Save the date 2021 Festival 21-31 October

Otto and Astrid, Tauranga Arts Festival 2017. Image: Brydie Photography

Whaowhia te kete mātauranga – Fill the basket of knowledge

The country moving to Alert Level 3 next Monday (April 27) doesn’t mean too many changes to what we’ve been doing – and it won’t mean any changes to the arts at home programme that we’ve been delivering to your devices. We’ll keep rolling it out (see this week’s schedule below).

What has changed though is that from April 27 our Festival bookseller Books A Plenty can now take online, email and phone orders. Owner Chris Baskett can provide contactless sales, with no charge for courier deliveries until further notice.

Another way to support a local business now, if you are able, is by buying a voucher that is redeemable when things get back to ‘normal’. Support our Small Businesses includes cafes and services, and there are plenty right on our doorstep, including festival supporters like The Barrel Room and Oscar and Otto.

So pleased to hear this week that our Festival photographer Brydie Thompson and her family are safely back in Aotearoa, in supervised quarantine in an Auckland hotel. You may have seen Brydie feature in the NZ Herald on March 25, detailing their attempt to leave northern Italy where they’d been working.

Brydie said by email this week: “We've already done 6 weeks lockdown in Italy so getting used to this restricted form of life in an odd way. It was our fourth round of flight tickets! Ended up doing the 700km drive to Rome again past police road checkpoints. Flew to Frankfurt then Doha before the 16-hour final stretch home. Kids have coped really well.”

Brydie Thompson (centre) with the cast from Sunny Ray and Magnificent the Moon, Tauranga Arts Festival 2017.

Creative New Zealand wants to show the arts some love and is inviting Kiwis to share their favourite art works and reasons they’re thankful for art, using social media channels and the hashtag #TFA. Thankful for Art has been sparked by the abundance of creative mahi and resources surfacing during these extraordinary times. Read more here and watch a short, fun video of what some of our creatives are up to.

Here’s what’s coming up this week with our arts at home mission (#artsathome). New posts appear here on the website at midday on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Monday, April 20:
Tauranga photographer Kim Westerskov shares some of his Antarctica experiences as a reflection on an excerpt from a poem by Bill Manhire.

Home-made Poetry Part 2 features:
  • Tauranga garage owner Sandra Phillips reading ‘Little Red Car’, written by Elizabeth Smither (New Plymouth)
  • Waikato University chaplain Brother Andrew McKean reading ‘Evensong’ written by Leonard Lambert (raised in Tauranga, now of Napier).
Wednesday April 22:
Experience the sparks that fly when five Tauranga creatives are inspired by objects from Tauranga’s Heritage Collection to create new performance works of art. Replay from Escape! 2018.

Creative Sparks, from left, David Tauranga, Fiona Kean, Que Bidois, Simon Taylor, Marion Arts, Angie Belcher. Image: Brydie Photography

Friday April 24:
Comedian and author Michele A’Court talks about the relationship stories, and the science behind them, she collected for her 2018 book, ‘How We Met’ (HarperCollins). Replay from Escape! 2018.

Monday April 27:
Sandra Simpson checks in with Kāpiti Coast novelist Hannah Parry.

Home-made Poetry Part 3:

  • Former Arts Festival trustee Deb Meldrum reading ‘Blatant Resistance’ by Bub Bridger
  • Arts Festival patron Doug Hendry reading ‘Keep it Up’ by Brian Turner.
Any queries or comments about our content please email And of course you’re very welcome to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and share our posts with others.

We’re looking ahead as best we can, given that the future is largely unknown, and would like to think that we can count on your support to keep bringing the arts to Tauranga. We thank you for your past support and hope you are able to remain part of our Festival whānau.

Kia kaha ki ā tātou!
Your Festival Team