March 20, 2008
MAKING THE CASE FOR Q THEATRE
GUIDELINES FOR WRITING A ONE PAGE SUPPORT LETTER:
Send to one, some, or all of the following:
1. Central Government: Judith Tizard; Helen Clarke, or your local MP.
2. Auckland City Council: Any or all Auckland City Councillors
3. Media: Letter to the Editor of the New Zealand Herald (or your local suburban)
And don’t forget to send one to us (for our lotteries funding application):
PO Box 7263
Please send your letters by Wednesday 26th March 2008
WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT’S YOUR CONENCTION TO Q?
I am a performing artist [actor, dancer, director, chorographer, designer etc] and have worked in the arts industry for X years; or
I teach secondary school drama at [name] school; or
I am a donor of Q Theatre; or
I was a member of the New Theatre Initiative; or
I am an Aucklander who loves the arts wants to be proud of my city; or
… and I am writing in support of Q Theatre.
WHY DO YOU SUPPORT Q?
1. Because there’s a need!
There is currently no flexible performance space of this size in Auckland that is dedicated to the use of professional performing artists in theatre and dance.
Brisbane has 7 venues of mid-size and Wellington has 5, but Auckland only has 1. From the former Silo space seating 100 to the Herald at 185, we jump to the Maidment at 450 and there’s nothing in between.
Since the Aotea Centre there has been no dedicated investment in physical infrastructure for Auckland’s professional performing arts. Rather, 3 of 4 mid-sized venues (Theatre Corporate, Mercury and Watershed) have been lost. One theatre has been built – in a casino.
I book venues 18 months in advance or I’m using [insert random venue here] to present my work. Q will provide access to a place where I can present my work. We’ve got work waiting to be presented and we’re ready to go!
The need has been consistently identified by the performing arts community and validated by independent research and consultation.
2. Because it’s the right size
At 350-460 seats I can begin to financially sustain my arts company. Anything bigger I can’t afford or fill and anything smaller I can’t get a large enough financial return.
Overseas studies consistently show this size and type of theatre is the one to stimulate growth in the performing arts, supporting the independent producer, who is often taking greater artistic and financial risks.
3. Because it’ll be a home for artists – a place for conversation
Q will be a home for Auckland’s independent professional performing arts community
Having a home for creative activity provides the opportunity for the exchange of ideas, a place where people gather, create and spark off one another.
Q will be a place where artists and audiences can come together across artistic and cultural boundaries, allowing new generations of artists and innovation to grow
This will be a space for Auckland’s and New Zealand’s artists to perform in, learn in, develop skills in, teach in and simply hang out in.
4. Because it will provide a place to develop and train the next generation
Q Theatre will champion investing in the next generation of artists in Auckland.
Q will provide hands-on training for the emerging professionals out of NZ’s tertiary institutions, who can then get hands on training with experienced professionals and mentors.
I believe the professional arts sector has a role to fulfil in growing school and youth development and training in the arts.
As a teacher, I want to take my students to performances that are relevant and inspirational to them. I want to be able to show my students an active working theatre, so they can develop an appreciation for the art form, knowing and understanding the craft.
Theatre provides a training ground for the vibrant film and television sector: this is where most actors, directors, designers and technicians get their start. Theatre is where Cliff Curtis, Temuera Morrison, Ian Mune, the Naked Samoans, Flight of the Conchords, Sam Neil, Karl Urban, Lisa Chappell, Martin Csoksas, Lucy Lawless (among many others) started their careers.
5. Because there will be a diversity of work – for artists and audiences
Q Theatre will provide access to a variety of production companies, bringing a diverse range of theatre, and with it, a diverse range of audiences.
Q values accessibility and an ‘open system’ philosophy of programming but also keeps some professional infrastructure in place to encourage excellence.
As a producer, Q will open up opportunities for me to grow my audience, because the audience will trust in seeing great work at Q Theatre.
Q will provide an identity that locates the work of diverse artists and arts organisations for audiences. These artists are central to the production of the works that are most likely to become the iconic pieces of NZ’s performing arts heritage.
6. Because it’s a proven business model
Q will be run and led by industry professionals – people who have a stake in and love for the theatre. It won’t be owned by an organisation for whom theatre is not a core business (and therefore in danger of being closed or changed).
Q Theatre is a good business model because it is open to be used by a variety of different productions, and is not reliant on a single production company. This flexibility and the flexibility of the space itself, and the makes good economic.
It is a successful contemporary theatre model that’s working around the world.
7. Because of the impact it will have on Auckland:
Arts are essential to Auckland – 84% of Aucklanders believe this.
Q is creating a theatre which allows the region’s unique voices to speak, its heritage to be understood and its identity to flourish.
8. Because it will help the creation of a cultural destination
There’s already an existing cluster of venues in what is fast becoming Auckland’s arts precinct with the Civic, Town Hall, Aotea Centre, the former Silo space, and Classic theatre. Q Theatre unlocks the potential for the Aotea Quarter to become Auckland’s West End or Broadway.
Having a cultural destination for Auckland gives me somewhere to take my visitors.
9. Because I want a great total experience from my night out.
I don’t like visiting the CBD at night, because I don’t feel safe. I’d like to go to a place that is busy and alive with people through the night.
As an audience of performing arts, I want to have a good experience with all aspects, from buying my ticket from someone who knows the show and having comfortable seats with some leg room, through to not having to fight my way to the bar for a drink (or transferring my wine into a plastic cup!)
Q Theatre will have a bar and cafe, so there’ll be people and activity in the venue all day long.
I want to go to a place with an atmosphere (not where the bar opens 20 minutes before the show starts and closes 10 minutes after the show ends). I want to be able to sit and talk with my friends about what I’ve just experienced.
A total experience of the atmosphere of the theatre. There will be life in the space and something always going on. There will be a vibrancy and energy with a café / bar to hang out in during the day or after a show. It will be a hub where interesting people hang out and are doing interesting things.
10. Because I want to watch innovative and local theatre
Q Theatre will be presenting the best local, national and international dance, theatre and performance.
Q will be presenting a diverse range of performances, so I’ll always be seeing a different type and style of show with different performers.
The flexibility of the auditorium will be an extraordinary catalyst for innovative ideas which will lead to amazing experience for audiences.
Bringing people together to create cultural and artistic stories – I would like to see NZ stories on stage.
Artists have a significant role in the development of New Zealand’s cultural identity by reflecting and expressing life in New Zealand. Q values the living, ‘intangible’ cultural heritage represented by the artists who’ll be working inside Q and providing "living treasures" – as much NZ’s heritage as its rugby stadiums or museums.
11. Because Q meets local and regional council policy.
Q Theatre aligns with Auckland City and Auckland Regional Council’s long term planning policies by contributing to the CBD’s vibrancy as a cultural centre and creative space, making the region a great place to live, work, play and visit.
12. Because investment in infrastructure will make Auckland a world class city
I believe Auckland can be a world class city, and a vibrant arts and culture scene contributes to this, but there has to be investment into infrastructure.
Q theatre will be a place that the city will be proud of both architecturally and artistically and be an asset for future generations.
13. And there’s an economic benefit for Auckland as well
An economic impact study (Covec) has reported that Q can be expected to deliver a 10-year GDP impact of $13.6m in net present value terms and additional employment of 43 full-time equivalent employees per annum.