This story is from Stuff
As traditional arts funding streams run dry, Auckland Pride has launched a fundraising campaign aiming to raise $60,000 for present and future queer and takatāpui artists. The organisation has partnered with the Arts Foundation Te Tumu Toi, and each donation made will be matched, dollar for dollar.
“The reality is, we’re in quite a devastating arts crisis at the moment and the wider country has no clue,” say Nathan Joe, Auckland Pride creative director.
The campaign, Pride Elevates, will empower “a more authentic and abundant queer arts ecosystem that nurtures emerging talent and elevates excellence”. But with just over a week to go, Pride Elevates is running behind target.
“[Auckland Pride has] got the perception of an organisation with resource, but actually we don’t have that resource,” says Joe.
Even Joe’s creative director role was recently defunded by Creative New Zealand due to arts funding shortages. ”I don’t really mind, but this is ridiculous … I’m still raising money in the background for my role.”
The campaign aims to “ensure artists can thrive and are paid for their hard work and creativity, rather than relying on resilience alone”.
“I don’t think anyone should have to crowdfund,” says Joe. “We’ve learned nothing in the time that Covid peaked … we’re just sort of doomed to repeat the same mistakes, and I’m viciously, aggressively wanting to break that cycle.
“I’m engaging with my community. I’m pulling on the resources and leveraging off my personal relationships and, it’s like, all my friends are poor.
“We genuinely thought it would be achievable. In reality, we’re kind of asking for the bare minimum so people can do it and get paid to do it … making live performance in this country is so expensive.”
Auckland Pride 2023 is showcasing nine emerging art practitioners including poets, contemporary movement artists, sculptors, comedians, and visual artists.
Sung Hwan Bobby Park is one of the artists and says that this year has felt like “a year on steroids” as work that has been hibernating through the lockdowns has finally come to life. But with that, he says, “I must find ways to look after my wellbeing in all aspects of my life, so I can continue to think, dream, create, and connect with the world.
“Auckland Pride is a great platform for queer voices in Aotearoa,” Park says, “… reflecting the many diverse conversations the rainbow community is having [about] intersectionality.”
Joe adds, “Pride has two responsibilities – it’s got the responsibility to the community, and then they’ve got responsibility to artists.
“Investing in art is investing in the future of artists and the future of culture … the artists that we choose to help survive are the ones that end up being leaders, so it really is up to the community to decide who they want to uplift and maintain.”
“For me, as the creative director, [I have a] responsibility to the artists who in the future will be maintaining and sustaining the creative lifeblood of this country.
“Each and every one of them should be able to make a living doing what they’re doing,” said Joe.
This is a Public Interest Journalism funded role through NZ On Air