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Diversity A Feature Of Grants To PI Artists

Date: 24 May

Diversity A Feature Of Grants To Pacific Islands Artists

An international arts exchange, fashion and film, exhibitions, a graphic novel and collaborations between Maori and Pacific Islands artists are among a diverse range of projects offered grants in the latest funding round of the Pacific Arts Committee of Creative New Zealand, announced this week.

The Auckland company MAU Dance Theatre was offered a grant of $16,000 to travel to Noumea, New Caledonia in late 2001 to conduct a workshop series and create new work with a Kanak traditional performing arts group, Olobath, and Richard Digoue¡¦s dance company Nyian.

The invitation from the Tjibaou Cultural Centre was sparked by MAU Dance Theatre¡¦s participation in last year¡¦s 8th Festival of Pacific Arts in Noumea. The new work to be created from the project will premiere at the Tjibaou Cultural Centre, with seasons in Auckland and Paris also planned.

Marilyn Kohlhase, Chair of the Pacific Arts Committee, said this was an exciting, Pacific exchange that recognised the unique nature of MAU¡¦s work.

In this round, the Pacific Arts Committee received 44 applications for funding seeking more than $540,000. In the end, it offered grants to 26 projects totalling $159,260. The grants supported both emerging and established artists, as well as community and professional projects.

Several publications were supported, including a grant of $8000 to Therese Mangos (Cook Islands) of Mt Albert, Auckland to write a book on Cook Islands tatatau (tattooing). Mangos, who received a grant in 1998 to undertake research for the book, is now at the next stage of her project. The grant means she can employ a writer to work with her and write the text, based on her extensive research. She will also use the grant to employ a photographer and an editor.

The book will provide a historical overview of tatatau through to the current renaissance, Mangos said. It will also recognise the importance of the artform, both in New Zealand and in the Cook Islands.

Other grants to publications were:

„h $2000 to Jacob Luamanuvae (Samoan) of Newtown, Wellington to develop a science fiction graphic novel. This will involve script writing, conceptual design and illustration, 3D modelling and animation, graphic design and layout.

„h $5000 to Reed Publishing (NZ) Ltd of Auckland to publish a bi-lingual collection of Tongan proverbs by Dr Okusitino Mahina of the University of Auckland¡¦s anthropology department.

„h $5000 to the Victoria University School of Music to produce a catalogue of historic recordings of Tokelau traditional song.

Artists apply for funding to the Pacific Arts Committee under one of four funding programmes: Heritage Arts, Pacific Islands Arts Development, Pacific Islands Arts Promotion and Tangata Whenua Links.

The Committee was pleased to see an increased number of applications under Tangata Whenua Links, a programme that supports projects involving Maori and Pacific Islands artists working in collaboration.

A $5000 grant to Nesian Queens of Auckland will support the rehearsal and production of a performance work, Soul of a Pacific Sound. This is a collaboration between contemporary Maori dance company Ahiwai and singer/songwriter Maybelle Galuvao, formerly of MaVelle.

Other grants under the Tangata Whenua Links funding programme are:

„h $6500 to Bill Sevesi (Tongan) of Mt Roskill, Auckland to produce, manufacture and distribute a 14-track album of archival Polynesian music, including four tracks of songs in te reo Maori

„h $8000 to Pacific Sisters of Island Bay, Wellington for a two-day, multi-media fashion event called SubURBAN Islands: The Next Journey.

Auckland playwright Dianna Fuemana (Nuiean) of Avondale, Auckland was offered a $12,000 grant to rehearse and perform her latest play, Jingle Bells, at the Maidment Theatre in Auckland in October. Although Fuemana wrote the play, Goretti Chadwick and Christina Bristow came on board halfway through the writing process and all three began devising the piece together. The three women are also acting in the play.

¡§Dianna¡¦s solo show, Mapaki, was extremely well-received,¡¨ Ms Kohlhase said. ¡§With this new work, she has branched out into comedy. It will be interesting to watch her development, both as a playwright and as an actor.¡¨

Also in the performing arts, Whitireia Performing Arts in Porirua was offered a grant of $6000 to commission three of its graduates to create new dance works. These works will be performed extensively in New Zealand and also at six international festivals in Spain, Mallorca and the Canary Islands in July/August.

Music recordings ranging from traditional music through to contemporary music and hip-hop were supported. Grants to music recordings include:

„h $3000 to emerging artist Crystal Fitisemanu (Samoan) of Henderson, Auckland to record five original songs

„h $5000 to hip-hop artist Joe Schuster (Samoan) of Grey Lynn, Auckland to record five new songs

„h $4000 to Maleko Ineleo (Tokelauan) of Lower Hutt to record songs he has written about Tokelauan culture and how to live as a Tokelauan in New Zealand.

Two emerging filmmakers were supported in this funding round: Damon Fepuleai (Samoan), director of Godzone Pictures in Grey Lynn, Auckland was offered a $10,000 grant to produce a short film while Jason Siliva Taouma (Samoan) of Kingsland, Auckland was offered a $4800 grant to create and develop four experimental short films.

A grant of $8000 to Auckland furniture maker Fletcher Vaughan (Tahitian/Fijian) will support manufacturing costs and a catalogue to accompany an exhibition of his work at Eon, a design gallery in Auckland, in August.

¡§Fletcher Vaughan¡¦s furniture is an example of innovative design and work of a high standard,¡¨ Ms Kohlhase said. ¡§Exhibiting his work at Eon will raise his profile and the catalogue will be a useful promotional tool.¡¨

The Pacific Arts Committee is organising a series of regional fono, aimed at helping individuals, groups and organisations apply to the Committee for funding. The fono will start in Auckland on 18 June and include the central and lower North Island, plus four centres in the South Island.

Applications to the next funding round of the Pacific Arts Committee close on 27 July 2001. Copies of the Funding Guide: Nga Putea 2001-2002 are available from Creative New Zealand offices or can be downloaded from the publications page of its website (


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