Festival fanfare

Power-packed Tairawhiti Arts Festival programme launch.

Power-packed Tairawhiti Arts Festival programme launch.

SPECIAL NIGHT: Backed by community choir Te Tira Hapori o Manutuke, singer Annie Crummer rounded off Te Tairawhiti Arts Festival director Tama Waipara’s announcement last night at Toko Toru Tapu Church of the inaugural arts festival’s programme. Picture by Phil Yeo
Tairawhiti Arts Festival director Tama Waipara.

A surprise performance by singer Annie Crummer had people dancing in the aisle at Manutuke’s Toko Toru Tapu Church last night.

The occasion was the announcement of the inaugural Te Tairawhiti Arts Festival programme, and Crummer’s appearance rounded off the evening.

The multi-artform, multi-layered arts festival that spans three weekends from October 4-20 will open at Marina Park with director and artist Teina Moetara’s work Maui Putahi. Set at the confluence of the Taruheru, Waimata and Turanganui rivers, Maui Putahi is described as part performance, part ceremony and part interactive experience.

Accessibility is key, said festival director Tama Waipara.

Maui Putahi will be one of the festival’s many free events in which ticket prices to film, theatre, music, dance, visual arts, kites, lights and “fun for all the whanau” will cost no more than $20 to $25.

The Tairawhiti Arts Festival had a simple kaupapa, said Mr Waipara.

“We are of the place and its people. We are arts- led. We are a platform for connection.

“Our programme reaches far and wide, from the proudly local and unashamedly accessible, to the globally acclaimed.”

In a power-packed presentation that opened with a performance by community choir, Te Tira Hapori o Manutuke, Mr Waipara included in his programme announcement short film clips of each event.

Actor-singer Mere Boynton performed a poignant excerpt from Nancy Brunning’s play Witi’s Wahine, which will have its world premiere at the festival.

World-class theatre, local collaborations among festival attractions

Other events announced for the programme line-up include Wild Dogs Under My Skirt, a stage adaptation of Tusiata Avia’s poetry collection that will be performed by an all-female cast of six.

From Taki Rua and Theatre of Auckland comes Cellfish, a play in which a woman teaches prison inmates Shakespeare.

A collaboration between the Gisborne International Music Competition, Gisborne Girls’ High School, the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and Jolt Dance Company will present Tukutuku, the result of a series of creative workshops between musicians, dancers and students with disabilities.

Visual arts events include artist George Nuku’s Bottled Ocean installation.

“George will be creating works of scale alongside our community, schools and all those interested in participating, to create a giant manawa (heart) representing our ‘feeling about plastic’, a giant roro (brain) representing our ‘thinking about plastic’ and ngakaunui (big heart) representing ‘engaging our hearts and minds’ to find the solution,” said Mr Waipara.

“We will be actively seeking participants from across our community to create this large-scale work, so watch this space and keep an eye on our website and Facebook page for details on how to get involved.”

Mr Waipara acknowledged the festival’s funders and supporters — Creative New Zealand, the Ministry of Education, Gisborne District Council and principal sponsor, the Eastland Community Trust (ECT).

“Their substantial support means in addition to the range of free events throughout the festival, the average ticket price across all shows is heavily subsidised.”

ECT chairman Paul Reynolds said the trust was proud to have supported the Tairawhiti Arts Festival with a distribution of $1 million.

“The festival is a celebration of our culture and diversity, not just in Gisborne but across the region. Communities will come together and be inspired,” he said.

“From an economic development perspective, visitor nights and associated spending this year will show a measurable impact in the local economy with $1 million to $ 5 million forecast. As a legacy event, this will grow over time.”

He announced special guest singer Annie Crummer who was accompanied by the Te Tira Hapori o Manutuke choir in a gospel-tinged performance that had people out of their seats dancing.

  • Full programme details will be included in the Guide arts pages tomorrow.

A surprise performance by singer Annie Crummer had people dancing in the aisle at Manutuke’s Toko Toru Tapu Church last night.

The occasion was the announcement of the inaugural Te Tairawhiti Arts Festival programme, and Crummer’s appearance rounded off the evening.

The multi-artform, multi-layered arts festival that spans three weekends from October 4-20 will open at Marina Park with director and artist Teina Moetara’s work Maui Putahi. Set at the confluence of the Taruheru, Waimata and Turanganui rivers, Maui Putahi is described as part performance, part ceremony and part interactive experience.

Accessibility is key, said festival director Tama Waipara.

Maui Putahi will be one of the festival’s many free events in which ticket prices to film, theatre, music, dance, visual arts, kites, lights and “fun for all the whanau” will cost no more than $20 to $25.

The Tairawhiti Arts Festival had a simple kaupapa, said Mr Waipara.

“We are of the place and its people. We are arts- led. We are a platform for connection.

“Our programme reaches far and wide, from the proudly local and unashamedly accessible, to the globally acclaimed.”

In a power-packed presentation that opened with a performance by community choir, Te Tira Hapori o Manutuke, Mr Waipara included in his programme announcement short film clips of each event.

Actor-singer Mere Boynton performed a poignant excerpt from Nancy Brunning’s play Witi’s Wahine, which will have its world premiere at the festival.

World-class theatre, local collaborations among festival attractions

Other events announced for the programme line-up include Wild Dogs Under My Skirt, a stage adaptation of Tusiata Avia’s poetry collection that will be performed by an all-female cast of six.

From Taki Rua and Theatre of Auckland comes Cellfish, a play in which a woman teaches prison inmates Shakespeare.

A collaboration between the Gisborne International Music Competition, Gisborne Girls’ High School, the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and Jolt Dance Company will present Tukutuku, the result of a series of creative workshops between musicians, dancers and students with disabilities.

Visual arts events include artist George Nuku’s Bottled Ocean installation.

“George will be creating works of scale alongside our community, schools and all those interested in participating, to create a giant manawa (heart) representing our ‘feeling about plastic’, a giant roro (brain) representing our ‘thinking about plastic’ and ngakaunui (big heart) representing ‘engaging our hearts and minds’ to find the solution,” said Mr Waipara.

“We will be actively seeking participants from across our community to create this large-scale work, so watch this space and keep an eye on our website and Facebook page for details on how to get involved.”

Mr Waipara acknowledged the festival’s funders and supporters — Creative New Zealand, the Ministry of Education, Gisborne District Council and principal sponsor, the Eastland Community Trust (ECT).

“Their substantial support means in addition to the range of free events throughout the festival, the average ticket price across all shows is heavily subsidised.”

ECT chairman Paul Reynolds said the trust was proud to have supported the Tairawhiti Arts Festival with a distribution of $1 million.

“The festival is a celebration of our culture and diversity, not just in Gisborne but across the region. Communities will come together and be inspired,” he said.

“From an economic development perspective, visitor nights and associated spending this year will show a measurable impact in the local economy with $1 million to $ 5 million forecast. As a legacy event, this will grow over time.”

He announced special guest singer Annie Crummer who was accompanied by the Te Tira Hapori o Manutuke choir in a gospel-tinged performance that had people out of their seats dancing.

  • Full programme details will be included in the Guide arts pages tomorrow.

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