Art Ac­tion en­dures at Fes­ti­val of El­e­ments

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - KRIS DANDO

Themes, per­form­ers, food and peo­ple will al­ways be chang­ing at Wai­tangi Day’s Fes­ti­val of the El­e­ments but one thing is a con­stant - the hugely pop­u­lar Art Ac­tion.

This year Art Ac­tion will take over the large gym­na­sium at Te Rau­paraha Arena and co­or­di­na­tor Es­mee Eliastito could not be hap­pier.

‘‘It’s al­ways hum­ming and to have all that room to our­selves for all the dif­fer­ent stalls and ac­tiv­i­ties to spread out is just fan­tas­tic,’’ she said.

It may not be an ex­ag­ger­a­tion to say that most chil­dren in Porirua have had a go at Art Ac­tion at some point in their lives.

The ac­tiv­i­ties are aimed for kids up to 12 and this year fea­ture Porirua GymS­ports, mak­ing ‘‘funky junk’’ cre­ations, a news­pa­per fash­ion show, sculp­tures, pa­per plane launch­ing, a pup­pet show, Nerf gun tar­get prac­tice and much more.

Eliastito said it was a place where imag­i­na­tions could run wild and chil­dren could be found do­ing a sin­gle ac­tiv­ity for what seems like hours, or jump­ing from one to an­other.

‘‘What we ul­ti­mately want is fam­i­lies to come down and have fun. Yes, there’s heaps to do out­side [on Te Rau­paraha Park] with en­ter­tain­ment and food and per­form­ers, but mums and dads al­ways know they can pop in to Art Ac­tion to keep the young ones oc­cu­pied for a while.

‘‘They can make things and take them home. It’s pretty cool.’’

This was Eliastito’s sev­enth year or­gan­is­ing Art Ac­tion and said her team of Michelle Whale and ded­i­cated vol­un­teers - fam­ily, friends and a num­ber of ring-ins - made it all pos­si­ble.

It takes about 12 hours to set up Art Ac­tion and more than a few hours to pack away.

It is a fa­mil­iar story as to how she first be­came in­volved. She knew the pre­vi­ous or­gan­is­ers well, was asked one year to help out, and now Eliastito is run­ning it.

‘‘I love the cre­ativ­ity and the en­ergy.

‘‘Some­times I try and get above the gym and look down - it’s an in­cred­i­ble scene of colour and fun and peo­ple.’’

Prepa­ra­tion be­gan six months ago, sourc­ing re­cy­clable ma­te­ri­als and check­ing that groups such as Ti­tahi Bay Play­cen­tre were keen to be in­volved yet again.

Art Ac­tion runs from 11am till 5pm.

PHOTO: KRIS DANDO

Toa Lualua, left, helps Ioana Ponita to make a lei as part of Art Ac­tion at Fes­ti­val of the El­e­ments in 2010.

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