Creative Bay of Plenty and Te Tuhi Mareikura Trust have welcomed emerging arts leader Arpége Taratoa (Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngati Ranginui, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Rārua) as 2021 Māori Art Intern. The organisations were selected as joint internships hosts for the nation-wide programme directed by Toi Māori Aotearoa and funded by Creative New Zealand. Taratoa began this month and her paid internship continues to December. The programme helps develop future Māori arts managers, producers and professionals, and builds professional pathways through leadership development.
“This is a wonderful way to support a new generation, and further develop cultural leadership in Tauranga Moana,” says Creative Bay of Plenty’s Eric Holowacz. “And Arpége brings an incredible background and no shortage of passion for art and artists.”
Taratoa is a creative consultant with a background as a practising artist, curator, educator and project director. She completed an Honours degree at Elam School of Fine Arts, and postgraduate studies at Massey University. She became the youngest lecturer at New Zealand Tertiary College and has worked for four years as Creative Director at Wakatu Incorporation. Her career development in the Bay of Plenty also includes roles at Tauranga Art Gallery and Art + Body Creative Studio in Mount Maunganui, and she has participated in art exhibitions around the country.
As Māori Art Intern, Taratoa will assist and support the delivery of Te Tuhi Māreikura’s Tā Ātea 2021 Cultural series and assist the Creative Bay of Plenty team and Ngā Toi Māori projects.
“Working in this internship for a Māori trust and collaborating with the creative voice here in the Bay of Plenty aligns with everything I am passionate about—it just made sense to me,” she explains. “There is a real opportunity in our region to bring different entities in Tauranga Moana together: to support youth in the creative space, and collaborate with Māori creatives local to the Bay. I’m honoured to be able to be a part of that.”
Creative Bay of Plenty is one of New Zealand’s leading regional arts and cultural development agencies, and works to ensure a thriving creative community in Tauranga and the Western Bay. The non-profit charity provides support to the region’s artists and cultural organisations, fosters new creative placemaking initiatives, connects community, and promotes people, organisations, projects, and events in the Bay of Plenty.
Conceived in 2015 and spearheaded by leading Māori artists of the Mataatua region, Te Tuhi Mareikura Charitable Trust connects artists with the community to create public art works, share cultural knowledge, and forge creative relationships with other indigenous communities. The Trust supports Māori artists through learning opportunities, wānanga and workshops.