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Taranaki Schools Get Into Festival Spirit

Thursday 21 July 2005

Taranaki Schools Get Into Festival Spirit

Schools throughout Taranaki have responded in unprecedented numbers to this year’s Taranaki Festival of the Arts schools programme.

A total of 79 schools are participating in this years programme so far, accounting for approximately 84 per cent of all eligible Taranaki schools. School children aged 5–17 years will take part in a wide variety of activities from ice skating to cultural performances and workshops.

School programme coordinator Emere Wano says the festival has been overwhelmed by the response. “Our numbers are certainly up significantly compared to previous years. It would be fair to say that the increasing popularity of cultural events in Taranaki such as WOMAD have helped develop schools interest in participation.”

More than 19,000 school children are already confirmed to be involved, with provisions being made to accommodate even more. “We have already increased the frequency of our free bus transport to and from the ice-rink, and many performers are putting on extra shows to cope with the demand,” Emere said.
Ice skating for participating schools is free during school hours thanks to funding from the TSB Community Trust.

The Magic Chicken theatre production, Whitireia Dance Company, Footnote Dance and KORA have proven to be the most popular. Latin percussion, with Alfonso Rios playing a variety of instruments, also has shows booked daily. Authors Kelly Ana Morey (a former New Plymouth Girls High pupil) and Greg O’Brien have attracted focused literature audiences amongst schools.

Although many activities are now fully booked, schools still wishing to participate won’t miss out, with extra places available for Taki Rua Productions play Taku Raukura E, a play aimed at learners of te reo Maori, and Saxcess; a group performing an eclectic mix of jazz and cutting-edge contemporary music. The Cirque Eloize troupe from the festival’s headline show Nomade will also now be running a workshop in circus skills.

Tickets for the Taranaki Festival of the Arts are available through Ticketek and the full programme is available online at www.artsfest.co.nz.
The Taranaki Festival of the Arts follows the sell-out success of WOMAD New Zealand 2005. Both events are organised by the Taranaki Arts Festivals Trust.

The Taranaki Festival of the Arts 2005 is funded and supported by the
following organisations;

CORE FUNDERS: New Plymouth District Council, Taranaki Electricity Trust
MAJOR FUNDING PARTNERS: TSB Community Trust, Creative NZ, Te Waka Toi

GOLD SPONSORS: Hooker Pacific, Staples Rodway, The Zieltjes Family in
association with the Practical Education Institute

GOLD MEDIA: Classic Hits Taranaki, Taranaki Daily News, More FM Taranaki

SILVER SPONSORS: Reeves Middleton Young, Clelands Construction Ltd, Price
Waterhouse Coopers, Transfield Worley Services, Plymouth International Hotel

BRONZE SPONSORS: Billings, Fuji Xerox, Swift Energy NZ Ltd, The Most FM,
Newstalk ZB, Westgate Transport Ltd, TSB Bank
FESTIVAL GRANTS: South Taranaki District Council, New Zealand Community
Trust, Venture Taranaki, Lion Foundation

ENDS

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