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Tauranga Arts Festival director funded for Shanghai trip

Tauranga Arts Festival director funded for Shanghai trip

Tauranga Arts Festival director Jo Bond is to attend next month’s Shanghai International Arts Festival in China, the only Kiwi show booker attending.

Ms Bond, whose October 11 -16 travel has been made possible by funding from the Asia New Zealand Foundation, is particularly interested in the performing arts market, where people from around the world will pitch shows to prospective buyers.

The invitation to the festival came after Ms Bond met Catherine Wang, president of the Shanghai festival, at the NZ Festival in Wellington in March.

“Catherine is interested in cross-cultural exchanges and supported my funding application to the Asia NZ Foundation,” says Ms Bond, who has helmed the Tauranga festival since 2012 and worked for the festival since 2002.

“They’ll be pitching Chinese work predominantly but there will also be a showcase of international works. As well, there is a section called RAW for work in development and that will be a chance to see some more contemporary pieces.”

Ms Bond will take the opportunity to promote New Zealand works to other visiting festival directors at an event that last year attracted more than 4.2 million people to 46 major shows and hosted performers from 55 countries.

She has recently attended the world-renowned Edinburgh and Edinburgh Fringe festivals and was delighted to receive news while in Scotland that TECT will again provide core funding for next year’s 10-day festival, which opens on October 19, and has also committed to the 2018 Escape! festival.

“Having such certainty helps with our planning process and allows us to stage the best festival possible,” Ms Bond says. “The TECT funding acknowledges that the festival pays dividends for all of Tauranga, some tangible, such as accommodation and restaurant meals, and some intangible, such as the benefits of an arts-literate community of all ages.”


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