Sanctuary for the arts

Arts Murihiku chairwoman Rebecca Amundsen is pleased a dedicated space for Invercargill's arts community will be opening next year.

A “SANCTUARY” for the arts and performance community will open in Invercargill next year following a $150,000 funding grant from the Ministry for Culture and Heritage.

In March, Arts Murihiku will open Whare Taupua – The Rest Room, a dedicated place for community exhibitions, meetings, workshops, small gigs and performances.

Arts Murihiku chairwoman Rebecca Amundsen explained the Maori name meant a place of support, which she believed the arts community in Invercargill needed.

The space, at 34 Forth St, would have a kitchen, a toilet, five small rooms and a big room for about 50 people, she said.

The prices for lease would be affordable.

“It is like a sanctuary for the arts, where people can connect, meet and talk about arts in general,” she said.

“There are a load of opportunities across the region but there is nowhere for the arts community to grow here in Invercargill and it has been like that for a long time.

“We intend that this new space will be flush with the arts with various activities being able to be held there.”

Community feedback had indicated such a space was “very much needed” in the city.

Arts Murihiku will lease the 1927 historical space from the Invercargill City Council as part of the $150,000 funding granted by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage’s capability-building fund.

The money will also be used to support a series of workshops, events and showcases for new and developing artists across all disciplines in the region.

“This is an amazing opportunity to build momentum in the arts sector through building capability and amplifying the arts across the region,” Ms Amundsen said.

“Arts Murihiku is pleased to be taking a key role in this and to be collaborating with others in the sector to do so.”

An open day will be held from 4pm-5.30pm on Friday for anyone interested in seeing the space.

Everyone was welcome to view the space and discuss opportunities it could provide, she said.