Auckland region / Wellington region / Northland region / Waikato region.
My arts or creative practice (including details about my specific focus within that art form/practice and my strengths)
We're an online publication that celebrates and champions the arts with writing that is urgent, provocative and essential. With the proliferation of online platforms, our aim is to become the premiere site for intelligent arts writing in Aotearoa, as well as a vital platform supporting the development of emerging writers. Central to our kaupapa is showcasing Aotearoa’s diverse voices, and enriching our nation’s critical conversations. This means that the development of new writers is a key activity for us. In addition to our core editorial business, we've also produced and curated numerous workshops and residencies for the development of writers. Our editors are skilled at working with less-experienced writers to support and develop their voice. We believe in the value of the arts and the transformative power it can have. Much of our writing is focused on responses to visual art, theatre, and literature, but we also develop and publish wider society pieces. We believe in honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi in the work that we do, in showcasing the diversity of voices that make up Aotearoa, and in amplifying voices that aren’t being heard elsewhere.
My track record of experience and success - or the track record of experience and success of the creative or artist that I will partner with
We have been recognised within the arts and beyond as a hub for excellent and urgent critical writing. We’ve been recognised by Pitchfork (US), The Guardian(UK), Salon (US), and Witness (AUS). Five of our pieces have been featured in 'Tell You What: Great New Zealand Non-Fiction', and three of our writers’ pieces have been developed into BWB Texts. Our writers have won awards for work published on the site. Our Theatre Editor was also nominated for Best Feature Writer-Junior at the Voyager Media Awards. As the development of critical writers is a core part of our kaupapa, we’ve also created and delivered several successful workshops and residencies, as outlined below.
Describe the experience you have had working with children or young people, teaching or facilitating creative processes
The team have created and delivered many successful interactive one-off writing workshops for the development of new critical writers. These have often been developed in partnership with organisations across Aotearoa. These workshops have the intention of equipping participants with a toolkit of skills they can then use in their writing life and include discussion, practice, and feedback. We also piloted two initiatives in 2018. The first was a Critics in Residence programme run in partnership with a theatre. Running across a twelve-month period, this programme involves mentoring and workshops across the year, as well as each of the four critics developing and publishing four reviews of shows (one each season) during this period. Our second initiative was a mini summer fellowship, pairing three writers in Tāmaki Makaurau with a mentor and providing them with desk space for a month as they worked on a piece towards publication.
Why I want to be part of the Creatives in Schools programme and how my involvement will link to my creative practice
Developing critical thinkers and writers is something we strongly believe in. Now that we've established development programmes with emerging (and often young) creative writers, we'd love to take the opportunity to adapt what we've learnt to create a programme for secondary school students. While not every student may become a critical writer or reviewer, we believe the act of observing the world around you (be that a piece of art or society at large) and translating it into language makes for more engaged public citizens. We also believe that the future of New Zealand art relies on young, responsive audiences. Developing writers who can help unpick and translate art to its public helps ensure the health of this future. While process is what is important, there may also be potential outcomes for students such as having some of their work published.