The shows can go on: group

Arts Murihiku chairwoman Rebecca Amundsen will help with a brainstorm workshop this month to inspire the arts community to stay active.

IT has taken plenty of hits, but an initiative is under way to help get the Southland arts community back on its feet.

A Southland group wants arts lovers across the region to come together to brainstorm ways to still be able to host events, as a way to help the wellbeing of the community.

Arts Murihiku chairwoman Rebecca Amundsen said there were still opportunities to promote the region’s culture under the Government’s Red traffic light setting.

‘‘We all get disappointed every time we see that an event has been cancelled or postponed, but we have a lot of people in our region who are really careful in planning and able to run events successfully,’’ she said.

‘‘There are ways to keep things going — we all just need to learn to think outside the square a little bit.’’

Mrs Amundsen said events such as the Murihiku Polyfest, the Surf to City and the Shakespeare in the Park were perfect cases of this thinking where organisations had to
adapt in order to keep their events.

Recently, for example, the trust that organised the annual Shakespeare’s theatrical performance had spread about 600 people across several sessions during four days.

Small groups or bubbles were set up for the public to be able to watch four acts in different spaces of Queens Park, respecting the Red light’s guidelines as well as keeping people safe.

‘‘They were very smart in how they planned that event. When the country moved to Red and lots of people had to cancel their events, Shakespeare in the Park still went ahead.

‘‘If they can do it, we all should be able to do it. It just means we need to think in different ways.’’

On March 17, the arts group will host a workshop for people to brainstorm and be inspired by others’ initiatives.

Mrs Amundsen said small groups would be able to walk through different venues in the CBD to learn and speak with people with the aim to enhance the number of culture events in the community.

‘‘Just to give somebody a bit of light and excitement. I know a lot of people feel depleted because their sport or event has been cancelled and it is bad for people’s psyche.’’

The arts were in a ‘‘really good position’’ to provide activities and events in such a way that people could engage safely and enjoy themselves, she said.