Creative Kōrero

Getting to know our new General Manager

It’s been almost a month since I first joined the CBOP team and settled into our small corner of the fabulous Kollective. Every day since my creative whānau has expanded as I get to know artists, educators, civic leaders, and cultural stewards. I am humbled to be working with you all now, and thrilled by the opportunity to add my own creative powers to the mix. Meg Davis, as our outgoing General Manager, and I (as the new one) were so happy to see many of you at our handover reception last week. Please scroll down to read my short but aspirational remarks from that event—and then kindly join the CBOP team and partners as we dream up an even more incredible place to call home…

Tēnā koutou katoa. Kia ora koutou te whānau…

Ko Appalachian Mountains ōku māunga
Ko Saluda River tōku awa
Ko Ship Irkusk tōku waka 
Ko South Carolina tōku iwi
Ko Irmo Suburb tōku hapū
Ko Quaker faith tōku marae
Ko Eric Holowacz tōku ingoa  

 reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa…

 

First, my thanks for coming together with our organisation: you know that feeling when people, place, and thing all come together—and you feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude? Well, here with you, in this place, with our shared Creative Bay of Plenty, I feel it. It’s undeniable, and I thank you all for welcoming me and supporting this transition.

What do I think? What do I know? What do I wish for?

Here’s what I think…

I think that Meg Davis and the team are amazing people, doing incredible work, supporting our creative community. Suzanne McNicol and our board of trustees are dedicated to this mission and this community, and never tire of advancing what we do. Together with our partners and artists, they have all been building capacity and driving CBOP forward.  And I think that is the perfect place for me to step into…

Here’s what I know…

I know that the arts are essential to who we are as humans, to how we express ourselves as a community, and to what we celebrate as a culture. Take away creativity, and you have a boring place, a world with less innovation, and our stories and heritage fade away. Remove the arts and you get less understanding, fewer solutions, and declining well-being. Without our creative powers, we simply aren’t as human. That I know. And looking at the past few months around the world—the anguish and trouble and uncertainty—I am also certain that now is the time for the arts and creative thinking to make our lives better…

Here’s what I hope…

I have a little dream. In it we are all working together to advance cultural identity, support art and artists, and make everything around us more creative. Great communities and amazing cities are made that way. In this vision we band together and face any crisis, big or small, and then use our creativity to emerge stronger and more interesting. I see a city and region where stories are told, culture is celebrated, artists can thrive, and our sense of community is shared with an extraordinary collective identity. Because really, that’s what CBOP is here for. And that’s what all of you help us do every day…

And so, as I take handover and connect with more and more of our wonderful community partners, I hope that you will keep dreaming with us. Add your vision to ours. You know that feeling when you live in an incredible place? Let’s make sure everybody in the Bay of Plenty feels it too…   

reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa.

 

Eric Holowacz
General Manager

Creative Kōrero

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