‘All form of art is fundamental to human expression’ is a phrase Karyl Gunn-Thomas is so passionate about, it appears on most of her communications. It is also a philosophy that Karyl has lived by during her long standing contribution to supporting the arts and culture sector in the Western Bay district.
Karyl recently stepped down as the chair of the Western Bay Creative Communities Scheme after being a mainstay in the programme for over a decade. CCS delivers government funding for arts and culture into the Western Bay community and is administered by Creative Bay of Plenty. Karyl’s involvement in the scheme commenced when she was a community board member, continued while she was an elected member on Western Bay Council, and most recently as an individual who is dedicated to supporting local arts and culture initiatives.
Creative Bay of Plenty’s funding & projects advisor, Annie Hill, says, “The success of the Creative Communities Scheme to deliver funding into communities where it will make the most difference is contingent on the knowledge and passion of our assessment panel members. Karyl has done a great job over the years, not just assessing applications and providing leadership for the panel, but also having an in-depth understanding how arts and culture makes a meaningful and long lasting difference in local communities.”
Karyl says, “I feel privileged to have chaired the Creative Communities Scheme assessment panel for the last 10 years. I have always focused on making good decisions around the projects that will most benefit our communities, including those from a diverse range of organisations, individuals and cultural groups undertaking a wide range of art forms. Hopefully, my contribution has added to the vibrancy of the Western Bay district.”