Many of us here at Q are, or have been, independent artists and know the uphill battle of getting work made. So when our producer, Padma Akula, met with Cassandra and Te Otinga from Creative New Zealand a few weeks ago for her own project she realised all artists should have access to the invaluable information she was receiving from them. Not only that they should have access, but that Q would be an ideal place to facilitate that knowledge being shared, so she asked Cass and Te Otinga on the spot if they would be open to coming to Q to share their insights to the funding application process.
A few weeks of speedy planning later, that conversation led to the CNZ Funding Kōrero that was hosted in our Loft space last Monday. We were so honoured and excited by the turn out, we had over 60 plus creatives in our theatre, all there because they have a desire to share their art – we can’t think of a more fitting kaupapa for us as an organisation.
What we, and the CNZ crew, were especially encouraged by was the number of new faces in the audience. It was a real confirmation that holding these kinds of events allows us to expand who we engage with. That they allow those who are curious about, or even daunted by, pursuing the arts to peek behind the, usually opaque, curtain of how the heck do people get funding???
There were also many familiar faces, and it was beautiful to see our community gathered together to share knowledge and connect over a donut or two. It was great to welcome all these people into our space and bring a human aspect to the funding process that can feel impersonal and bureaucratic at times.
Q’s roots are firmly in the independent performing arts space, and we are constantly looking for new ways to connect with and nourish our community. To help us in this journey, we sent out a survey after the event to gain important insight into how the event was received. Responses were full of how welcoming the event felt, and real gratitude for an in-person connection to the industry and funders. With one attendee saying:
“All the hosts from both CNZ and Q Theatre were absolutely lovely, I was nervous coming in but you all made me feel so welcome and so at home and I genuinely left feeling like I was a Q Theatre regular, thank you for that!”
We know there are still many barriers to be broken and steps to be taken to make our industry accessible to all, but this event certainly felt like a step in the right direction. Thank you to everyone who attended this kōrero, and to the lovely Cassandra and Te Otinga from CNZ for giving us their time and expertise. We also want to thank and give a big shout out to our producer Padma for actioning her fabulous idea and rallying the team to make it possible.
If you are curious about getting work made or how our industry works, Padma also keeps part of her Wednesday afternoons free to meet with creatives and share knowledge. To book one of these 45 minute sessions, please email Padma at email@example.com.