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CALENDAR 2 - 20 MARCH 2011

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Media Releases

Music, Movies, Arts, Culture and Family Fun In Major Free Event Programme For Auckland Arts Festival 2011

Auckland Arts Festival today announced a comprehensive line-up of free events for arts lovers of all ages and interests as part of the 2011 Festival, which takes place 2-20 March.

Free events complement Auckland Arts Festival's main ticketed programme, with main bill artists such as U Theatre of Taiwan, the Lautten Compagney, Witi Ihimaera, Douglas Wright, Jack DeJohnette, Sarah Lucas, and more adding free performances, workshops and talks to their Festival schedules.

Auckland Arts Festival Artistic Director David Malacari says he is delighted by the 2011 line-up of arts and entertainment experiences - many involving the very best international and local practitioners.

"Free events are a key element in engaging the wider community," David Malacari says.  "They introduce new audiences to the arts, often people who have never had the opportunity to enjoy the wonderful experiences on offer at a major multi-arts festival.

"This free programme is an invitation to all Aucklanders (and New Zealanders) to get involved in the Festival; for Festival novices to take the plunge into a new world, and for experienced festival-goers to add something new and different to their Festival experiences."

Free daily activities are centred at Aotea Square, which will be reinvented as the Festival Garden, an inviting performance and entertainment space with four hubs; the glamorous Spiegeltent, the Garden Theatre, the TV3 Garden Stage, and the Stoneleigh Bar.  The Garden boasts plenty of space to chill out on the lawn or under an umbrella, and soak up the Festival atmosphere.  Free to enter, and open late into the night during the Festival, the Garden is home to a mix of free and ticketed events.

New to Auckland Arts Festival in 2011 is the TV3 Garden Stage which hosts a free daily music programme of top local and international acts.  Starting at 5pm on weekdays, and 2pm in the weekend, the line-up encompasses world music, contemporary and classical music.  Artists include Flip Grater, Sean Donolly, Barons of Tang (on their way to WOMAD), LUPIN, the Lautten Compagney, Arte Kanela, NZTrio and a host of well known local DJs.

Four free programmes of short films from top Kiwi filmmakers will screen under the stars in the Festival Garden, as part of Movies in Parks.  And on weekday lunchtimes, the Spiegeltent is host to the 'In Conversation' series, with some of the Festival's most exciting artists sharing their ideas and inspirations.

The middle weekend of Auckland Arts Festival features two major free events for the whole family.  On Saturday 12 March (the evening of Pasifika) galleries and museums across greater Auckland open their doors until midnight for the inaugural White Night festival.  A must-attend for contemporary art buffs and a great evening out for families, White Night sees Auckland Museum, Auckland Art Gallery, MOTAT, Auckland Library, the Voyager Maritime Museum, all the galleries in the Festival programme, plus a host of other venues and institutions hosting special exhibitions, family activities, and performances - including a line-up of events presented in partnership with the Pasifika Festival.

Parents should mark Sunday 13 March in their diaries now; for the middle weekend of Auckland Arts Festival the arts enthusiasts of tomorrow take over the Festival Garden.  From 10am-4pm, the Free Festival Garden Party has activities, music, performances, Storytime in the Spiegeltent and more.  Ticketed events for families include the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra's Family Concert, musical magician Lindsey Pollak's brilliantly inventive Passing Wind concert, and the spectacular Vietnamese Water Puppets.

Auckland Arts Festival Chief Executive David Inns says that the depth and breadth of the free programme is made possible by the support of a dynamic family of funders and sponsors, including Auckland Council, the ASB Community Trust, The Lion Foundation, Pub Charity, Heart of the City and TV3.

"The free programme is part of our commitment to ensuring accessibility to Auckland Arts Festival for all Aucklanders, and is made possible by the terrific partnerships between the Festival and its sponsors and funders - and other cultural institutions."

Auckland Arts Festival offers local arts practioners the chance to get up close and personal with the cream of the arts community, with a programme of free and low cost workshops that the public are welcome to attend - for free - as observers.  Artists involved include Gregory Maqoma, Jack DeJohnette, Massive Company, the Lautten Compagney and more.

Auckland Arts Festival also runs a major schools programme, offering amazing arts experiences at low cost ticket prices to primary and secondary school students - to date more than 4000 tickets to events as diverse as Maguy Marin's May B and The Manganiyar Seduction have been snapped up by schools as far afield as Kaikoura.  Other free and low cost events can be found in the Auckland Fringe - a satellite fringe festival that is a joint venture between Auckland Arts Festival and THE EDGE.

 

TOP TEN WAYS TO FESTIVAL ON A BUDGET

Visit for the latest details

1.           Drop by the Festival Garden in Aotea Square after work (from 5pm), or in the weekends (from 2pm) to enjoy a free music concert from top international and local acts performing on the TV3 Garden Stage.  Styles range from contemporary to classical to world music.  The Stoneleigh Bar will be open for a glass of wine in the sun.

2.           Put White Night (12 March) into your diary, and plan to make the most of a magical evening when Auckland's museums and art galleries will stay open until midnight, with special exhibitions, family activities, performances and refreshments.  A free bus connects activities taking place across greater Auckland.

3.           Check out the bargains in the main programme - with ticket prices for headline acts starting as low as $27.50 (Ihimaera) or $37.50 (The Manganiyar Seduction) there's something to suit every budget.  Visit for the full programme and ticket prices.

4.           Bring a sandwich or pick up some sushi, and spend weekday lunchtimes in the glamorous Spiegeltent, listening to some of the top creative minds in the business talking life, ideas, arts, and culture.  Expect humour, controversy, inspiration - and even the odd impromptu performance.

5.           Get the whanau together and head to Aotea Square for the free Family Day Garden Party (March 13) a special day of art, music, activities and stories for younger arts lovers.

6.           Pick up the Festival's Visual Arts Guide and spend quality time with spectacular works by top local and international artists in the Festival programme.  Exhibitions run throughout the Festival and all are free of charge.

7.           Make the most of Auckland's balmy March nights, and enjoy a selection of New Zealand's best short films on the Movies in Parks screen.

8.           Poke your head into the workshops and masterclasses for a unique behind-the-scenes look at the creative processes of top Festival talent.

9.           Last minute ticket deals and 2 for 1 specials are a great way to see Festival shows without blowing your budget.  During the Festival (2-20 March) keep an eye on , 'like' the Festival on Facebook (Auckland Festival) and follow @AklFestival on Twitter for the latest information.

10.         Check out the Auckland Fringe programme for a bevy of free events (www.the-edge.co.nz/fringe.aspx).

Media enquiries:

Rachel Lorimer

Senior Publicist

021 436 503

rachel.lorimer@aucklandfestival.co.nz

 

FESTIVAL GARDEN

Situated in Aotea Square, the Festival Garden will be the heart of the 2011 Auckland Arts Festival.  Supported by Auckland Council and Heart of the City, the Garden features a fabulous programme of free music and movies, as well as great areas to relax, grab a drink, or simply lie back in the sun, and contains the Spiegeltent (home of Smoke & Mirrors), the Garden Theatre (built especially for the wonderful Vietnamese Water Puppets), the TV3 Garden Stage and the Stoneleigh Bar.

Free music on the TV3 Garden Stage

From 2pm on weekends and 5pm on week days the TV3 Garden Stage presents a series of concerts from top local and international musicians.

In the contemporary music line-up, two of New Zealand's most talented singer/songwriters will premiere new material ahead of forthcoming album releases.  Grand Rapids, the new band from Goldenhorse's Ben King, will be performing as a full band for the first time, playing songs from the album, Faintheartedness ahead of its release in April.  LUPIN is the solo project of Victoria Girling-Butcher, best-known as singer /songwriter for the now-disbanded Lucid3 and who has, over 15 years, earned a reputation as one of NZ's key popular music composers.  LUPIN's debut album, produced by Wayne Bell and Jol Mulholland, will be released in May and the Festival performances will be the Auckland debut of songs from the record.

Described as one of New Zealand's most beloved indie-folk artists, and recently nominated for a Folk Tui award, Flip Grater's music and performances have drawn glowing reviews across the world.  Her Festival performance will be a wonderful opportunity to hear her perform tunes from across her songbook.  Other contemporary music highlights include The Phil Edwards Band playing tracks from their new album, Slow Borders (released March 2011),Sean Donnolly (SJD) playing with Chris O'Connor and James Duncan, Andrew Keoghan, and 2008 Pacific Songwriting Competition winner, Lisa Crawley.

The TV3 Garden stage will also showcase global sounds.  Described as Australasia's foremost flamenco troupe, Arte Kanela will bring a captivating hour of dance, guitar and song to the Festival Garden - an absolute must for flamenco lovers.  Hailing from South American, Bobbito Brazuka (Brazil) and Jennifer Zea (Venezuela) will perform a sultry set of Bossa and Latino Soul.

The music line-up also features a couple of late nights of gypsy madness.  From Australia, and on their way to WOMAD in New Plymouth, Barons of Tang are bringing their 'deathcore gypsy' to the TV3 Garden Stage.  Lead by Leon Radojkovic, the musical madman behind Festival show Live Live Cinema: Carnival of Souls, local act, Dr Colossus' gigs are legendry, and the band has been described by the NZ Herald as "Balkan music titans."  Both bands will perform 11 till midnight spots, Barons of Tang on Friday 4 March, and Dr Colossus on Saturday 12 March.

Two significant musical trios offer classical and jazz fans two great free treats.  NZTrio, this country's leading exponents of contemporary classical programming brings you songs/dances - an hour-long exploration of their favourite dance-inspired music from around the world for violin, cello and piano. Enjoy the sophisticated and sultry sounds of the South American tango, some gritty Brazilian blues, cool New York club stylings, an Australian 'maninya' and the Mediterannean/Kiwi vitality that comes from the pen of NZ's own John Psathas. Gimel, a trio lead by prolific composer pianist Jonathan Bresser brings together jazz, classical music and improvisation in what promises to be a unique and absorbing concert.

Pasifika Festival Concerts on the TV3 Garden Stage

The flavours of Pasifika come to Auckland Arts Festival, with performances from 'In Your Own Language' and the 'Best of Auditions' on the TV3 Garden Stage.  Running 1.30pm-3pm, Monday 7 - Thursday 10 March (the week leading into the main Pasifika Festival), this partnership links Auckland's two biggest cultural events.

Free Movies as part of the Auckland City Music in Parks programme

Over four nights, the Festival Garden will screen some of New Zealand's best short films.  Thursday 11 March from 10-11.30pm and Monday 14 March from 8-9.30pm, a selection of finalists from this year's Show Me Shorts film festival, which showcases outstanding Kiwi short film making talent, will be screened.  Saturday 12 March from 10-11.30 features a special programme of Homegrown Dramatic Digital Shorts, a selection of digital films curated by MIC Toi Rerehiko, while Sunday night (8-9.30) showcases the best of Auckland's entries in the annual Hamburg Animation Award over the last three years.

WHITE NIGHT

For one evening, Saturday 12 March, Auckland's museums and galleries will stay open till midnight, featuring special exhibitions, activities and performances.  White Night is a must-attend event for contemporary art-lovers and an exciting night out for the whole family.

With participating galleries and museums including the Auckland Art Gallery, the Auckland Central City Library, MOTAT (Museum of Transport and Technology), the Auckland Museum and the Voyager New Zealand Maritime Museum, as well as many other public and private galleries, White Night is a perfect follow on from the day's Pasifika Festival at Western Springs.  Free buses will connect the key venues and arts precincts, providing access to the many locations.

In the central city area, highlights include hands-on opportunities and performances at the Auckland Art Gallery, trips on the steamship, SS Te Puke at The Voyager Zealand Maritime Museum as well as a performance by the Royal New Zealand Navy Pipes and Drums band.  Up on K-Road the local cutting edge contemporary art galleries, will be buzzing with music, performances, walks and films including a special evening at Alleluya Café presented by the Audio Foundation, An Evening of Lovely Listening, with music from DJs Jon Bywater, Matthew Crawley, Teddy Wong, Rosy Parlane and more.  Performances will take place at Rebel Yell Gallery - live speed painting - and Artspace, where Jim Allen's "Parangole Capes" will be performed as part of a 30th anniversary revisiting of his seminal work, Contact.

Inspired by the successful LATE series, the Auckland Museum's event will feature great Pacific beats and a panel discussion that aims to both celebrate and explore the notion of Auckland as the first city of the Pacific - in collaboration with the Pasifika Festival.  In Parnell, as well as dealer galleries keeping their doors open and hosting activities, a special programme of street-based projects has been curated.  Special White Night treats in Ponsonby include a "knit in" at Art Station and opera performance.

Activities extend far beyond the central city.  Regular buses will run White Night audiences from Aotea Square to MOTAT, and to TeTuhi and Fresh Gallery in South Auckland.  Te Tuhi is staging a special Carnival which includes a free performance from Steve Abel and the Chrysalids. For those based on Waiheke Island, or who would like to make the journey across, the Oneroa township, including the Waiheke Community Gallery, Artworks Theatre, Tivoli Books-Art-Film, the Whitakers Musical Museum, the Once Upon an Island StoryCentre and others will come alive with special exhibitions, performance and activities.

The White Night programme is being released on Feb 28. (/events/white-night.aspx )

FAMILY DAY

The Festival Family Day on Sunday 13 March offers great live performances, workshops, free music and craft activities to entertain the entire family.  Headlining the day is the Free Festival Garden Party, a celebration of the next generation of kiwi talent.  Activities include a fabulous interactive art project with celebrated New Zealand artist, John Reynolds.  I'm Just Saying invites kids to help create an artwork inspired by the power of Twitter and protest banners.  In the Spiegeltent, well-known New Zealanders will bring their favourite children's storybooks to life in sessions that carry on throughout the day.

Music is also a feature of the day with the Kiwileles, a gathering of ukulele orchestras from Auckland primary and intermediate schools brought together by the NZ Ukulele Trust taking over the square for an en-masse performance.  Young artists who have excelled in the Play It Strange secondary school songwriting competition are performing on the TV3 Festival Garden Stage, followed by Band of Strangers - aspiring teen performers joined by iconic Kiwi musicians Karl Stevens, Nick Atkinson and rising star Annah Mac.  The NZSO is performing a full-orchestra family concert of movie title themes - children's tickets are only $17.50.  Imaginative instrument maker Linsay Pollak will present his wonderful show, Passing Wind, with children's tickets just $15.

Free or low-cost workshops offered as part of family day include costume making, physical theatre, face-painting and wacky hair-dos for kids, and the New Zealand Post's Vietnamese Water Puppets design competition.

ARTS AND MINDS

Arts and Minds is a series of talks, master classes and workshops offering festival-goers a deeper insight into the creative processes of the Festival's national and international artists.

In Conversation, a series of free lunchtime discussions involving Festival artists, is held in the Spiegeltent on weekdays throughout the Festival.  Sessions to look forward to include: Te Radar chairing a how-to-guide for arts reviewing with some of the city's most knowledgeable critics; Roysten Abel on his Indian musical spectacular, The Manganiyar Seduction; members of UrbanYOUTHMovement and Massive Company sharing their perspectives on emerging artists; and members of the French Jerome Bel company, including local performers, discussing Bel's unique process.

The 2011 workshops - some free, some with an associated cost - offer participants the chance to learn from some of the world-class artists performing at Auckland Arts Festival.  Artists including the Gare St Lazare players, Gregory Maqoma, Massive Theatre and Linsay Pollock.

The Arts & Minds programme will be released on 1 Feb (/arts-and-minds.aspx).

SCHOOLS PROGRAMME

Auckland Arts Festival's schools programme is a key part of its mission to makes the Festival as accessible as possible across the commuity.  Over the course of the Festival, thousands of school students, from as far afield as the South Island, will take part in the programme which includes heavily subsidized tickets - from just $10 - special Festival packages, artist talks and workshops.  The Festival has programmed special sessions of performances, just for schools, which offer students the unique opportunity to talk to cast members afterwards.  Free guided tours of the visual arts programme are also available.

Teachers can contact schools@aucklandfestival.co.nz for more information.

 

ABOUT AUCKLAND ARTS FESTIVAL

Auckland Arts Festival is the region's biggest celebration of arts and culture.  The biennial Festival, which began in 2003, will celebrate its fifth birthday in 2011 with a dazzling line-up of more than 75 separate events involving over 500 artists - concerts, productions, arts exhibitions, and programmes of seminars, workshops and family activities.

The Festival's hallmark blend of serious, innovative work and broad appeal events, plus an accessible ticketing policy, ensure that it is a celebration for the whole region.  Major Festival events take place all across the city - in West Auckland, The North Shore, and South Auckland and in the central city - as well as site-specific sculptural works that respond to our unique geography.

Since its inception, Auckland Arts Festival has built a reputation for presenting top quality work from around the world, including a spectacular fireworks display by pyrotechnic artists Groupe F, theatrical masterworks by Japanese company Ishinha, and the legendary Robert Lepage's company Ex Machina, and sell-out cabaret sensation La Clique.  The Festival prides itself on developing and presenting the very best in New Zealand work, including the magical 2009 theatre piece, The Arrival, which has become an international success story, The Songmaker's Chair, by Albert Wendt, and the Michael Parmenter retrospective, Commotion.

Auckland Arts Festival is governed by the Auckland Festival Trust, a board chaired by Victoria Carter.  Trustees are Rick Carlyon, Roger MacDonnell, Toni Millar, Jim Moser, Ilona Rodgers, Heather Shotter, Fred Ward, and Richard Waddel.  The Festival's executive team is Artistic Director David Malacari and CEO David Inns.

Sponsorship is crucial to presenting an event of this size.  Major Sponsors and Funders for 2011 include Core Funder: Auckland Council; Gold Sponsors: New Zealand Post Group, TV3 and Colenso BBDO; Key Funding Partners: Creative New Zealand, ASB Community Trust, The Lion Foundation, Pub Charity, THE EDGE and Heart of the City; Silver Sponsors: Westpac, Auckland Airport, The Radio Network and Stoneleigh; Bronze Sponsors: PricewaterhouseCoopers, Formica, Wilson Parking, Russell McVeagh and OGGI.

David Malacari - Artistic Director

David Malacari has over 30 years experience in the cultural sector in various roles with some of the region's leading theatre and dance companies.  David worked for the Adelaide Festival for over 12 years, and directed and produced festivals of Australian performing arts in India, New Horizons (1996), and London, Heads Up (2000). He has written work for cabaret, presented film and book reviews, produced and directed corporate documentaries, and toured extensively as a lighting designer and production manager with many companies including The Sydney Dance Company and the Aboriginal Islander Dance Theatre.  David joined the Festival in late 2004, and was Festival Director for three Auckland Festivals; 2005, 2007 and 2009.

David Inns - Chief Executive

David Inns joined the Festival in 2009 when the position of Festival Director was split into two roles; Artistic Director and Chief Executive.  David has more than 25 years experience in senior arts administration roles, internationally and within New Zealand.  He was Chief Executive of the New Zealand International Arts Festival Trust (2002-2009), Executive Director of the Taranaki Arts Festival (1998-2002) and Technical Director of Assembly Theatre, Edinburgh, Scotland, part of the annual Edinburgh Festival (1995-2002). He was part of the team which secured WOMAD for Taranaki and was the event's Technical Director.  David has a background in teaching and a lifelong involvement in and passion for the arts.

Victoria Carter LLB - Chair,

Victoria Carter has a law degree and over 25 years experience in communications, business and public relations. As an Auckland City Councilor in 1998, Victoria helped get the Festival restarted, and has been an active Trustee since 2001. An Accredited Director of the Institute of Directors, she is a Director of JUCY Rentals, The Aotea Board of Management, Kidicorp and Auckland Racing Club.  Victoria is an enthusiast for the vital contribution a Festival makes, economically and culturally, and in many other ways to create a livable city.

Media enquiries:

Rachel Lorimer

Senior Publicist

021 436 503

rachel.lorimer@aucklandfestival.co.nz