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Arts celebration rounds off summer events season


Whanganui & Partners is proud to continue its support for Artists Open Studios and Whanganui Walls as the culmination of an exciting summer 2020 events calendar.

Jonathan Sykes, Whanganui & Partners’ Strategic Lead – Brand, Events & i-SITE, said that summer events are an effective way to both draw in visitors and ending the season with a celebration of the visual arts reinforces Whanganui’s identity as a creative centre.

“These two events are part of how we see ourselves as a city and reinforce our heritage in the arts in a modern context. It also attracts visitors whose interests align well with our attractions and often end up returning.”
Artists Open Studios offers a chance to meet local artists as they open their studios to the public over two weekends. In 2020, AOS will be held over the 21-22 and 28-29 of March. This will be its 20th year, and Sykes says the event is going from strength to strength.

“With 84 studios open and 121 participating artists, AOS is the perfect way for Whanganui and its neighbouring regions to showcase the local breadth of talent in the visual arts. The Artists Open Studios Trust are doing a great job of developing the event into a cornerstone of our summer events calendar. There’s been increased interest in corporate sponsorship, which is something we want to help facilitate.”

Street art festival Whanganui Walls is only in its second year and was originally anticipated as a biannual event, but positive feedback from the inaugural event persuaded the organisers to bring it back for 2020. It will be held March 19-22.

“Whanganui Walls engaged a lot of people and had a great vibe, but what’s really special about this event is that it leaves a long-lasting impact on the look and feel of our city, which creates new opportunities for promotion. For example, the Edith Collier mural contributed to Ridgway Street being named New Zealand’s Most Beautiful Street this year,” Sykes said.

“The event also appeals to a younger audience, which is currently an underdeveloped market. The street art creates a point of interest for younger visitors throughout the year.”

Whanganui & Partners also supports key events such as 3 Bridges Marathon, Cemetery Circuit, Whanganui Opera Week, Whanganui Vintage Weekend and have supported in bringing new events to Whanganui recently such as Spring Challenge and the Labour Party Conference.

To support these events, Whanganui & Partners provides funding, promotional advice, marketing resources and connects organisers to relevant opportunities.

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