Wellington’s Pūtahi Festival 2016 partnered with KAVA CLUB to bring to the public a one-week theatre / dance / film / music festival held at Victoria University’s Studio77 from February 9 - 13. This ran in conjunction with 2016’s NZ Fringe Festival. Pūtahi was proud to promote KAVA CLUB as a partner because of their ability to engage new artists with their audiences. A relationship that - at worst - can seem disconnected and hostile made safe and fruitful.
Members from the KAVA CLUB committed time and skills towards creating the following:
- Installation Artwork in Studio 77 Foyer Using lighting and installations, Tony De Goldi and Mishelle Maugututi’a organised wonderful artworks in The Studio 77 Foyer. This space would be used as the KAVA CLUB hub throughout the festival. This artwork transformed the place into a wonderful entrance for our guests to meet before the shows and have a drink from the bar after.
- ‘Chop Suey Hui' session discussing Contemporary Indigenous Theatre on Opening Night Herbee Bartley hosted a Chop Suey Hui in which established artists sat down together to drink kava and speak to an audience about how Contemporary Indigenous Theatre came about and what it means today. This conversation sparked wonderful memories for some and inspired many of the upcoming artists. many of whom, were about to present brand new works at Pūtahi Festival.
- A range of hosts to facilitate Question and Answer sessions for every company presenting a work at the festival. Members from the Kava Club then rostered on to host a Q&A session for every show in Pūtahi Festival. Each Q&A unique and true to who the host was as an inquiring individual. Each brought their own style of questioning to every session. There was an ease to the conversations. This allowed artists to open up and talk frankly about their work giving us a greater insight into each production in development.
- Presence in the festival throughout and crew always on hand with packing in and packing out. As a first time curator of this Pūtahi Festival, it’s success of it would not have been possible without the generosity and hosting sensibilities of individuals within the KAVA CLUB as well as the unit as a whole.
I believe that Hosting and Facilitating Conversations was crucial to Pūtahi Festival’s success this year. There is a need to better connect the process of the artist to the paying audience. I am Moana Ete, Curator of Pūtahi Festival 2016 also signed on to curate Pūtahi Festival 2017.
I am a 27 year old performance artist based in Wellington seeking to define Contemporary Indigenous Music, Theatre and Film for myself and my audiences.