Small Hall Sessions

As we navigate the turbulent waters of these times, the sentiment he waka eke noa filters down from on high. While it is true the team of five million are all at sea in the same storm, the calibre of our vessels and their capacity to withstand the weather varies wildly. 

In response to the rapidly changing public health measures that have decimated the arts, culture and events industry, Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage have offered a paddle to those stuck up shit creek. Te Urungi: Innovating Aotearoa launched a fleet of wānanga, beginning a nationwide conversation on future proofing culture in the face of adversity, and, crucially, provided funding to the tune of near $22 million to bring new ideas to fruition. 

Here in Te Matau-a-Māui Hawke’s Bay, fourteen creative projects received a $1.4m slice of the pie, most going to established entities to continue their good work. 

The biggest winner was Manungaharuru-Tangitū Charitable Trust, who received $400k to create a system of digital engagement with wāhi taonga following the path of the native falcon, Te Rerenga Kārearea.

Prima Volta Charitable Trust were granted almost $325k to continue their work introducing opera to promising rangatahi from diverse backgrounds. Their mentorship programme pairs established national artists with up and coming youth to stage professional productions. Their weekly practice sessions form a strong creative community and are life changing for many.

The Small Hall Sessions obtained $250,000 to breathe life back into Hawke’s Bay’s community halls by bringing the best of national and international musicians to play a five night stint around the region. Creator and curator, Jamie Macphail conceived of the idea in response to capacity restrictions which inhibited popular performers from playing to large crowds. Not only has his model allowed the show to go on, but the intimate setting he thoughtfully constructs has made these gigs into deeply meaningful musical experiences that will linger in the memories of his audiences.

EIT’s Mārama Project received $190,000 to continue their work collating and archiving taonga manuscripts from Ngāti Kahungnu tīpuna. They are developing a system and training archivists so the legacy of regional Mātauranga Māori can be preserved for future generations.

Funding HQ were given $85,000 to teach local creatives the tools to access the funds needed for arts and culture to flourish in the region. 

In addition to these established projects, seed funding of $20,000 each was granted to nine recipients to develop new innovations across Hawke’s Bay. Everything from weaving to whaling lore, museums and both physical and digital community spaces were given a leg up to get their creative innovations off the ground. 

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