Chil­dren ready for Arts Fes­ti­val shows

Havelock North Village Press - - News -

Ed­u­ca­tion co­or­di­na­tor for the Har­courts Hawke’s Bay Arts Fes­ti­val Daniel Betty is pro­ject­ing that at least 7000 school chil­dren will be ac­cess­ing fes­ti­val shows this year through their unique Fes­ti­val to Schools pro­gramme.

That’s four times the numbers com­ing through the doors in 2017!

The fes­ti­val’s ed­u­ca­tion pro­gramme pro­vides op­por­tu­ni­ties for stu­dents aged three to 18 to ex­pe­ri­ence the magic of live per­for­mance. This year the pro­gramme has been de­vel­oped to not only en­cour­age schools to come to the fes­ti­val but for the fes­ti­val to take sev­eral shows and work­shops out to schools. The reach has been ex­tended across the re­gion, with up to 1000 school kids in Wairoa, for ex­am­ple, booked to par­tic­i­pate in fes­ti­val work­shops with ac­claimed ukulele troupe, The Nukes.

A key de­vel­op­ment has been the en­gage­ment of in­di­vid­ual Har­courts agents, who have col­lec­tively con­trib­uted $8500 worth of tick­ets for 850 school chil­dren in their re­spec­tive com­mu­ni­ties.

“This is just gold,” says Mr Betty. “It’s al­lowed us to cre­ate even more op­por­tu­ni­ties as we’ve had to in­crease out num­ber of shows ac­cord­ingly.”

Har­courts, which has sup­ported the arts fes­ti­val since its in­cep­tion in 2015, re­cently re­newed its spon­sor­ship for an­other three years.

More than 20 schools have signed up for the six high-qual­ity the­atre and dance shows from lo­cal, na­tional and in­ter­na­tional cre­ators, as well as mu­sic and spo­ken word work­shops. The arts fes­ti­val ed­u­ca­tion pro­gramme also in­cludes a youth am­bas­sador pro­gramme, the only one of its kind in New Zealand, which en­ables 15 stu­dents from 10 lo­cal high schools to gain first­hand ex­pe­ri­ence and in­sight into the per­form­ing arts in­dus­try and de­vise their own show with pro­fes­sional men­tor­ing, to be per­formed as part of the fes­ti­val in Oc­to­ber. The am­bas­sadors are as­sist­ing with a Fes­ti­val of Youth: a show­case of per­form­ing arts from pri­mary and in­ter­me­di­ate schools across Hawke’s Bay. Nine schools have ex­plored the theme Our Earth, Our Water, Our­selves and cre­ated five to 10-minute per­for­mances. Mr Betty says he is amazed by the tal­ent and cre­ativ­ity and be­lieves this will be an ex­tra­or­di­nary event.

“I am blown away by the re­sponse this year. And really ex­cited by what this means for our com­mu­nity and the de­vel­op­ment of the Har­courts Hawke’s Bay Arts Fes­ti­val.” The Fes­ti­val of Youth is on Satur­day, Oc­to­ber 27, 4pm, at C3 Church in Hast­ings. The Youth Am­bas­sador show, Manawa Whenua, is on Satur­day 20 Oc­to­ber, 4pm, Blyth Per­form­ing Arts Cen­tre.

■ For more in­for­ma­tion about the pro­gramme and to book, visit

Manawa Whenua — A Spring of Fra­grant Water will be per­formed at the Blyth Per­form­ing Arts Cen­tre, Iona Col­lege on Oc­to­ber 20.

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