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Māori and Pacific artists at Festival of Pacific Arts 2012

5 September 2011

Calls for Māori and Pacific artists to represent Aotearoa at the Festival of Pacific Arts, 2012

Creative New Zealand is calling for expressions of interest from Māori and New Zealand-based Pacific artists to participate in the 11th Festival of Pacific Arts in the Solomon Islands in July next year.

Established in 1972 as the South Pacific Arts Festival, the event began in response to the threatened extinction of traditional and customary practices around the Pacific, and now involves almost 30 countries.

Hosted every four years by a different nation, the festival is the premier international event for preserving the Pacific’s cultural heritage, enhancing regional relations and drawing attention to the rich and diverse traditions of the many peoples of the Pacific.

Creative New Zealand encourages expressions of interest from accomplished and emerging artists from Māori and New Zealand-based Pacific communities. This opportunity is open to individual artists and groups that practice a wide range of artforms, including heritage and contemporary arts.

The theme for the Festival of Pacific Arts 2012 is ‘Culture in Harmony with Nature’. Selected works will connect with this theme in some way.

Invitations to the festival are extended to the indigenous people of each country and Creative New Zealand is supporting and coordinating the New Zealand delegation.

“As tangata whenua of New Zealand, Te Waka Toi, the Māori arts board of Creative New Zealand has extended the invitation to Pacific artists based in New Zealand,” said Te Waka Toi Chair Darrin Haimona.

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Mr Haimona visited the Solomon Islands earlier this year and is excited about Aotearoa’s opportunity to step on to the world stage, “The artists who are chosen will represent the very best of traditional and contemporary arts from Aotearoa New Zealand. They will ensure our distinct voice is heard among the people of the Pacific Region”.

“This is an opportunity for Māori and Pacific artists to share their artistry and cultural traditions with the aim of preserving them for future generations,” he said.

Aotearoa New Zealand has sent a delegation to every festival since 1972 and has included weavers, sculptors, carvers, theatre groups, storytellers, dancers, musicians and kapa haka.

Past host nations include Aotearoa New Zealand (1976), Tahiti (1985), Australia (1988), Cook Islands (1992), Samoa (1996), Belau (2004) and American Samoa (2008).

The application form, selection criteria and information about the festival’s theme are available on the Creative New Zealand website:

Please note applications close on Monday 31 October 2011 at 5pm.


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