March 21, 2023
An important message from Te Ahurei Toi o Tāmaki | Auckland Arts Festival (AAF) staff and whānau. Image by Jinki Cambronero. Deadline for submissions: 28 March 2023
The recent Auckland Council draft budget for 2023-24 proposes $35.6m worth of cuts to arts programming and organisations.
These cuts will have a far-reaching impact on the arts infrastructure and ecology of the arts across Tāmaki Makaurau and beyond, including the loss of employment opportunities for artists and arts workers, the cancellation of events and programmes, and equally importantly, the loss of future artists and arts audiences.
For many years AAF has been celebrating cultures from around the world, bringing together a selection of the most innovative artists in Aotearoa alongside world renowned international performers. We have provided a platform for artists and arts companies from Aotearoa to be introduced to international stages and festivals around the world, with many going on to international success. At the core of this are AAF’s partnerships with artists, arts companies, venues and the broader artistic community. But without a thriving arts ecology to draw from, the opportunities for the artistic voices of Aotearoa and Tāmaki Makaurau to be heard will be greatly reduced.
Auckland is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world, and needs a vibrant and active arts sector that its communities are able to participate in and see works that reflect their own cultures and those around them. The arts sector brings people together, creates moments of joy and inspiration, and develops a sense of pride within communities. It contributes to feelings of social cohesion, and improves the overall wellbeing of a society. It stimulates major economic activity and tourism, and is a significant economic driver providing employment opportunities for artists, arts industry workers, the broader arts and entertainment infrastructure, and to local businesses, especially in the hospitality and accommodation sectors.
Arts funding is essential if we want a vibrant, liveable city. Your voice can make a difference and ensure we have a city to be proud of. Arts and culture advocacy body Te Taumata Toi-a-Iwi has created a website where you can see the cuts and be guided through how to make a submission. AAF staff and Board urge you to please make your submission before the Council’s deadline of 28 March.
Ngā mihi nui Te Ahurei Toi o Tāmaki | Auckland Arts Festival team