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Rich opportunity for Māori and Pasifika artists at Festival of Pacific Arts and Culture - Hawai’i 2020

Creative New Zealand invites Māori and contemporary Pasifika artists to apply to represent Aotearoa at the 13th Festival of Pacific Arts and Culture in Hawai’i from 10-20 June 2020.


Reflecting the collaborative spirit of the Festival of Pacific Arts and Culture, Māori street artists Charles and Janine Williams created a larger-than-life version of the rare native Ko’ko’ bird in Guam, 2016. Image sourced from Creative NZ.

Held every four years, the festival brings together more than 2,000 artists and other cultural practitioners from 27 Pacific nations. Its purpose is to preserve and protect the rich and vibrant traditions of the Pacific. It is an opportunity for Māori artists and New Zealand-based contemporary Pasifika artists to present a distinct Aotearoa voice and display their artistry, in 2020 focusing on the theme E kū I ka hoe uli – take hold of the steering paddle.

"The Festival of Pacific Arts and Culture is a rich opportunity for our delegates to connect, collaborate and co-create on a massive scale with other Pacific nations and cultures, through traditional and contemporary artforms,” says Paula Cuff, Senior Manager, Māori Strategy and Partnerships.

“Selected artists will be ambassadors for Aotearoa New Zealand and Māori and Pasifika arts, and our experience is that their participation will inspire future artistic collaborations throughout the Pacific and beyond.”

Each of the participating Pacific nations invites representation from their indigenous people, with Creative New Zealand supporting and coordinating Aotearoa New Zealand’s 100-strong delegation.

Creative New Zealand will select a combination of accomplished and emerging artists from within Māori and New Zealand-based Pacific communities. The opportunity is open to individual artists and collectives that practice a wide range of artforms, including visual, literary, performing and traditional arts. Creative New Zealand will support delegates to travel and attend.

As part of their role in the Aotearoa delegation, artists will present or exhibit work at the festival. In applying to be part of the delegation, artists can also apply for limited funding to create or redevelop that work.

A Youth Ambassador Leadership Programme is under development and will be a key feature of the festival, to help grow our rangatahi leaders and their skills as ambassadors. We will be calling for interest in the youth programme in late January 2019.

Applications to be part of the Aotearoa New Zealand delegation close at 5pm on Friday 1 March 2019.

Artists interested in being part of the Aotearoa New Zealand delegation can read the criteria requirements and apply on the Creative New Zealand website.

Aotearoa New Zealand has sent a delegation to every festival since 1972 and has included weavers, sculptors, carvers, theatre groups, storytellers, poets, dancers, musicians and kapa haka. Read about delegates to the last festival, the 12thFestival of Pacific Arts 2016 (Guam), on our website.  

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For application queries, please contact:
E: funding@creativenz.govt.nz | P: 0800 273 284

For media queries, please contact:
Rebecca Sellwood
Senior Communications and Advocacy Adviser, Creative New Zealand
E: rebecca.sellwood@creativenz.govt.nz | M: +64 21 911 208


Updated on 14th January 2019