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4 Apr 2024

Creative Waikato's RE:ACT tour invigorating Waikato communities

In these times of uncertainty and upheaval, artists, community groups and creatives find themselves navigating uncharted waters. It’s a moment that calls for action, and Creative Waikato is ready to answer the call with the RE:ACT tour!

Launching on a journey across our ten unique regions, the RE:ACT tour spans over ten weeks and is dedicated to embracing and uplifting our communities.

Our mission? To cultivate vibrant communities by nurturing creativity and creative activity, fostering connection, and amplifying local voices. With Creative Waikato’s support and engagement in these creative communities, we aim to empower communities to thrive through the transformative power of creativity.

At the heart of our approach is the belief that empowered creative communities enhance wellbeing, innovation and inclusions. By providing resources, encouraging collaboration and advocating for creative expression, we aim to empower and support our communities.

Mahia te mahi, hei painga mo te iwi – Do the work for the betterment of the people

Project leads Leah Bell and Dujon Cullingford are leading the charge, kicking off the journey by immersing themselves in the Hauraki and Coromandel communities in the past few weeks. They have been listening to stories and learning about priorities and values to further understand their communities’ needs. The depth of connection between community and creativity in these small towns struck Dujon.

“The creatives we met were authentic and passionate. They expressed confidence in their craft while also acknowledging the need for additional support. Connection and community were recurring themes in our conversations.”

While creative communities form the backbone of these towns, the RE:ACT tour aims to amplify their impact by bringing special guest artists like Beau Monga and John Pakinga (JJ) who offered workshops and performances. These events support joy, togetherness and hope so integral to the wellbeing of these communities. Beau and JJ, both acclaimed musicians, have already left their mark on the Hauraki and Coromandel regions, inspiring students and elders alike with their performances and workshops. For John, a local, the experience has been deeply personal.

“It’s about igniting that spark in people of all ages. We’re showing students new ways to explore music and empowering elders to rediscover their joy for life. It’s truly heartwarming.”

Creative Waikato can complement existing community knowledge with our creative sector expertise. We want to make sure that all corners of our community know our support. To create a sector where inclusivity and accessibility reign supreme and where grassroots initiatives find the support they need to flourish within their communities. We want to enable sustainable creative careers for artists while also enhancing and engaging with arts, culture and creativity. Through dynamic showcases and interactive initiatives, we’re showcasing the integral role of arts, culture and creativity in promoting community hauora, cultivating a resilient and interconnected cultural fabric.

Do you want to connect with us on the RE:ACT journey?

Community events will be hosted in each region, providing you with the chance to come and kōrero with the Creative Waikato team. Share your stories, aspirations and challenges, while exploring resources designed to cater to your specific needs and goals.

Here’s what’s coming up:

Ruapehu Community Event
Thursday, 4th April from 6:30pm – 7:30pm
Ruapehu Community Arts Centre
25 Hakiaha St Taumarunui

Ōtorohanga Community Event
Thursday, 11th April from 6:30pm to 7:30pm
The Business Collective, Conference Room
12 Hinewai Street, Ōtorohanga
Featuring a performance by musician Jonty Daniel
Guest artist talks with Dan and Kiana Ormsby

We care for our Creative Communities. For more information about the RE:ACT tour or to connect with one of the team members regarding the resources and tools we have on offer, please contact Creative Waikato at hello@creativewaikato.co.nz or 0508 427 892.