April 20, 2006

The Big Look-See

Sample Wellington’s Arts for FREE!

Saturday 13 & Sunday 14 May 2006

Have a ‘look-see’ behind the scenes at some of Wellington region’s best theatres, galleries, museums, heritage sites and arts organisations for FREE! The Big Look-See is a weekend of FREE fun and discovery for all Wellingtonians who’ve ever been curious about what goes on behind the scenes in the creative Capital and want to have a good old-fashioned nosey! A totally free event, The Big Look-See is hosted by 15 venues around the Wellington Region and involves over 20 high-profile arts and cultural organisations..

Coordinated by Arts Wellington – a trust established to support arts and cultural audience development in the Wellington Region – chairman, Andrew Leslie says, "The Big Look-See could be described as an open weekend for the participating organisations, however a better description would be a ‘test-drive’ or ‘taster’ event, as the public are invited to have an active look and can give the tricks of the trade a try for no charge. You don’t even need to book."

The Big Look-See programme has something for everyone from sitting in on rehearsals and classes, to giving a beginner’s ballet class a try. There a many guided walks and backstage tours, opportunities to chat with artists, actors and technicians, or to find out how exhibitions are curetted and plays created. Adventurous people can even take-part in making a new play or artwork. Children can take part in children’s activities such as creating their own music video, or reading the weather in front of modern ‘blue-screen’ technology. They could also take part in a writing workshop with Lloyd Jones, or listen to scary stories, or discover hidden treasure! Friends and families can give vocal warm-up exercises a try, have their photo taken dressed as Victorian tourists, learn how scenery flies on and off stage, hear bellringing or an organ recital, see a snippet of a current show, or tread the boards themselves!

Why The Big Look-See?
Arts Wellington, or the Wellington Regional Art and Cultural Development Trust, was set up in 2005. Its objective is to play a lead role in the on-going development of a flourishing arts, culture and heritage sector and, in doing so, contributing directly to the social and economic well-being of individuals, arts organisations and of the Wellington Region. Most of the participating organisations are members of Arts Wellington.

With similar events, such as the Birmingham ArtsFest being hugely successful overseas, The Big Look-See has been designed to encourage Wellingtonians to have a look at what their own region has on offer. "By being given the opportunity to visit any of the participating organisations and watch them in action, Arts Wellington hopes that more Wellingtonians will be inspired to attend arts and cultural activities in their home town", explains Leslie.

Participating Organisations
Alexander Turnbull Library, BATS Theatre, Capital E, Circa Theatre, City Gallery, Downstage Theatre, Footnote Dance Company, Hutt Valley Community Arts, Katherine Mansfield Birthplace, The Learning Connexion, Museum of Wellington City & Sea, National Library Gallery, NZ Film Archive, Old St Pauls, Petone Settlers Museum, Playmarket, Royal New Zealand Ballet, Wellington Waterfront, Westpac St James Theatre – with – NBR NZ Opera, NZ Book Council, NZ School of Music, Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School, Watercolour NZ, Walk Wellington

Printed programmes will be available from the participating organisations, info centres, libraries and out on the streets from 21 April. You can also check out www.WellingtonNZ.com where the programme will be posted online.

Wrap up, get out there and rip into it!

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