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Unmissable Arts Experiences: Nelson Arts Festival Returning October 2022

What times we’re living in – it seems that change and the need to adapt is a constant for us all these days. We do hope our first newsletter of 2022 finds you well and in good spirits, feeling well equipped to weather what this year is going to bring.

Speaking of change: comings and goings in our team

After helping to steer us through a tumultuous 2021, Shanine Hermsen and Rose Campbell are off to new adventures – Shanine has been appointed as the new Kaiwhakahaere at the Fifeshire Foundation while Rose is embracing more time with her whānau and exploring Whakatū by kayak. We are sad to not have their amazing energy and humour in the office everyday but are so very excited for their next steps! THANK YOU Rose and Shanine for all your mahi, aroha, commitment and passion over the past year.

Time for a warm welcome – we’re building our team for the next 2 years with new and familiar faces, and we’re excited for you to meet them:

After co-leading in 2021, Lydia Zanetti (they/them) sits at the heart of the organisation as our Executive & Artistic Director, leading on realising the Trust’s vision and continuing to create programmes to excite, inspire, challenge and connect our community through and with the arts.

Rose McGrannachan (she/her) joins our leadership team as Head of Business & Operations, bringing a huge amount of logistical and event management experience to our festival. A Tairāwhiti girl at heart, Rose returned home after honing her skills at the likes of Adelaide Arts Festival, Adelaide Film Festival and Dark Mofo, and took on the programme management for the amazing Te Tairāwhiti Arts Festival. Rose is a fan of all art forms, particularly when they intersect to create something new, and we have no doubt that we’ll be in the best of hands with her making sure the Festival will continue to be an exceptional and necessary part of Whakatū’s arts calendar..

Annie Pokel (she/her) is expanding on her marketing role to lead as Head of Creative & Communications, driving our visual arts programme and our engagement with our community (that’s you!), artists and partners. With a background in visual arts and events and as another fan of different art forms coming together to disrupt, ask questions and inspire, Annie has been busy in Whakatū’s arts community over the past 4 years, from programming central city arts activations and contributing to the Arts Council board to delivering the first Night Vision event and co-producing Te Ramaroa light festival last winter.

“The Board is elated to have been able to recruit two amazing talents to the Festival leadership team. We were humbled by the quality and quantity of applicants but both Annie and Rose shone through both in the quality of their skills and in their connection with the festival values and Kaupapa,” says our board chair Brent Thawley.

Another addition to our core team is Natalie Gousmett to support our business development and we’re lucky to have Kerry Sunderland continuing to create a fabulous writers programme:

Natalie Gousmett (she/her) has joined the team as our Development Manager for all things fundraising and making sure we’re on track for sustainable organisational growth. Natalie is a specialist in the community sector, having held various management, fundraising and financial roles with inspiring organisations such as Wellington Rape Crisis, Women’s Refuge, The Wilderness Canoe Trust and Cawthron Institute, and we feel so lucky to have her on board.

Kerry Sunderland (she/her) is returning for her fifth year with the Festival to take on an expanded role as Pukapuka Talks Programme Manager. She will continue to lead the development of our readers and writers events and grow our engagement with Aotearoa’s leading authors, thinkers, spoken word performers and the publishing sector. Kerry plays an integral role in holding space for inspiring voices and was the driving force behind our digital talks and Writing Home offering last year – we can’t wait to share this year’s line-up with you all.

We look forward to introducing more of our team to you throughout the year, and most importantly, to share a programme of unmissable arts experiences with you in October!

One of our biggest learnings from the last 2 years is to plan for, roll with and celebrate uncertainty and the creativity that exists there. So while a few things may look different this year, we will as always be focused on our vision to champion the arts, deliver exceptional events and celebrate community and diversity in our region.

He toi whakaaro, he mana tangata.
We believe that the making of art enriches the wellbeing of us all.

Take care, be kind and stay safe, arts whānau.
Your Nelson Arts Festival team


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