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Manukau’s Outstanding Creative Talent Backed

Media Release
18 September 2008

Manukau’s Outstanding Creative Talent Backed

Seven talented creative people from throughout Manukau have been selected from a pool of 31 applicants to be part of this year’s ART source programme. The year-long programme, run by the Arts Regional Trust, will help the participants develop their careers and creative businesses to achieve a sustainable living.

This the second time that ART has run the programme in Manukau, and this year’s participants come from a wide range of artistic backgrounds:

Renee Bevan is a jeweller, born and bred in Manukau and residing in Manurewa. As well as a contemporary jeweller she also lectures in jewellery at Manukau School of Visual Arts and is a member of the Fingers Cooperative in Auckland City.

Theodore Ah Wong is a designer from Mangere, whose vision is to have his furniture and design pieces in the finest resorts, homes and hotels around the world.

Otara resident Charmaine ‘Ilaiu is the first Pacific Islander to graduate with a Masters degree in Architecture and wants to establish and grow a Pacific Architecture consultancy working in New Zealand and beyond.

Billie Paea is the director of well-known Otara-based dance company Dziah. His vision is to inspire and mentor youth through dance to bring out their potential.

Fijian-born, Mangere resident photographer Vinesh Kumaran has built his reputation since graduating from the Manukau School of Visual Arts as one of Auckland’s best known photographer’s assistants. He is now setting his sights on becoming one of New Zealand’s top commercial photographers.

Corinne Te Whata is a trained milliner and dressmaker who has won several awards for her work, including being runner-up in the 3-Piece Collection section of the 2008 Westfield Style Pasifika Awards. Recently Corinne has opened a textile business and workshop called Gummdiggers Daughters in Howick.

Graphic artist Siliga David Setoga is an exhibiting artist and owner of PopoHardwear currently based at the Otara Markets. Siliga aims to take Popohardwear to markets beyond Manukau City and to the world.

In the ART source programme, the participants learn about key business skills and information in both group and individual coaching sessions. They also work on business development plans that allow them to identify and prioritise what resources they need to grow their business. Once they know what it is that they need to do this, they pitch to a panel of people for the resources they need to make their creative businesses take off.

ART source Programme Director Candy Elsmore says that ART source is a unique programme that invests in the future of Manukau’s talented, innovative and entrepreneurial creatives.

“ART source is all about backing the rising stars of Manukau’s creative sector and helping them to accelerate their potential. We invest in the talent of emerging, entrepreneurial, creative people to help them make a sustainable living through what they are good at and passionate about doing. It’s a fantastic opportunity for them, and a greatly rewarding thing for ART to lead and for the wider community to benefit from.”

ART source was developed in partnership with Manukau City Council and receives considerable investment from ASB Community Trust.

ART source 08 continues until June 2009, and ART anticipates running a selection process for ART source 09 in April / May 2009.



ART Background information:

ART is an arts and creative industries development agency, creating and investing in programmes that develop capability and capacity in Auckland’s creative sector.

The City Councils of Auckland and Manukau created the Arts Regional Trust Te Taumata Toi-a-Iwi (ART) in 2000 to manage and grow their combined share of funds provided through the disestablishment of Auckland Regional Services Trust.

To date, ART has invested in a number of significant projects in partnership with other organisations such as the city councils of the Auckland region, universities and government agencies. The capital fund has grown to $8.5 under ART’s stewardship.

ART has also developed a suite of three core programmes that are targeted at creative and cultural entrepreneurs who are seeking to further develop their enterprise: ART source, ART venture and ART enterprise.

The programmes all support ART’s core strategy of backing creative entrepreneurs. Each targets different stages of maturity and traction. All are responsive to the individual participants’ business development needs and are customised to meet the specific needs of the creative sector in the Auckland region.

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