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Block Party in Masterton Keep It Green

What happens when a whole street block comes together and throws a party? You’re invited!

The Masterton Arts Quarter is holding a free party on Labour Day Saturday, October 26th, with activities around the CBD block and into nearby Queen Elizabeth Park. An extraordinary range of over 25 fun things to do, from 10am to 2pm, all events at BLOCK PARTY are free of charge, and for all ages.

Everyone is invited to enjoy entertainment at 4 stages, printing from Queen Street manhole covers onto tote bags with Masterton Art Club, Art in the Park (artists will paint at their easels), museum collection tour at Aratoi, kids art at ConArt, Koauau flute-making at King Street Artworks, pottery workshop and Back Door Art with stencils by Fab Lab at Te Pātukituki, Devonshire tea and scones at Come Sew With Me, fun activities and prizes at Trust House Recreation Centre, free entry and shearing demonstrations at The Wool Shed – New Zealand’s Museum of Sheep and Shearing, with Wairarapa Spinners and Weavers creating out front – this is a party that pools together the community.

“Keep It Green” is the theme for BLOCK PARTY 2019. Enjoy a guided tree tour of Queen Elizabeth Park, one of Aotearoa’s oldest inland parks. Watch two short environmental films at the MTLT Education Centre, 22 Dixon St: ‘Fools and Dreamers’ and ‘Conservation in the Wairarapa’ produced by two students: Edward Rice and Carys Gibbs. Make a star constellation in the courtyard of Aratoi (12 Bruce St). Breadcraft, which supports Aratoi’s annual student art exhibition on show during the Party, will introduce their new line of cricket, hemp seed, purple corn, and spinach wraps. Live character Manukura will arrive from Pūkaha. Three activities that encourage re-use: photo-swap and print-swap (bring one to the party, take one home) and second-hand books, fun and games with NZ Pacific Studio. Recycling bins will be available.

Masterton Arts Quarter is comprised of Aratoi Wairarapa Museum of Art and History, ConArt Gallery and Studios, King Street Artworks, and Te Pātukituki o Wairarapa – their motto: “Our togetherness keeps us well. Mā tātou ka ora ai tātou.” The Masterton Art Club and Wairarapa Archive are co-organisers of BLOCK PARTY 2019, and Masterton Creative Communities Scheme have supplied core funding.

Most activities are drop-in, running throughout the party; a few need planning or booking:

-Behind-the-scenes collection tour for kids at Aratoi (11am) book:

-Tree Tour, Queen Elizabeth Park (11am, and 1pm), led by Alan Feilding, meet at Hosking Fountain.

-Outdoor Poems Tour (12 Noon) Meet at Recreation Centre, 2 Dixon St.

-Beauty of Simplicity Pottery Workshop (1pm) with Sam Ludden at Te Pātukituki (Te Pā), 15 Queen St.

-Tia Tuuta, Kaitakawaenga Māori Liaison Advisor, opens (9.30am) and closes (2.30pm) the Party, at ConArt

Live entertainment: a stage for bands in Queen Elizabeth Park (coordinated by Nikki King, Fuzzbox Designs), a DJ stage in QE Park (led by Sean Trueman, DJ Mawley), Singer-songwriter stage at ConArt (led by Nick Brandon), Live Poetry in Library Square (led by Nathan Crombie and Erin Kavanagh-Hall,, and Czech musician Jonáš Koukl will bring instruments for the public to play under the trees of QE Park.

Food: Local food vendors in QE Park, Bright Green Smoothies at Entice Café, the Wairarapa Farmers’ Market is open, and Thai Aroy Maak are offering amazing Thai treats for the third year in a row.

This is Masterton’s third BLOCK PARTY. The first event, in 2017, was initiated by Aratoi Wairarapa Museum of Art and History, co-presented with Our Future Masterton and Urban Dream Brokerage, financially supported by Masterton District Council, and carried out by the entire CBD block.

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