May 12, 2006

Award to Denis and Verna Adam rewards artists even more

On Wednesday night (10 May) five New Zealand artists received a combined $40,000 from the Arts Foundation of New Zealand and Denis and Verna Adam, the recipients of the inaugural Arts Foundation of New Zealand’s Award for Patronage.

At an event hosted by Her Excellency, the Hon Dame Silvia Cartwright, Governor General of New Zealand, at Government House in Auckland, Denis and Verna Adam were recognised for their lifetime contribution to New Zealand arts.

Denis and Verna Adam established the Adam Foundation in 1975 and during the past 30 years have endeavoured to support artists through its many programmes including: the establishment of the Adam Concert Room at Victoria University of Wellington; the Adam Portraiture Award and Exhibition; the Adam Chamber Music Festival, and the Adam International Cello Competition. As part of the award, the couple were given $20,000 by the Arts Foundation to distribute to artists of their choice. 

Denis and Verna announced they would double the fund and distribute $10,000 to artists:

·       Pianist, John Chen

·       Cartoonist, Tom Scott

·       writers Oscar Kightley and David Armstrong ($5,000 each) and

·       Tanya Ashken to honour her late husband John Drawbridge posthumously.

All the recipients have relevance to the Adam Foundation activities.  "The artists are our personal choices and these rewards should be regarded as our own expression of gratitude and admiration of their work from enthusiastic, inexpert admirers," Denis Adam said.

The couple said they felt honoured to be selected as the first recipients of the Patronage Award. "We unreservedly support the Arts Foundation aim to encourage arts patronage in New Zealand.  We started collecting objets d’art in the 1960s, but arts have always been our passion.  It is a great feeling to know that we have assisted some young New Zealanders in their bid to make it in the field of the arts."

The Patronage Awards will be announced annually, honouring those patrons who are making an active contribution to the arts in New Zealand. Ros Burdon, Chairperson of the Arts Foundation of New Zealand said: "The Patronage Awards are all about encouraging more people to give to the arts, to honour those who already show their support and to highlight the difference you can make by being a patron."

If you wish to find out more about these artists, arts patronage and the Arts Foundation of New Zealand, please visit our website .

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