28 Apr 2024

Arts news: NZSO head resigns, World Choir Games news & Springboard artists revealed

From Culture 101, 3:05 pm on 28 April 2024

The chief executive of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Peter Biggs, has resigned.

In an email to media this week, the NZSO say he has tendered his resignation to the orchestra's board for a number of reasons - including his health.

His resignation is effective immediately.

The board has appointed an acting chief executive - Kirsten Mason - who's director of the orchestra's executive leadership. 

Peter Biggs has had a long career as a champion and governor in the arts. 

He is also chair of Featherston's literary festival Booktown which runs the 10th to 12th of May. 

Meanwhile, the first Pasifika woman to have been appointed Chair of Toi Aotearoa - the Arts Council is being farewelled after 12 years. 

Caren Rangi has completed her prescribed term at the Arts Council - which oversees Creative New Zealand.

It comes at a time of concerns over the loss of leaders at CNZ, with both Chief Executive Stephen Wainwright and Arts development Manager Gretchen La Roche leaving shortly.

This week the Labour Party expressed their concern for the arts over the key vacancies remaining unfilled. The labour party has made a plea for screen funding agencies to be exempt from public service cuts.

Labour's arts spokesperson, Rachel Boyack,  says she is also "very concerned" the arts sector will face cuts in this year's Budget.

Last weekend's Aotearoa Art Fair had an attendance of 8,000, an increase of 30% from 2023. 

It is the first year for the fair under new multinational art fair ownership. 

The details on how many artworks were sold are not yet available.

The programme for a considerable global arts event in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland has been released. 

Tamaki Makaurau Auckland will host the World Choir Games 2024 in July.

The games is said to have more than 11 thousand participants, with 250 choirs from more than 30 countries attending over its 10 days. 

The festival will see the  world premiere of Matariki He Kāhui Reo (Matariki, a Constellation of Voices) at Holy Trinity Cathedral bringing together choirs and a kapa haka rōpū. 

Kapa haka and choral music will also be fused elsewhere in a programme with former Te Matatini winners Ngā Tūmanako and the New Zealand Youth Choir.

Performing arts collective Pacific Underground will bring together dances and stories of the island nations and the city's strong Chinese community will be welcoming more than 80 choral groups from China.

The Arts Foundation has announced its six 2024 Springboard Award Recipients. 

This sees artists - judged as having outstanding potential - given a $15,000 gift and matched with a senior artist mentor, who receive a $5,000 koha for their time. 

And for the first time a previous recipient Fiona Pardington has gifted $25,000 a year for the next three years to the scheme.

The recipients are moving image maker Emily Parr, writer Emma Hislop, sonic artist Flo Wilson, filmmaker Hash Perambalam, dance and filmmakers Joshua Faleatua and Tyler Carney and visual artist Louie Zalk-Neale.

New Zealanders are increasingly going to and taking part in the arts.

That's according to the regular research survey - New Zealanders and the Arts - by Creative New Zealand.

Participation in the arts has reached its highest level since the survey began in 2005, up to 54 percent and Engagement in the arts has had a bump too, up three per cent from the last survey at 78 percent. 

62 percent of participants also agreed that the arts should receive public funding, up 13 percent since 2014.