Close to 30,000 Hawke’s Bay kids head back to school this month.  What if your old school uniform no longer fits but you’d still like to perk up the grey matter with something other than Sudoku?

There’s lots on offer around town—both in and out of the classroom: lectures, seminars, continuing education classes, professional development opportunities, art exhibitions, workshops, film festivals, concerts.  But who can keep track of it all and remember what’s on where, when?  And, to begin with, much of it isn’t widely publicized.

BayBuzz is stepping into breach.  Our new BrainFood calendar offers a tidy round up of local goings on that are likely to be intelligent, provocative, informative, hopefully inspiring; maybe entertaining, but mostly—one way or another—edifying.  Of course BrainFood can’t list everything.  Consider it your tasting menu. Contact the organizations directly for full program information.

So what’s on this month? 

  • Adult Continuing Education (ACE) classes get underway at many area high schools.  And at EIT there’s a new batch of “short courses.” We’ve listed some but there’s much more.  Go to your library for a complete list of ACE providers.  Contact EIT for full program listing.
  • Yes, there’s Art Deco Weekend and Carreras and all the other big name hooplas. But so much will be said about them elsewhere, we’re keeping mum…except for a few listings from the Art Deco Trust
  • The newly branded Hastings City Art Gallery (formerly Hastings Exhibition Center) officially launches Feb. 5 with Mind Games, Surrealism in Aotearoa and related events. Exploring the influence of Surrealism—the flip side of the Deco tradition—on New Zealand art, Mind Games features a panoply of artists.  Among them you’ll find Adele Younghusband, Edward Bulmore, Mary McIntyre, Sylvia Siddell, Liz Maw, Seraphine Pick and Richard Killeen. New Director Maree Mills has a background education and digital arts and is promising fresh directions for the arts in Hastings.
  • Waimarama Maori Tourism, created by Waimarama resident Robert MacDonald, offers another look at Maori history and culture that goes way beyond the stereotypes.  Launched two years with Cultural Discovery Tours at Hawke’s Bay Museum and Art Gallery, WMT now offers breathtaking encounters with Maori heritage at Te Hakakino, a 15th century Maori fortress site, deep in the hills of Waimarama.   Descendents of the original inhabitants welcome you into their history.  Their personal warmth, generosity and commitment give this tour a special power.  Don’t miss it.
  • Coming in early March (not a moment too soon):  the Regional Economic Summit organized by the regional office of the Ministry of Social Development, Hawke’s Bay Chamber of Commerce and Hawke’s Bay Inc. Principal speaker NZIER Chief Economist Jean-Pierre de Raad recently released the Quarterly Survey of Business Opinion…not a lot of good news.  The Summit is likely to be the first in a series to examine strategic responses to current regional economic conditions in the context of the global economy.  Hawke’s Bay Opera House, Friday, March 6.
  • Also early next month, Hawke’s Bay Museum and Art Gallery launches a pair of small, intimate exhibitions of two Hawke’s Bay artists, Ben Pearce and Michael Hawksworth.  According to the press release: Pearce’s Utterances invites us into a world of childhood imagination where fantastic creatures cohabit with the everyday, mundane and discarded objects of 21st century living.  In A Disaster Area, Michael Hawksworth creates an imagined reality where portraits emerge from an intricate landscape of book pages, drawing and collage. Both shows open March 6.  Promo-speak aside, these two artists are doing some of the most interesting work in Hawke’s Bay.

Heads up: Creative Hastings Festival of Writers gets underway March 20-22.  Tickets are on sale now through Ticket Direct.  See www.creativehastings.org.nz for more info.

Stay tuned!

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