This week had some time with our local Arts committee to read through, discuss and approve (or seek more information on) funding for local arts projects that would benefit access, participation and target groups for our particular local communities.

I must say that it is a privilege to be with like-minded people who support and understand the importance of the arts in our everyday lives and it’s been really interesting in being able to discuss and provide guidance with the many interests I have had over the years in the arts.

I think of growing up in my local church and learning Cook Islands, Niuean and Samoan dance/s; being able to both write, direct and perform plays, creative dances, participating in choir singing, art installations etc. in recognition of the talents that we’d been gifted with in song, dance, music and many performances in different languages.

Then joining a band at school and playing lead guitar whilst singing and performing, learning piano, going to orchestral concerts, watching live plays/drama and learning an appreciation for theatre whilst, reading and writing and learning about them.

That was later transferred to writing, directing and producing school productions on limited budgets for sell out crowds of supportive families. Directing and the choreography of creative dances and teaching drama, watching inspiring movies and going to inspirational music concerts or art exhibitions.

So now in being able to support our local communities in their community arts projects and passing on and maintaining diverse cultural arts in dance, music, performances, drama, movement, art exhibitions, art installations, sculpture, photography, painting etc. sometimes it’s taken for granted that these things happen around us without seeing the hard work that goes on behind the scenes to make these things happen especially when resources are hard pressed to find and the artists are limited.

That’s why such committees and these resources are so important to play a role in supporting the accessibility of the arts in our local communities and all I can say in the way of applications is to add the detail of the thinking and the budget:

*of why it’s important and the reasons
* who benefits and the details on accessing the group
*the details of the budget with business quotes
*explain if there are any conflicts of interest
* to be connected to target communities eg. youth, Maori and Pasifika, isolated communities, Refugee communities, isolated communities for access and participation
*have people of expertise who will support applications with letters of recommendation etc.

And with our local population growing in numbers and particularly in our region of South Auckland being one of the most diverse places in the world (population wise) it’s no wonder that the arts plays an important role in sharing our diverse stories, talents, movements, voices, music, art etc. with the rest of the world…