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New Programme Connects Creatives To Industry Specialists

Economic development agency Whanganui & Partners is launching a professional development programme for the creative sector called Making It.

Making It connects local artists to a team of specialists, building professional and commercial knowledge in the sector. The specialist sessions will be free for participants and tailored to their business needs.

Emma Bugden from Whanganui & Partners says that while there are many opportunities for creatives to get support and mentorship when it comes to their craft, there are fewer opportunities to help creatives think about art as a business.

“There are a lot of tips and tricks to navigating the art world that no one tells you,” Bugden says. “A lot of traditional business and financial advice doesn’t quite work in the context of the sector, and many artists have to learn tough lessons through experience.”

Bugden says Making It is a way for creatives developing their careers to learn from more established artists and business people. The programme currently has seven different providers offering sessions on topics like developing relationships with art dealers and applying for public funding.

Bugden hopes that the sessions will help local artists take the next step in their careers.

“There is so much up-and-coming talent in Whanganui, and so many people with established careers in the arts, it seems natural to connect the two for the benefit of the sector. I want the programme to help our creatives feel more confident in their ambition and understand the next steps in realising their goals.”

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Bugden says several of the programme’s sessions can be useful to most creative businesses, while some are specific to the visual arts. She hopes to expand the programme to the wider creative sector.

“I’d like to grow the offering to include experts in other forms of art, like musicians and writers. I’ll also be listening to feedback from participants about additional areas they’re needing support.”

Creatives can get more information at or by contacting Emma Bugden at

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