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The Big Look See – Free Fun In Wellington

Saturday 13 & Sunday 14 May 2006

The Big Look See – Free Fun In Wellington

The Big Look-See is a weekend of FREE fun and discovery for all Wellingtonians who’ve ever been curious about what goes on behind the scenes in the creative Capital and want to have a good old-fashioned nosey! A totally free event, The Big Look-See is hosted by 15 venues around the Wellington Region and involves over 20 high-profile arts and cultural organisations (listed below).

Coordinated by Arts Wellington – a trust established to support arts and cultural audience development in the Wellington Region – Chairman, Andrew Leslie says, “The Big Look-See could be described as an open weekend for the participating organisations, however a better description would be a ‘test-drive’ or ‘taster’ event, as the public are invited to have an active look and can give the tricks of the trade a try for no charge. You don’t even need to book.”

The Big Look-See programme has something for everyone, from sitting in on rehearsals and classes, to giving a beginner’s ballet lesson a go. There a many guided walks and backstage tours, opportunities to chat with artists, actors and technicians, or to find out how exhibitions are curated and plays created. Adventurous people can even take-part in making a new play or artwork. There are specific activities for children such as creating their own music video, or reading the weather in front of modern ‘blue-screen’ technology. They can also take part in a writing workshop with Lloyd Jones, listen to scary stories, or discover hidden treasure! Friends and families can try vocal warm-up exercises, dress as Victorian tourists and have photos taken, learn how scenery flies on and off stage, hear bellringing, an organ recital, see a snippet of a current show, or tread the boards themselves!

Why The Big Look-See? Arts Wellington, or the Wellington Regional Art and Cultural Development Trust, was set up in 2005. Its objective is to play a lead role in the on-going development of a flourishing arts, culture and heritage sector and, in doing so, contributing directly to the social and economic well-being of individuals, arts organisations and of the Wellington Region. Most of the participating organisations are members of Arts Wellington. With similar events, such as the Birmingham ArtsFest being hugely successful overseas, The Big Look-See has been designed to encourage Wellingtonians to have a look at what their own region has on offer. “By being given the opportunity to visit any of the participating organisations and watch them in action, Arts Wellington hopes that more Wellingtonians will be inspired to attend arts and cultural activities in their home town”, explains Leslie.

Participating Organisations Alexander Turnbull Library, BATS Theatre, Capital E, Circa Theatre, City Gallery, Downstage Theatre, Footnote Dance Company, Hutt Valley Community Arts, Katherine Mansfield Birthplace, The Learning Connexion, Museum of Wellington City & Sea, National Library Gallery, NZ Film Archive, Old St Pauls, Petone Settlers Museum, Playmarket, Royal New Zealand Ballet, Wellington Waterfront, Westpac St James Theatre – with – NBR NZ Opera, NZ Book Council, NZ School of Music, Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School, Watercolour NZ, Walk Wellington

Visit for the full programme and timetable


BATS - Instant Kiwi - help create a new NZ play: several one minute plays devised by mentors and members of the public from go to whoa - then performed. - Working with Playmarket and Young and Hungry. (Both days)

Capital E - Taste Capital E : For children - kids can make their own music video, have a go at reading the weather on the latest 'blue-sceen' technology and see behind the scenes of Capital E's professional children's theatre. (Saturday)

Circa Theatre - Open Day: Take a backstage tour and see plays in rehearsal or catch some live entertainment for both adults and children - free tea and coffee and ice cream! (Sunday)

City Gallery - Exhibition Tours and Kids Adventure Trail, exhibitions Michael Smithers - The Wonder Years and Patricia Piccinini - In Another Life (Both days)

Downstage Theatre - Behind the Scenes: Take a backstage tour or give the theatre arts a try for yourself - free tea and coffee (Saturday)

Farsite Gallery (Hutt Valley Community Arts) - Contextualise: An exhibition created specifically for The Big Look See by Robuin Va'auli and Will Yates - using the written word as inspiration for paintings - The Big Look-See in the HUTT CITY (Both days)

Katherine Mansfield Birthplace - Coffee, Cake and Katherine: KMB is having a free open day and tours of the house with coffee by L'affare and cake by Comtessa. (Both days)

Museum of Wellington City and Sea - Come and have a look-see: poetry reading by Tusiata Avia, childrens writing workshops with authour Lloyd Jones and current exhibitions - plus you can dress up as a Victorian tourist and have your photograph taken. (Both days)

National Library Gallery - Putting you in the Picture: A behind the scenes tour of the Alexander Turnbull Library with a curator - find out how exhibitions happen - plus current photographic exhibitions Within Memory and Verbatim... Revelation to Oblivion (Both days - tour Saturday only)

NZ Film Archive - Deidre Tarrant Dance Theatre: One-off screening of The Sleeping Beauty a film of young Wellington dancers. (Saturday 3.30pm)

Old St Pauls - Bellringing and Organ Recital: Observe the art of Bell Ringing in a demonstration and listen to an organ recital by David Trott in the beautiful surroundings of Old St Pauls (Sunday)

Petone Settlers Museum - Treasures in Petone: Take a guided walk of Patrick St or Jackson St or children can do a treasure hunt throughout the museum - everyone gets to take home a surprise from the Lucky Dip - current exhibitions House and Home - a history of NZ state housing and A New Land (Both days)

Shed 11 - Wellington Waterfront and The Learning Connexion - The Learning Connexion Exhibition: Coming into town from Island Bay TLC are setting up in Shed 11 with a major exhibition plus interactive demonstrations - help paint a mural or see craftspeople at work.(Both days)

Tarrant Dance Studios in Cuba St - Footnote Dance - open rehearsals of Cutting the Mustard: See a new dance work in the making. (Saturday only)

Westpac St James and Royal NZ Ballet - Grease Paint and Bright Lights: Let the RNZB and Westpac St James show what it takes to be a star - take part in a ballet class or watch the pros in action, see an open acting class or how the scenery flies in and out, or take a basic vocal training - also a Watercolour demo with Watercolour NZ, and a costume display from NZ NBR Opera and the RNZB. (Saturday) - with NZ Drama School, NZ School of Music, Watercolour NZ, NBR Opera and NZ Book Council.


THE WALKS Walk Wellington - Guided Arts Walks: Leaving 10am, 11am and 12pm on Saturday and 10.30am and 12pm on Sunday from the doors of the City Gallery - each walk a different route that links several of the Big Look-See venues and gives you information about the city's arts and cultural scene - timed so activities are included and you end at one of the venues so you can then explore.


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