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Council-owned venues reducing rentals for local performers

News from WREDA
WREDA has announced lower venue pricing for local performing arts organisations and grassroots talent to help make staging art in the capital more affordable.

Speaking at a Performing Arts Network of New Zealand event in Wellington, WREDA general manager for venues David Perks announced the initiative, which is part of the organisation’s goal to ‘pump New Zealand’s creative heart’.

“Creativity is Wellington’s lifeblood and helps fuel our economy. Our performing arts community plays a huge role in making Wellington a city of energy and ideas.

“This initiative will make Wellington’s civic venues more accessible. We’re offering big percentage savings on venue costs to help fledging arts organisations take their events to the city’s bigger venues. For many groups, the financial leap from staging an event in a small theatre like Bats to one of the larger venues we manage is enormous. We want to help bridge that gap to give local artists the opportunity to build bigger audiences.”

But Mr Perks says the scheme isn’t for everyone.

“There are a number of criteria that organisations must meet to qualify. Priority will be given to local organisations that call the Wellington region home and provide evidence that they employ local talent.

The venues pricing restructure is one of a range of initiatives WREDA is looking at to grow Wellington’s creative industries.

Last week, Mr Perks released details of the Celebrate Wellington initiative to make arts more accessible to a wider audience. It will see WREDA provide arts, cultural and sporting organisations with small grants to be used for things like free transport for groups, and enabling better access to audio commentary and sign interpreters for the hearing impaired.

May 2013: $260,000 a year to run bookings for six council venues