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Cash for Fringe scandal: answers wanted

Cash for Fringe scandal: answers wanted

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Caption: Blinkers, one of the successful Kakano Funding applicants for Fringe 08

New Zealand's arts and culture community is demanding answers from the 2008 New Zealand Fringe Festival, following the revelation that tens of thousands of dollars of public money was given to artists for Fringe 08.

Fringe 08 announced today that a total of $51,053.28 in Kakano funding has been alloocated to 39 applicants for next year's festival, which begins February 8. Fifty-one applications were received, for more than $100,000.

The Kakano Fund was established in conjunction with Creative New Zealand to provide a foundation for the development of new work by New Zealand artists participating in Fringe 08.

Successful applicants have besieged the Fringe offices demanding their money, said Fringe '08 Director Mark Westerby.

"Look, we realise that this is a significant amount of money that has gone to performers to help them achieve their creative dreams in Fringe 08," said Mr Westerby.

"We're going to get to the bottom of this Kakano Cash for Fringe situation. There's a lot of really deserving people out there ready to let rip for Fringe 08.

"The truth is, the Kakano panel was really impressed with the quality of all applications – yes it sounds cliché but we really were!

"Kakano is about encouraging new work and new ideas and the applicants prove there's a lot of creativity in New Zealand right now," he said.

The maximum Kakano grant awarded was $2500. Five applications were turned down as they were already receiving Creative Communities funding, while the remaining seven did not meet Kakano funding criteria.

Big questions are still being asked over who was awarded 28 cents.


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