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New Zealand Fringe Festival Is Back For 2024 And Supporting Artists With New Capability Programme

The New Zealand Fringe Festival (NZ Fringe) launches its 2024 programme in just two weeks, on Thursday 14 December. The programme will feature an outstanding line-up of more than 160 local and international artists, who will present their innovative events across NZ Fringe’s three-week season in Te Whanganui-a-Tara, from 16 February to 9 March 2024. The NZ Fringe team has been hard at work pulling together this programme, but that isn’t the only thing that has been bubbling away in the office over the last couple of months.

NZ Fringe, or as it is fondly known ‘The Birthplace of Brilliance’, is managed by umbrella organisation Creative Capital Arts Trust. Creative Capital Arts Trust and the New Zealand Fringe Festival are proud to present their new Artist Capability Programme, reinforcing their commitment to artist development with funding aid from the Ministry for Culture and Heritage (MCH). This programme was created to further support sustainable career development for emerging and independent Wellington artists with the intention of strengthening the work that these practitioners are able to present at a national level.

NZ Fringe Festival Director Vanessa Stacey (Ngati Kuia / Te Ātiawa) says: “We're extremely passionate about further strengthening our Artist Development for our emerging artists. This funding not only enables this but also supports the first iteration of a National Fringe Touring Circuit. Ensuring a connected and collaborative ecology of Fringe Festivals is growing across the motu is both vital for the development of our artists’ practice and their career sustainability.”

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The diverse range of upskilling opportunities are being presented through seven strands of workshops. In response to artist feedback on areas where they most need assistance, the teaching of producing and administration skills will be prioritised as part of the Artist Capability Development strand. To further growth in this area, NZ Fringe are developing new producers and creating a way for them to collaborate and pool skills with the Pōneke Artist Hub and Arts Producers Network.

The Living Wage subsidy is another welcome support for artists to create incredible new works. This initiative will increase the wellbeing of artists and recognise their mahi by providing up to 100 hours of Living Wage pay per solo event, and 200 hours per group event.

On top of this, the six national Fringe Festivals around Aotearoa are in the midst of coordinating and co-designing solutions and models for the further development of the National Fringe Network, ensuring each Fringe festival can share their support, knowledge and experience in the development of a National Fringe Touring Circuit. This touring circuit gives artists, who often invest in new and innovative works for one season, the

opportunity to tour nationally via a circuit of Fringe festivals, and thus extend their art practice and reach.

Creative Capital Arts Trust prides itself on upholding Māori values and creating a welcoming space by, with and for tangata whenua. The new Ngā Toi Māori Strategy will support the development and presentation of Ngā Toi Māori with a focus on past, present and contemporary work across all disciplines.

To enable long-term commitment to the Artist Capability Programme, Creative Capital Arts Trust will develop a new Funding Strategy, which will ensure strong and sustainable funding is in place through a wide range of ongoing partnerships. The Funding Strategy will bring together public funding, private philanthropy and commercial sponsorship, to ensure that Creative Capital Arts Trust can continue to support artists.

Creative Capital Trust Chief Executive, Kim Bailey says: “It’s fantastic that this funding can support artists to create sustainable careers here in Pōneke and connect with our other Aotearoa Fringe festivals. We are also grateful that this funding allowed us to bring James Wilson onto our team to support us with our Fundraising Strategy and Toa Waaka as our Kaupapa Māori Advisor to continue to develop Creative Capital Arts Trust into an organisation that ignites creativity in Te Whanganui-a-Tara.”

NZ Fringe has annually funded artists through the Kākano fund through Creative New Zealand. This fund provides up to $1,500 for each event participating in the Fringe to assist with presentation costs. NZ Fringe also received funding from the Wellington City Council Living Wage Fund and the CNZ Pasifika team to directly fund the creative development time for artists creating new work at the living wage rate for presentation at NZ Fringe.

With just weeks to go until NZ Fringe launches into its 2024 season, the team are busy working through both festival production and the implementation of this new Artist Capability Programme. To continue making bold, creative and boundary-pushing new work, Fringe artists rely on audiences attending their events, so if you can, show your support by heading to some NZ Fringe events this summer. Many of Pōneke’s favourite venues are powering the 2024 festival, including BATS Theatre, Te Auaha, Hannah Playhouse, Circa, The Gryphon Theatre (FATG), Te Whaea, The Fringe Bar, Circus Bar, Circus Hub, Cavern Club, even Martin Luckie Park, and Campbell Park in Paekākāriki — reminding us that anything is possible at NZ Fringe.

New Zealand Fringe Festival’s 2024 season opens 16 February and runs until 9 March across venues in Wellington. The new programme will be live on their website or in printed copies available throughout Pōneke from the 14th of December. See the multitude of shows on offer and book your tickets at

Please find artist capability Story images here: Artist Capability Programme Media Images

Please find general Fringe festival images here:





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