Children ready for Arts Festival shows
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 www.hbaf.co.nz
Manawa Whenua — A Spring of Fragrant Water will be performed at the Blyth Performing Arts Centre, Iona College on October 20.