From the Phoenix Foundation to filmmaker Taika Waititi, The Pathways to Arts and Cultural Employment or PACE scheme was credited with giving much needed space for artists to develop a career.
PACE was launched in 2001, allowing artists to sign up at the WINZ office without having to pretend to want to take on work in another field. They could get a benefit in return for proving they were producing and showing their work on a regular basis.
The scheme dwindled under the previous government, but now the Prime Minister and Arts, Culture and Heritage minister Jacinda Adern has pledged to explore the best ways to bring back PACE and explore other arts employment options. For a look at the history of PACE see this recent story by Adam Goodall on Pantograph Punch.
Earlier this month public art organisation Letting Space brought together Finance and Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Grant Robertson, and documentary maker Luit Bieringa to discuss the options and their own experiences as part of their Urban Dreams Monthly discussion series at Toi Poneke Arts Centre in Wellington.
Mark Amery covered the meeting, facilitated by Letting Space's Sophie Jerram.