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28 Jan 2020

Dr Jeremy Mayall to lead Creative Waikato waka into 2020

Creative Waikato has a new leader at the helm with the CEO appointment of Dr Jeremy Mayall.

Mayall, composer and performer with a doctorate in musical composition, will begin his position on 3 February 2020.

Creative Waikato Chair, Amanda Hema, says Jeremy brings a wealth of skill and experience to what is a unique role in New Zealand.

“Jeremy is already deeply embedded in the Waikato creative sector and has a strong history of collaboration.

“This, alongside his understanding and love of the arts as an artist himself, will give a new lens to Creative Waikato’s leadership. We’re confident he will be a great driver through this next important phase of growth, both for the organisation and the region as a whole.”

Mayall has been leading Creative Waikato for the last four months as interim CEO. The board were delighted to hear of his enthusiasm to stay on.

As CEO of a nine-strong team, Mayall will be a leading voice for the arts in the Waikato and beyond.

Creative Waikato is an independent, non-profit organisation established in 2012 to support the arts and artists in the Waikato region. Among other things, Creative Waikato was responsible for the initial community consultation phase of the Waikato Regional Theatre and is a key partner of the BOON Street Art Festival.

Mayall, who previously held a research leader and post-graduate supervisor role at Wintec’s School of Media Arts for four years, will be able to incorporate research findings into future projects.

First on his to-do list as CEO will be to gain increased support for art in the community from local and regional councils. Wellbeing will also be high priority.

“Seeing wellbeing take a focus at all government levels, there’s clearly an increase in scope for continued exploration into the role the arts play in the health scene,” says Mayall.

His previous work on wellbeing includes research completed in 2015 while the Mozart Fellow (composer-in-residence) at Otago University. The research paper looked at the impact of music on the brain.

His biography, dripping with accolades, also testifies to his commitment to community wellbeing through the arts. He was awarded the Wallace Corporation Creative and Performing Arts Person of the Year in both 2005 and 2011 and was the inaugural winner of a Waikato University Hillary Medal in 2006.

Within the last twelve months, he has also contributed significantly to the arts sector on both national and international scales.

His work includes writing a commissioned piece for the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, composing a collaborative piece for the NZTrio’s Matariki tour, co-instigating Hamilton’s first light festival, and touring China with his multimedia ensemble Dr Mesmer’s Private Army.

Mayall has high hopes for the Waikato arts scene, “I’m eager to see continued growth in the region, more recognition for the great work happening, and more local stories told through art in whatever form.”

“I’m incredibly excited and am looking forward to working with a great team this year, and in years to come,” he says.