Friday, May 13, 2011

Listing to the right

Here’s a list for you:

  • Deborah McCormick, Director SCAPE
  • Steph Walker, General Manager, Christchurch Arts Festival
  • Dr. Jane Gregg, Dean of Creative Industries
  • Dr. George Parker, Manager Te Puna Toi Performance Research Project
  • Philip Aldridge, Chief Executive, The Court Theatre
  • James Caygill, CEO, Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and Southern Opera
  • Sean Whitaker, General Manager, Christchurch School of Music
This is the group that was elected by attendees at a Creative NZ organised meeting to “represent the arts community of Christchurch.” But hang on, how can it represent the arts community if it doesn’t have a single practising artist included? The attendees at CNZ's meeting may well have selected a group of art bureaucrats, but there is a weirdly circular taste to all this. Invite bureaucrats to represent their organisations to a meeting and inevitably they choose the people who talk their language and share their objectives. Other bureaucrats.

Did no one think that some artists might have a contribution to make? Are there no artists in Christchurch who would be prepared to be on such a group? Impossible to believe.

In other circumstances CNZ is obsessed by representation as a founding principle - the upcoming legislation for the new Arts Council for example stipulates 46% of its members are selected from specific racial groupings - so you have to wonder why artists aren't seen as a crucial element of the Christchurch arts community.
Image: before you ask we are assuming the boat is bow towards us