that would help fill a need in the visual arts and craft/object art sectors: professional development for curators and critics.

The Arts Board awarded two music scholarships and a writing bursary. All three are the result of bequests to Creative New Zealand, which administers the awards, and all contribute to the artists' career development. They are:

* The Jack McGill Music Scholarship, worth $11,500, awarded to Jane Curry of Cambridge, Waikato to support her post-graduate guitar studies at the University of Arizona, the United States

* The Butland Music Scholarship, worth $8000, awarded to Blair Sinclair of Wellington to support his post-graduate studies in trombone performance at the Manhattan School of Music, the United States (this includes an Arts Board contribution of $5500)

* The Louis Johnson Writers' Bursary, worth $18,000, awarded to Victoria Broome of Christchurch, to write a collection of poetry (this includes an Arts Board contribution of $15,000).

The third strategic priority for the Arts Board was support for the sustainability of professional arts organisations. Auckland's SiLO Theatre and choreographer Raewyn Hill's Soapbox Productions, based in Christchurch, were both offered grants to strengthen the organisations' infrastructure.

Soapbox Productions, founded in 2001 and now a leading voice in contemporary dance in New Zealand, was offered a $50,000 grant for key staff to undertake business and repertoire planning. The company was also offered a grant of $59,072 to create a solo work.

SiLO Theatre's grant of $85,000 will be used to support its ongoing training and professional development programmes. The organisation was also offered a $39,500 grant towards an Auckland season of Clare Boothe Luce's comedy, The Women.

For a complete list of Creative New Zealand grants (the Arts Board, Te Waka Toi, Pacific Arts Committee, Screen Innovation Production Fund) in this project funding round please visit the funding section of Creative New Zealand's website.


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