Offering support to artists

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Arts Murihiku executive officer Lisa Tou-McNaughton.

ARTS Murihiku is putting the call out to artists and voluntary arts organisations in need of operational support as part of a two-year pilot programme.

“Artists want to create so let them do their creative thing and let someone else do the nuts and bolts to enable their creativity to flourish,” Arts Murihiku executive officer Lisa Tou-McNaughton said.

“It is hoped that the pilot will allow organisations to do what they love doing best – creating. As one of our trustees said – no-one joins an arts organisation to do a GST return.”

Tou-McNaughton said some of the kinds of support Arts Murihiku could provide to artists or voluntary arts organisations included administration, compliance, establishing financial systems, helping with funding applications, formulating business plans, budgeting, building websites, utilising social media and developing communication plans.

“All the things necessary for running an effective organisation.”

Arts Murihiku is a regional arts body set up by Murihiku Arts Incubator, in collaboration with the Community Trust of Southland, after being awarded a Creative New Zealand contract in January last year.

Tou-McNaughton said the first year of the pilot, which started in September last year, was the setting up phase which involved establishing a board, developing a strategic plan and consulting with the arts community about what kind of support was needed.

Now the arts body was ready to begin its core work and several initiatives were already under way.

Arts Murihiku had partnered with the Multicultural Council, Invercargill Public Art Gallery, City Gallery and the Invercargill City Council to create opportunities and to collaborate with ideas and support for those ideas, she said.

A monthly creative lunch event had also been established where members of the arts community could meet, network, share ideas and develop possible collaborations.

A further project being developed was Rangatahi Arts Whanau, to give youth a voice in the arts, she said.

The pilot programme concludes at the end of next year.

Tou-McNaughton said the board had already begun the process of seeking ongoing national and local funding to enable Arts Murihiku’s work to continue.

“We want to be the strong voice for the arts in Southland.

“It is important to Southland that we foster the arts, and there needs to be a dedicated organisation with that responsibility.”

Media Training Workshop for arts and arts organisations, Southland Community House, Kelvin St, Invercargill, October 31 from 1pm to 4pm. To register, email artsmurihiku@gmail.com before October 16.

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