What a week! Some weeks are pretty fun and this was definitely one of them.
This time of year is when the Southland Festival of the Arts is happening and I am privileged to be part of the Dan Davin Literary Foundation and get to organise a couple of the events. So last weekend we organised a Pecha Kucha event. Pecha Kucha means little talk and is a great way to hear from a range of inspired and inspiring people about the things they love.
Most of the Festival is organised by Angela Newell from Venture Southland. She brings a wide range of performances to the region to participate in the Festival each year and in the last four days I have been able to see shows including dance, music, theatre, and puppetry as well as attending the opening of a steam punk exhibition and the community yarn bombing on Esk Street. Check out this video about the yarn bombing! https://www.facebook.com/southlandartsfest/videos/1633276870228362/
A wide range of people come along to these events – some like me attend lots of events while others attend just one thing. But overall year by year the audiences seem to grow.
The Southland Festival of the Arts is one of many events that Venture Southland organises and supports with the funding it receives from the Invercargill City Council. And I for one am grateful for this because the Festival helps to make Invercargill a vibrant and fun place to be throughout the month of May.
On Friday I also attended the meeting of the Southland Regional Heritage Committee on behalf of Lindsay Thomas who was not able to be there. If you have a look at the rates statement you get at the start of each rating year you will see a targeted rate amount which goes directly to this committee. On my rates statement this is about $32 per year.
This money comes from ratepayers in the whole region and together it makes a contribution to the Southland Museum and Art Gallery as well as several other regional museum facilities. It also provides a fund for heritage groups around the region to apply to to help with projects that meet the criteria.
I enjoyed being at the meeting and learning about the exciting heritage projects happening throughout Southland. It also seemed like a very good model in terms of the region working together as the committee has an advisory panel of experts from various museums who provide guidance.
It is timely that I have participated in so many Venture Southland activities this week as the Venture Southland Draft Business Plan is now out for consultation – closing on 22 May. The Consult South website provides a link to this plan (along with other consultation documents from all the regions’ councils) http://www.consultsouth.co.nz/
To finish the week off I was able to attend the brief visit of HRH Prince Harry. It was a bit fancy for a Sunday morning but a nice way to finish off the week. It sounds like his visit made the national news, Invercargill put on some lovely weather and a great crowd assembled at the airport to see him.